This is where you will find my favorite tuyaux, tips for making things easier, more fun, and/or more economical in the kitchen or on the road.


Lid with Cork and Hand3-Cork Potholder

Insert a cork under the handle of a lid and you have ever-ready protection from the heat of what’s cooking in the pot below. If one cork does not anchor firmly in place, just add another cork or two.

Cutting a CorkCork Jar

You can even cut a cork in half to fill a smaller space. In this instance, use great care to avoid a cut from a slipping knife. A soft mallet is a great tool; tap the knife into the cork to get it started, then hold the knife way down on the handle and hit the business end into the cork with your mallet. Save those corks and enlist them for service at the stove!

TRAVEL TIP IMG_7351My husband and I each carry with us a small, inexpensive plastic basket for easy access to our items typically left on the sink counter in a hotel bathroom. This eliminates a pet peeve: finding my lotions, potions, pills, toothbrush and other items rearranged by a well-meaning hotel housekeeper. The basket takes up almost no room while in transit because it holds small items in the suitcase.


Computer corks IIIWhen our laptop computer began to get hot during use while we were on the road, corks came to the rescue. Our server in a restaurant gladly furnished a couple of wine corks, from which we trimmed off one side to prevent them from rolling around. A cork under each side of the computer raised it up just enough to allow air to circulate underneath and prevent the buildup of heat. The resulting tilt of the keyboard did not affect our comfort at all!


IMG_0314Last year after our beautiful hand-embroidered tablecloths came home from the laundry, I was advised not to store them in the plastic cleaner’s bags but to use a fabric cover that would allow them to breathe. My solution was to use old pillow cases, with a king-sized one for the banquet-sized cloth and regular-sized cases for smaller cloths and napkins.  They all were stored in the same way, sliding the opening of the pillowcase over the hanging cloth from the bottom and securing it to a the hanger with the kind of clamps used for securing stacks of paper.


This year when it was again time to set the holiday tables, voilà, our treasured linens looked just as crisp and smooth as the day they were stored! Click on the photos for a closer look.


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