Author Archives: pepperedthought

A Poem in Your Pocket: A DIY

“April is the cruellest month…”

Moreso than cruel, April is one of my favorite months because of grilled cheeses and National Poetry Month!

Want to create a pocket square with a poem on it? Get some ideas from Generation T:

poem-on-a-hankerchief

There are a couple poems I have memorized a few lines, because the images they provoked in my mind were so vivid I could never forget them.

ee cummings the sky was candy luminous,

Lord Byron she walks in beauty like the night.

Charles Bukowski these teeth are never finally the teeth of love.

Dean Young, from “Poem Without Forgiveness.”

the heart hoards its thorns,

just as the rose profligates.

just because you’ve had enough

doesn’t mean you wanted too much.

What are your favorite poems?

My Home Bar: National Licorice Day

Tomorrow is National Licorice Day!

waynes-world-licoriceHow Movies Influence My Eating Habits

I love that Wayne’s World in-car red rope dispenser. Come to find out I was not the only little kid in the 90s (cough cough my boyfriend) that dreamed about having one in their cool teen car.

I love all sorts of licorice. Unlike the Wyatts, I am not married to any brand or flavor. Just no black licorice. Except whatever’s in Fernet Branca.

In honor of the day I’m going to drink all my drinks today out of licorice straws, including a drink that calls for it The Porkchop.

The Porkchop: Cut the end off the bottom side of a Twizzler, place in glass. Fill glass with ice.

Add 1 oz. Mandarin Absolut Vodka + 1/2 oz. raspberry Schnapps.

Top off with pineapple juice. Bite off that first bit of Twizzler and you have your straw.

porkchop-cocktail-with-twizzler

Happy Birthday!

johnny-cash-eating-cakeJohnny Cash eating a Strawberry Cake, via the album – you guessed it – Strawberry Cake.

I need to go find a strawberry cake and eat it under a bush now.

Nom Nom Nom: Grilled Cheese, One of Many

grilled-cheese-35mmoriginal photo from smitten kitchen

It’s Grilled Cheese Month, so I’m publishing some of my favorite recipes.

Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

3 ounces cheese (preferably mild cheddar) or combination of cheese, grated on large holes of box grater (about 3/4 cup)
4 slices (1/2 inch-thick) from white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm Toasting White
2 tablespoons butter (preferably salted), melted

1. Heat heavy 12-inch skillet over low to medium-low heat. Meanwhile, sprinkle a portion of cheese over two bread slices. Top each with a remaining bread slice, pressing down gently to set.

2. Brush sandwich tops completely with half of melted butter; place each sandwich, buttered-size down, in skillet. Brush remaining side of each sandwich completely with remaining butter. Cook until crisp and deep golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes per side, flipping sandwiches back to first side to reheat and crisp, about 15 seconds. Serve immediately.

Handwashing Delicates

laundry-on-line

It has reached full Spring mode here in Phoenix, so I have to finally wash all my sweaters and put them away. And while most of them are plain old cotton or nylon and can easily be washed, I have a few cashmere sweaters and ones with delicate linings/accessories/etc. So I thought I would research how to properly wash them, and I found some helpful stuff on other delicates as well.

Thank goodness I had read an interview with the “Queen of Cashmere” before I went out and bought any Woolite.

Some tips:

♠ Before you start, create a little station: dirty clothes, towel to roll out excess water, drying rack

♠ Wash items from lightest to darkest (so dark clothes don’t bleed into water)

♠ Water temperature should be lukewarm, not ice cold or boiling hot

♠ Use just a squirt of all-natural wash, Dr. Bronner’s or, in a pinch, baby shampoo

♠ Let items soak about three minutes, then swirl around to GENTLY agitate them. You don’t want to whip them around on squeeze them, otherwise it would be just like throwing them in the machine

♠ Empty basin/sink and refill with clean water to rinse, swirling gently. Repeat if necessary, depending on the amount of suds in your rinse.

♠ Remove garments and (once again) GENTLY get excess water out. DO NOT WRING. “Support your garment, don’t let gravity stretch it.” Lay on towel and roll up to remove more water. Do not smush clothes while in towel. This is all about a light touch.

♠ Lay on drying rack or flat to dry. Turning items over halfway into drying cuts down drying time, and also those pesky “drying rack” bumps.

♠ Some notes from the above Queen of Cashmere that need to be stated:

“Washing cashmere all goes back to the raw product. A good piece of cashmere should never be dry-cleaned. But if you have a less than good piece, you need to do it anyway. If you own Woolite, throw it OUT! It leeches color right out of everything. Woolite is not “lite” and I believe in humane laundry. Woolite wages war on your clothes. Use baby detergent, Ivory Snow, Dreft even Kirkland Signature Environmentally Whatever Detergent.

Handwash but minimize the hazards by following these rules: Never ever agitate. (Also a good rule for life in general). Put the garment in the dryer for no more than 5 minutes to get the stitches distributed and aligned, finish drying it flat and touch up with a steam iron using a silicon pressing cloth, or layer of a sheet over. Block the sweater(press with steam lifting the iron in an up and down motion). Never use a back and forth ironing motion or it will ‘grow’ your cashmere and make it larger. Never use the iron directly on the neck or seams because it will glaze the cashmere. If you have a good sweater, follow these instructions and it should look new.”

Notes and Links:

♦ Design Mom, 7 Secrets to Caring For Unmentionables

♦ The best tips for caring for vintage pieces, are vintage themselves

Bra care via Slip of a Girl – keep a couple in rotation, clean every 3 wears

PepperJess in Portland!

road-trip-journalI am so excited – starting tomorrow I will be in Portland, OR for five days! I will be there for work, but I will also get plenty of downtime and I could not be more thrilled to explore! I know Voodoo Doughnuts is high priority on my list, but other than that, I will just be wandering around, stumbling upon photobooths and food trucks (I’m hoping.) I cannot wait to take tons of pictures, walk everywhere, and freeze my butt off because this Arizona Girl has no concept of “rainy day wear.”

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