syzygy's Profile

Display Name: syzygy
Member Since: 9/6/11

Latest Comments...


I once bought a wonderful chocolate mint tea, and I have been looking for some more ever since. It was just dried chocolate mint leaves, and it was delicious. But whenever I go into a tea store, they point me to black tea with chocolate and mint flavouring. SO not the same thing.

I found some actual chocolate mint at an organic produce store once, and I dried it and made tea with it, but that was the one and only time they ever had it, and I've never seen it again.

What Are Some Really Awesome Ways to Use Chocolate Mint? Good Questions
5/29/14 01:49 PM

We don't have a dishwasher, so our garbage and recycling go in the space where a built-in dishwasher would go. I have no idea where we are going to put them when we finally get a dishwasher.

Where Do You Hide the Trash Can In Your Kitchen? Good Questions
5/7/14 10:17 AM

We had about a million fruit flies in my kitchen about a month ago, and nothing was getting rid of them. We tried every kind of trap, and no matter how many we killed, there were always more flying around. We put away any food that might have been out, kept the counters clean, but they were still everywhere.

Finally, we decided to wage war on the little nuisances. We ditched our old garbage can and recycling box (plastic tends to absorb smells) and bought a new all-in-one can with a lid. Then we cleaned every surface in the kitchen, washed every pot and pan hanging in the pot rack (they would gather there) and every tool or item that stays out on the counter. We put away a lot of the things we had out on the counters, too. I even got up on the counter and cleaned the top of the cabinets, which were kind of gross. It took three days, caused a fight between my husband and me, and inspired many creative curses for the builders who "designed" a kitchen that had so many hard-to-clean nooks and crannies.

Then we laid out the traps again, and lo and behold, the flies were gone in a matter of days. We still have one or two that just refuse to die, but we must have found the place they were breeding, because we aren't getting more of them. For bugs that only live for a few days, they sure do have staying power.

The upshot of all this is that my kitchen is so clean right now. I hope it lasts.

Reader Tip: The Quick & Simple Way to Banish Fruit Flies
8/10/12 11:12 AM

I have hated lima beans since I could eat solid food. They're horrible. Are they even food?

When my brother and I were kids, we had an in-house babysitter (I supposed she would be called a nanny now). Our school didn't have a cafeteria, so we would come home for lunch. When I was in Grade 5 she started babysitting another set of kids, and we went to their house because it was closer to the bus stop. Those two kids ate Kraft Dinner every day for lunch, and because we were at their house, we ate what they ate. But they didn't eat it the normal way-- they liked putting the cheese on themselves, and eating it with ketchup. So we were served bowls of dry noodles, and we poured the neon orange cheese dust on them and squeezed ketchup over all of it. It was so unappetizing that there were days I refused to eat it, and went to school hungry. To this day, I can't stand Kraft Dinner. My husband loves it though, and sometimes sneaks it into the house.

What Was Your Worst Childhood Food Experience?
8/1/12 02:39 PM

I inherited my great-grandmother's dishware. It's over 100 years old. My mother ate off of it as a child, and broke a lot of it. When I was a kid, we used it for special occasions. I broke a few pieces myself, and my husband has managed to break a few. And there are still about 80 pieces! It's very fragile, and many pieces are damaged. I suspect it's not actually china, but that doesn't make it any less cool.

It's a nice set, and it's cool to have something that old and with so much family history, especially since I never knew anyone from my mother's side of the family. But 80 pieces of dishware takes up a lot of room, and it almost never gets used, since my husband and I are not formal dinner party people. I have used it during holidays and other occasions, but it hasn't been used for a few years now.

Inheriting the Family Dishes Reader Survey
7/30/12 09:13 AM

@Battra92, drinking alone is only a bad thing if you do it to excess (which is true for a lot of things). Personally, I love having an evening to myself, with a good book, a nice simple meal, and a glass of wine. It feels special.

An Omelet and a Glass of Wine: Some Thoughts on the Perfect Dinner for One Cooking for One
7/26/12 01:13 PM

I basically eyeball it.

The Best Way to Measure Fresh Herbs
5/15/12 03:30 PM

I'm pre-diabetic, and I don't regulate my blood sugar with insulin or medication, so I am always on the lookout for low-sugar and/or low-carb recipes. So I would love it if you could feature diabetic friendly recipes, especially ones that don't just substitute sugar for Splenda or some other artificial sweetener. I'm also interested in finding ways to cut back on sugar in cooking and baking, and just in general. It would also be great if recipes included nutritional information.

Got a Question for Reader Request Week? Tell Us What You'd Like Us To Blog About!
4/30/12 03:15 PM

I don't like the current setup I have for my flatscreen (a crappy old TV stand and some bookshelves), and when I finally replace it, I'd like to get something nice, but I am not going to hide my thousand-dollar TV behind doors as though I am ashamed of it. I'm not, any more than I'm ashamed of my fridge or my bookshelves. And I do need a certain amount of storage for it, because I have a ton of DVDs, as well as a gaming console, a DVR/Cable box, an Apple TV, a Blu-Ray/surround sound system, and a bunch of speakers. I'd love to have all my media streaming from one box, but that's going to have to wait a few years. In the meantime, I need to store that stuff somewhere.

