SPWeston's Profile

Display Name: SPWeston
Member Since: 6/24/13

Latest Comments...

Basement stairs are steep and the treads tilt downward enough for me to notice and if I'm doing two feet on each step when I carry laundry in my '50s, trouble's coming as I age.

I'm reconciled to the closet shortage in a 1915 house, and to having to arrange furniture around the 1970s retrofit heating and air vents.

What's an Annoying Thing About Your Home?
3/30/14 08:44 PM

Celebration first: my beloved mother-in-law left us in January, but she left by walking out her own door for surgery she choose, facing only brief complications, and never giving up her home. The key change she'd made was turning her big living room into a huge sewing room on the same level as her bed, bath, and kitchen.

Strategy second: We renovated a large enclosed back porch, creating a bathroom that features a no-sill, no-door walk-in shower with grab-bars fully tied into the studs and ready for a stool when we need it. We raised the floor there to match the rest of that level of the house and rebuilt the back steps to have gentle stairs and a clear option for moving to a gentle ramp if needed. All the new doors have lever handles, and the faucets there and in the kitchen are ADA compliant. And special for short me, the sconces are at a height I can change without a stool. If we both have to give up stairs, we'll still have trouble about storing and laundering clothes, but we're committed to the combination of "never move again" and "don't worry the children," and doing our planning in our 50s.

Moving Downstairs: Thinking About Design as We Get Older With 10 Links To Start The Conversation
3/17/14 05:04 PM

My aunt owned a house of that era in Macon, Georgia, and the tile reminds me of her parlor. I agree with the idea that it was designed to be surrounded by dark wood, but want to add that the dark wood in turn was almost certainly designed to be surrounded by strong Victorian-to-Edwardian wall-paper. I can imagine many people finding a version of that look that would make them happy. It's worth taking a look at houses with the look classic to that period to see if you can imagine restoring that look or doing an update that uses a similar dark pallet. But if you can't find an idea you like, own your own house and get it changed to what you'll enjoy, whether another "period" style or something completely different.

Original Mantel Tile - Tacky or Classic? Good Questions
3/7/14 11:16 PM

Astonishment! My wonderful mother-in-law had the black original, and it caught my eye 35 years ago when I first visited her home. She left us in January, and I asked my husband to please bring it home, still not knowing what it was. Now I know, and I agree it's completely grand, including a lovely not too big, not too small, just right size.

Dansk Kobenstyle White Baker
2/20/14 11:12 PM

Saltines at 2 a.m. were my key survival tool. For my first two, my body jolted me awake, and as long as I obeyed the command to eat, nausea didn't show up. And then, four years later, I left my bed, wandered down the stairs, opened a cabinet, took out a box, bit into a cracker, and as I heard its familiar crunch, knew that my third was on the way.

The Food Lover's Guide to Surviving Morning Sickness
2/19/14 04:34 PM

I have a 26 year old Sniglar in the basement, waiting for my grandchildren to materialize. The best!

In the Running for the World's Most Popular Crib: IKEA's Sniglar
2/19/14 11:56 AM

I always imagine children who's home rhythm has been disrupted already. Salad not yet combined--separate bowls of greens, pepper, cucumber, pine nuts. Chicken pieces roasted with a bit of lemon. And then a fancier side dish of rice or potatoes, so the adults also feel well nourished.

What Do You Bring for Friends Who Could Use a Home-Cooked Meal? Good Questions
2/8/14 09:39 AM

I live in a small town, where the "fresh" rosemary and sage are already wilted and yet priced at three dollars for an ounce or two. I can't use that full amount before it fade. the nearest place that's actually careful with that kind of produce is a sixty mile round trip. By comparison, when i visit my brother in Georgia, I can whip into the DeKalb Farmers market and buy several ounces dried for 50 cents and cook for a year. The flavor is much richer than anything I buy in a jar at my local store, and while I'm happy to believe fresh would be even better, that isn't actually one of my options.

Can You Convince Me That Dried Herbs Have a Place In the Kitchen?
2/6/14 03:06 PM

I made a blog for recipes, and have been posting things I make that my kids like.

This includes super simple things like roasting chicken thighs and making rice and medium complexity things like "Mouse Galore" (known to everyone else in the world as tuna cassrole with cream of mushroom soup, but we eat with giggles at my house).

