marsneedsrabbits's Profile

Display Name: marsneedsrabbits
Member Since: 4/14/08

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If I could give a new homemaker one piece of advice, it would be to buy "real" china and skip melamine/plastic altogether. In the end, it'll be cheaper, and even with kids, I've been surprised at how few pieces we've broken. We decided a few years ago to get rid of as much plastic in our kitchen as possible. The first thing to go was the melamine plates we had because we have young children.

We limited out replacements to vintage American, European and Japanese patterns to lessen any concern about lead or other inappropriate glazes. We now have a cabinet full of mid-century Homer Laughlin Fiestaware; Noritake Blue Daisy; Stetson RCA Whirlpool (which is such an incredibly cool design); Vernonware Raffia; Homer Laughlin Highland Plaid; a full set of Bauer Los Angeles, a set of green-glowing Vaseline glass, and others.

Once we started looking at replacements, it was surprising (and a little depressing) to discover that we'd originally spent more buying new plastic/melamine than we did replacing it with high-end vintage china from the thrift store. On "half-off" days, it isn't unusual to find a stack of 8 china dinner plates for as low as .50 each.

By carefully mixing and matching colors and patterns, its easy to build a large collection for very little money. When we aren't entertaining, I keep only 2-4 dishes of each pattern in the cabinet and store the rest. That way we can enjoy the various patterns on a day to day basis. I don't worry about breakage - even with the kids, it rarely happens.

How Owning 160 White Plates Has Saved Us Money | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest
7/15/10 10:57 PM

Not all of mine are cracked, but many are the wrong size (too big, too small) for making kraut or whatever else. I do love them, though, and try to incorporate them into the decor.
I use a medium sized (1 gallon) crock to hold my kitchen utensils, a small (half gallon) sized crock to hold my knitting needles, and one in the bathroom to hold razors.
I have a huge cracked crock to hold umbrellas and walking sticks by the door.

Reuse for Cracked Ceramic Crocks | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest
7/3/10 04:56 PM

When I was a kid in California (70's), cooking grease/lard was collected in an empty coffee can. When it was full, I was allowed to take it to the butcher at the grocery store. He's pay me a few cents per pound. I'm not sure what he did with it, but my guess is that he put it in with the fat trimmings from the meat, and sold it to a rendering plant.
I don't know if grocers still do this, but it might be worth a check.
We almost never have grease, since we rarely deep fry things, but when we do, I tend to reuse it.
I pour it through a strainer. I found one in a Japanese grocery store which is perfect. It looks sort of like a watering can, and the filter is in spout. it strains as it pours.
When the little bits are out, I remove any taste by frying a plain raw potato, sliced up, until brown.
It takes away any flavor that the grease might have acquired, so I wouldn't suggest eating it. I usually give it to the dog.
Animal fat either goes to the dog, in which case it does not get the above treatment, or into pastry or recipes for beans, wilted greens, etc.
Vegetable oils get used until the flavor can't be removed.

What Is the Best Way To: Dispose of Kitchen Grease? | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest
3/19/10 05:11 PM

Nutmeg it is!

Apartment Therapy The Kitchn | Good Question: What Is This Mystery Mill?
5/27/08 10:15 PM

Nice to see Andreas Gursky’s “99 Cent II Diptych" (the photo used in the story above). That photo sold for more than 3 million dollars at Sotheby’s. At one point, it ranked as the highest amount ever spent for a photograph, though I'm not sure if that is true or not at this point.

I do shop at the Dollar store for some things. The one nearest my house has tons of spices, so if I need something that I figure to be a one-off, I try there first. I hate to waste 6 or 8 dollars on a spice that will only go stale before I use the rest of it. We don't eat pasta, but when we did, we would sometimes get it there.

And if you are willing to look often, you can find random organics and exotic foods, but of course you never know what you might find on any given day.

Apartment Therapy The Kitchen | Good Food with Evan Kleiman: Grocery Shopping at 99-Cent Stores
5/1/08 11:47 AM