- If you have an old fashioned refrigerator that needs to be defrosted, allow a good deal more than an hour for the job, and do not do it on a 95-degree day or you'll lose your food in the process. Pans of boiling water in the freezer make the crud thaw faster. Of course, you'll clean the fridge while you're at it. Then, when you're done with the whole thankless, difficult job, peel the Sears appliance ad from the floor where you put it to sop up the pools of water and run right out to buy a new refrigerator.
- If you cut your family members' hair, do it in the garage, or else you'll be finding little hair snippets on the bottoms of your feet for weeks.
- You can plant shrubs and perennials in the fall as well as in the spring, and they'll be cheaper. Bulbs have to be planted in the fall. If you don't get around to planting them before the ground freezes, you can try refrigerating the bulbs to fool them into thinking they've spent the winter in the ground, and then sneak them in the first time the ground softens -- maybe during the January thaw, if you get lucky that year. (In Duluth, just throw the bulbs out and try again next year. The pain of fruitless waiting for a January thaw may cause you to whimper uncontrollably.)
If you live south of the Mason-Dixon line, you can buy special bulbs that don't have to be overwintered, but they're wimpy. Enjoy your azaleas and don't whine.
- It's a good idea to develop a collection of recipes that are easy but look like they were hard. Cream puffs are a good example. And they freeze beautifully.
Oh, and don't bother to cook the lasagna noodles before you assemble the ingredients. Use a little extra sauce on each layer and when you're done, drizzle 1/2 - 1 cup of water around the edges. Cover tightly with foil before you bake, and the noodles will steam perfectly.
- If you are unlucky enough to encounter a fruit-fly infestation, here's how to get rid of them.
Take the end of the bottle of wine that you would just throw out anyway and pour it into a bowl. Mix a little sugar in for good measure. Then mix in several drops of diswashing liquid and leave it on your counter or in whatever room they're swarming. The sweetness of the wine will attract them and they'll try to land on the surface. Thanks to the soap, the surface tension will break and they'll sink to the bottom where the alcohol will kill them or they'll drown. I don't know which. What do you care? It works.
Then throw out the apple core behind the sofa or the bananas you forgot about on top of the fridge that caused the problem in the first place.
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