The Fall of the Full Wall Entertainment Center
3/21/12 02:45 PM

The iPod touch was the first time I realized I had a computer in my pocket. I used it for everything: scheduling, email, gaming, ebooks, music, videos... I even had an app for bus schedules. I couldn't live without it. When my cell phone died, I upgraded to an iPhone 4, and it does even more (It has a camera! And instant internet wherever I go!). And things have come so far even since then-- there's the tablet computer, 3D printing, Skype... who needs jet packs?

What Technological Advancement Makes You Think, "This is the Future"?
3/21/12 02:26 PM

Wasn't the Jawbone UP been pulled from the shelves because it was defective?

Get Fit with Stylish Tech
3/7/12 10:30 AM

My microwave lives in the dining area, because my kitchen is too small to accomodate it. I hate having it there, but I am unwilling to sacrifice more counterspace. (I have a toaster oven as well, and although I love the convenience, I hate how much space it takes up. That and a microwave crowding my counters would be too much.)

We're renovating soon (yay!), and we're thinking of getting an over-the-stove microwave. I would prefer a cart, but there's no room (and we can't add more).

Which is Better... A Microwave or More Countertop Space?
1/25/12 01:19 PM

I'd split the batch up. Put some in vodka to make vanilla extract, some in sugar for vanilla sugar, and some in an airtight jar for cooking and baking with.

Although I imagine you could just use the ones stored in sugar for baking and cooking, right? I'm not 100% sure-- every time I've made vanilla sugar, I've given it away, and left the bean in.

Best Way to Store Vanilla Beans?
Good Questions

1/17/12 10:57 AM

I want to renovate so badly. I have white 1980s builder's melamine cabinets and a plastic laminate countertop. Even just changing the cabinet the doors would be a huge improvement.

What I would really love is more counter space, but there's only so much one can do with a galley kitchen.

Resolution: Make One Improvement in Your Kitchen
1/5/12 01:33 PM

JNvillage I was just thinking the same thing.

Shop Smarter: Home Stuff That's Always on Sale in January
1/4/12 02:14 PM

Cover the opening to a co-worker's cubicle with cling wrap, and then dump the packing peanuts in until they reach the top. Or you could fill their car.*

On a more practical (and less cruel) note, we ship a lot at my office, so we just keep them, along with boxes and other packing materials.

(*Note: I have never done either of these, but I have seen them done to others.)

What to Do with All Those Packing Peanuts
1/4/12 12:00 PM

I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one with a bunch of CPKs. I had 9, plus a Koosa, and my brother had three, and another Koosa, which he eventually denied were his, so they ended up in my room. I don't know how my parents ever afforded them, since we were not rich, and I wore hand-me-down clothes. I did save my money and buy a couple of them myself, and a few were given by relatives, but still-- that's still a lot of dolls! I think I ended up with so many because my grandmother gave away all my mother's dolls the day she turned 11 because she was now "too old for dolls", so my mom decided her own daughter could have dolls as long as she wanted. I got my last CPK at the age of 12, long past the age other girls were playing with theirs.

Most of them are at my parents' house, but I kept two of them with me: A blonde one in a kilt (she's a World Traveller, and came with a suitcase and a passport), and a Newborn in a blue sleeper.

My first one was named Joanna Melvina, and I got her in 1983, when I was 8. She had short blonde hair like mine, a blue-and-white striped shirt, blue jeans, a blue jacket, and white sneakers with pink stripes (so you could tell she was a girl). I was snooping in my mother's closet one time, and I found her (in my defence, she wasn't well-hidden). I knew I wouldn't get her until Christmas, but I went and visited her in the closet every day after school. My friend Mike had a boy one, with reddish-brown hair (like his) and the same outfit, but in red. We used to pretend they were best friends and on a team or something, until Mike got to be too cool to play with dolls.

The Original Cabbage Patch Kids (and Other Christmas Morning Disappointments)
12/11/11 05:06 PM

My cat has now decided the iPad is hers. If I'm using it for something other than playing cat games, she rubs up against it or tries to play with the screen. If it's not on, she sits on it until I get the hint.

5 iPad Apps to Drive Your Cat Crazy...In a Good Way!
10/14/11 02:54 PM

I would live a cozy library, with comfy chairs and bookshelves everywhere (and a fireplace). And a laundry room with space to fold and iron. (My washer and dryer are in a closet in my bathroom, too, although I am trying to figure out how to get a folding ironing board in there.)

But I do have a room for washing my hair. It also conveniently has a sink, tub, and toilet in there. Multitasking!

Room of Requirement: What's Your Dream "Special" Room?
10/5/11 03:15 PM

My kitchen is so small that the's barely enough counter space for the coffee maker. But it has a passthrough that overlooks the living/ dining room, and there's a bookshelf there where I keep my cookbooks. The micro fits perfectly in the space between the passthrough bar shelf and the bookshelf, with enough room for air to circulate.

Ideally, I would like to integrate it into the kitchen. My husband wants it over the stove, but I like the under-the-counter idea.

6 Smart Alternate Locations for the Microwave
10/3/11 09:19 PM