I also included "Ten Fast Meals that Are Better than Pizza," starting with "A supermarket rotisserie chicken plus stuff from the salad bar" and ending with "Any kind of cheese, grated on any kind of bread, stuck under a broiler until some of the cheese is brown, cut in one inch strips, with an apple."

So far, two of three have tried at least one recipe, and at least one of their friends has also made off with some ideas.

What Do Kids Need to Know in the Kitchen Before They Leave Home? Here's My List. What's on Yours?
2/5/14 04:00 PM

For thirty years, my beloved and I could never agree on what counted as making the bed. My perspective: you really do have to put top sheet on fairly straight and tuck it in fairly firmly, and it's not okay to get in the second night, pull it diagonal, and leave the next person getting into bed to fight for it. His perspective: she sure fusses a lot and I have no idea what will solve it. This is known as "Marriage: you're doing it wrong."

For us, switching to duvets with washable covers solved all that. Shake it out in the morning so it's fairly straight, and that's a made bed. We see it the same way and spend no time discussing the issue at all.

What’s the Purpose of a Flat Sheet, Anyway?
1/30/14 09:38 PM

I'll just say that I love my two year old door-less shower. It has a four foot wall of tile and glass, and then is open to the rest of the bath room. We built in a mild downward slope to make sure water runs to the drain rather than the doorway. No pushing or pulling or squeaking or thumping: just a very quiet experience.

The New Bathroom: 5 Top Trends
1/24/14 02:52 PM

First, respect for everyone's choices on what makes their own home work.

Second, never assume that a table that can be used for meals is only used for meals. My dining table is for formal meals and lots and lots of consulting work. If I could have a second table without buying a new house, I would, and if I could see both while cooking, I'd do that too.

And third, storage needs reflect lifestyle choices. If you're committed to keeping your equipment relatively simple and your ingredients relatively fresh, that's plenty of room.

I think it's great, gorgeous, not quite my taste, but one I completely understand.

Before & After: Kim's Bright and White Kitchen Update
1/4/14 06:49 PM

Rugs also play an important role in softening sound. To me, the dining room especially needs that, to gentle the varied sounds of dishes and flatware and competing children.

Are Dining Areas With Rugs Over-Designed, or Functional?
12/3/13 02:49 PM

I've got two locally raised heritage turkeys, just under 15 pounds each, cut in pieces at the store. The necks and backs have already become stock for the stuffing and gravy. I'll be cooking in two batches, braising the drumsticks and thighs and roasting the breast and wings, trying out this approach: http://www.ediblesanfrancisco.com/edible-san-francisco-heritage-turkey-tips/

Why You Should Buy a Second Turkey, Not a Bigger Turkey
11/26/13 04:40 PM

All, thanks for the kind words, and we definitely knew our floor was not for everyone. We're planning on another 30 or 40 years here, so we felt okay sinking about $1,500 into something that may not suit the next owner, but that makes us happy.

Kitchen Before & After: A Battered Old Kitchen Gets a Lovely Traditional Update Reader Kitchen Remodel
11/4/13 08:50 PM

On the one hand, I love Weck jars for pantry storage. I've got my unused jars, lids, rings and clips on the windowsill just above my main counter space, and it's a good way to repackage beans and grains when I've got half a bag left over. Opening and reclosing isn't more work than undoing a clip or rubber band,and it's got more tactile satisfaction Plus I know how the jars will stack and I can easily see the ingredients in the pantry.

On the other hand, doing that for all the spices in a recipe sounds like a big hassle. There would be six or seven little jars and all their rings and all their clips. I definitely would not store spices that way.

Look! Spices Stored in Weck Jars Kitchen Inspiration
9/13/13 01:58 PM

I once spent most of a day trying to make yeast rolls for company, having one dough after another fail to rise. Eventually, I realized I was putting in tablespoons of salt where the recipe wanted teaspoons.

And it is a famous and historic and ongoing grievance that my grandmother gave my mother a pecan pie recipe with the wrong ratio of eggs to corn syrup, so that all pies made with that recipe were actually soup.

Could your recipe writer have made the same mistake?

What's Wrong With My Baking Soda? Good Questions
9/3/13 10:12 PM