Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pasadena Arts & Crafts Movement Tours and More

We are enjoying our new bed and breakfast innkeeping assignment at the Artists' Inn  in So. Pasadena, CA.  The weather is wonderful.  This weekend, the Pasadena Heritage will present its annual Craftsman Weekend on October 16-18, 2009. The Weekend’s offerings will include a tour of significant Craftsman-era houses, exhibits by antique dealers specializing in the Arts & Crafts Movement and modern craftsmen specializing in the period style, special bus and walking tours, and exclusive evening receptions at historic sites. So if you love old houses and the Craftsman movement this is a must see.  

This is a new venture for us as Interim Innkeepers.  We will be sharing the innkeeping duties at the Artists Inn with another couple.  Generally, we will be working for a month then off for a month.  In between, we will visit our own bed in Colorado as well as visiting family and friends.  

How does that Willie Nelson song go?   --- On the Road Again ---    looks like that is going to be us in the coming months.

Lynda & Howard Lerner
Inn Caring

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How can you get rid of some Garden and Household Pests?

Whether we are innkeepers or just homeowners, we all have pests that either invade our gardens or house.  Here are some suggestions to help you rid yourself of the following unwanted guests.

Stop Deer From Eating Your Plants
The best sprays to discourage deer are made from homemade egg solutions.  Here is one recipe:  in a blender place 1 egg (with shell) in 1 quart warm water, plus 1 tablespoon cayenne (or 1 teaspoon hot pepper oil), 1/4 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon cooking oil.  Blend then strained the solution, and sprayed on plants.  Repeat spraying when new growth appears or when rain washes the solution off.  To buy a commercial product try Deer-Away.

Squirrels Away
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper.
The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.
Goodbye To Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar
and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the
cup and gone forever!
Getting Rid Of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't
digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works
and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket.   It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Lynda & Howard Lerner
Inn Caring

Sunday, October 4, 2009

As an innkeeper, magazines can be a wealth of knowledge - if you have time to read them!

I have always collected things from magazines.  Articles on places to visit, handy hints around the house, recipes, garden advice, etc.,  etc, etc.   I put these precious bits of wisdom in a folder which has been sitting in my desk drawer. 

Over the years that I have been an innkeeper, I kept telling myself that I would get them organized, just like Martha Stewart.  It has never happened.   However, I am tired of waiting.  I need to pass on some of these pearls of wisdom.  Here are ten bits of kitchen wisdom I have collected. 

Peeling Eggs:   To make hard-boiled eggs super easy to shell, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a 4 quart pot of water before you bring it to a boil.

Feed Your Plants:  After you have boiled eggs, take the left over water and let it cool.  Then you can use it to feed your indoor or outdoor plants.  The calcuim from the shells leaches out into the water making it a perfect tonic for your leafy garden greens. 

Slicing Mozzarella:  Use an egg slicer to cut out the mess that goes with trying to make neat slices of this slippery cheese.  The wires divide the soft cheese into equal segments without squashing it.

Chopped Fresh Garlic:  Let the chopped garlic sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cooking it.  According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the extra time allows the garlic's cancer-fighting compounds to fortify themselves against heat, which would otherwise deactivate them.

Storage Secret:  Onions and potatoes should be stored in cool, dry spots, but never together.  Onions emit a gas that causes potatoes to spoil more rapidly.  Place the vegetables in separate bins - never use plastic bags - and keep them in a well ventilated area.

Baking Chocolate Cakes:  When you have to grease and flour a cake pan for a chocolate cake, use cocoa instead of flour.  No white specks are left on the finished product.  

To Avoid A Sticky Mess:  Spray measuring cups lightly with a non-stick spray when measuring sticky ingredients such as honey or molasses. 

Cake Decorating Idea:  Write your message, in icing, on a piece of parchment paper and chill in the freezer.  Then, just lift the letters or words off with a paring knife or small spatula to put on your cake.  

Keeping Things In Place:  Put a damp kitchen towel underneath your mixing bowl or cutting board to keep them from moving across the counter while you work. 

It Doesn't Spoil:   Honey is the only food we have that doesn't spoil.  It may start to crystallize, but a bit of low heat brings it back into liquid form once again.

Stay tuned for more bits of wisdom which I have gathered from many different sources.

Lynda & Howard Lerner
Inn Caring