Allspice Chronicles

Entertain like a Queen, Think Lean and Live Green! A personal collection of recipes,anecdotes,and good old fashioned advice…

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Nifty Napkin Folds: The Crown Fold

by Danica Waters

 

What is it?  A red banana? “

Ummmm….No.  This is the Crown Fold.  If you need something regal or royal, this is one way to pull out all the stops and embellish your table setting (in a royal banana sort of way).

Just about the time you think it’s “stuffy”, think again!  This is a terrific fold for a kids’ party; use reversible patterned napkins for fun results.

 

Don’t panic if you have to practice this one a few times.  And note: an iron and some spray starch work wonders… if you’re going to the trouble, go all the way!

 

Enjoy!

 

The Crown Fold

 

Step 1:

Lay the napkin face-down in front of you.

Step 2:

Fold the napkin in half diagonally, and orient it so that the open ends face away from you.

Step 3:

Fold the right corner up so that the point rests directly on top of the middle corner and the fold creates a center line.

Step 4:

Repeat Step 3 with the other side, and create a diamond shape with all points facing away from you.

Step 5:

Turn napkin over carefully so that the new open seam lies face down.

Step 6:

Fold the bottom corner closest to you up about 2/3rds of the way up and press down well.

Step 7:

Now take the top of the inner triangle and fold it down, bringing the point to rest on the near edge of the napkin, and exactly on the center line.  Press well.  (This is a good time for an iron!)

 

Step 8:

Curl the right and left sides of the napkin up and around, tucking one inside the other so that they securely meet and hold in the middle.

Step 9:

Now stand the napkin up and tug at the sides, molding and shaping where needed to make sure it’s even and well-rounded in appearance.

Voila!

Posted November 28th, 2011.

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Nifty Napkin Folds: The Standing Fan

by Danica Waters

 

The Standing Fan fold is an elegant, show-stopping way to dress up your formal holiday table.  Although it looks  a bit intimidating, it’s actually very simple to achieve.

 

For a softer presentation, hand-pressing the folds is sufficient; however, for crisp folds, an iron and a bit of spray starch will work wonders.

 

Here’s the how-to:

 

 

Step 1:

Lay the napkin face down in front of you.

 

Step 2:

Fold the napkin in half, bringing the corners towards you. (Yours won’t have the accordion creases yet…  we’ve worked the fold backwards so you can see what it is supposed to look like!)

 

Step 3:

Fold the napkin accordion-style from either side, leaving approximately 2-1/2 – 3 inches on the opposite side un-folded to support the fan.

 

Step 4:

Fold the napkin in half with the accordion folds on the outside.

 

Step 5:

Holding the accordion folds in one hand, grab the unfolded corners with your other hand and tuck them under the accordion folds.

 

Step 6:

Open up the fan and stand it upright.  Voila!

Posted November 21st, 2011.

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Nifty Napkin Folds: The French Fold

by Danica Waters

 

Of all the napkin folds, the French Fold is one of the easiest to achieve; it’s simple, elegant, and fast!   When you’ve finished the fold, simply drape it at the dinner place.  Voila!

 

Here’s the “How-To”:

 

 

Step 1:

Lay the napkin face down in front of you.

Step 2:

Fold the napkin in half diagonally, making sure the corners line up neatly.

Step 3:

Bring the top corner down diagonally towards you, so that the crease is an inch or two in from the original bottom corner and creates a new point a few inches to the right of the same original bottom corner.

Step 4:

Bring the top point down towards you, being sure to pivot at the same place the last fold pivoted, to create a new point on the far right.  Ensure the new fold is placed at an equal distance from the other folds for a crisp, symmetrical presentation.

See?  The French Fold is EASY.

 

 

Posted November 14th, 2011.

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Nifty Napkin Folds: Tiered Silverware Pouch

by Danica Waters

Now that we’ve mastered the Basic Silverware Pouch, it’s time to turn the aesthetics up a notch.  Ready?  You’re about to become a napkin-folding, silverware-pouch-creatin’ BOSS.  Here’s instructions on how to make a Tiered Silverware Pouch.

 

Tiered Silverware Pouch

 

Step 1:

Lay the napkin face down in front of you.  Keep your tag in the upper left corner.

 

Step 2: 

Fold the napkin in half so the open end faces towards you.

Step 3:

Fold the napkin in quarters.

Step 4:

Orient the napkin so that the open corner faces away from you and to the right.

Step 5:

Roll the top layer down to the center and press down.

NOTE:  Your tendency is probably going to be to try to create a hard fold the first time out.  Don’t – it overcomplicates everything and causes your tiers to overlap rather than lay flat neatly next to eachother.

Simply roll the first layer down…

 

Step 6:

… and then roll the second layer down to meet the first; press flat…

Step 7:

… and then repeat with the third and final layer.  Press all layers down well – you might want to use a warm iron at this point to reinforce the folds and give a super-crisp appearance.  Usually, though, pressing the folds with your hands is sufficient.

Step 8:

Carefully turn the napkin over.

Step 9:

Fold the right side in about a third of the way and press it down hard.

Step 10:

Now fold the left side back and press down hard.  This is another good time to use an iron, to make sure everything looks nice and crisp.

Step 11:

Flip over your pouch, insert your utensils, et voila!  Oooooh – Aaaaaah!  The Tiered Silverware Pouch is so pretty, it brings “tiers” to my eyes.  (Ok! Ok!  I couldn’t resist!)

Posted November 7th, 2011.

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Nifty Napkin Folds: Basic Silverware Pouch

by Danica Waters

 

The Basic Silverware Pouch is a straightforward, classy way to keep eating utensils easy to grab.  Here’s the how-to:

 

 

 

Step 1:  Lay the napkin face down in front of you

Step 2:  Fold the napkin in half.

Step 3:  Fold the napkin in quarters.

Step 4:  Orient the napkin so that the open corners face the top left-hand corner.

Step 5:  Fold the top layer down diagonally towards the opposite corner.

Step 6:  Flip the napkin over.  The open corners should now be facing towards the upper right-hand side.

Step 7:  Fold the right side in towards the center about a third of the way.

Step 8:  Fold the left side over.

Step 9:  Flip over the napkin pouch, insert utensils, and VOILA!

Posted October 31st, 2011.

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Nifty Napkin Folds: Basic Buffet Roll

by Danica Waters

With Holiday buffets lurking around the corner, today’s lesson in nifty napkin folding is the incredibly simple, sturdy, straightforward Basic Buffet Roll.

Enjoy!

 

Nifty Napkin Folds:  Basic Buffet Roll

 

Step 1:

Lay napkin face down in front of you.

 

Step 2:

Fold one corner down to meet the opposite corner, forming a triangle.  Position the triangle so that the open corners face away from you.

Step 3:

Place your utensils along the bottom and in the center of the long side of the triangle.

Step 4:

Fold one end in to cover the utensils.

Step 5:

Fold the opposite corner in to completely cover utensils.

Step 6:

Roll tightly from bottom up.

Voila!  You’re done!

 

While this fold holds just fine on its own, you can tie a bit of decorative ribbon, raffia, or other decorative on each roll to dress it up a bit.

Posted October 24th, 2011.

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Nifty Napkin Folds: The Pyramid Fold

by Danica Waters

Ok folks.  The arrival of mid-October means only one thing besides Halloween:

The. Holiday. Season. Is. Upon. Us.

Face it.  We’ve got about a month until the nostalgic refrains of Christmas carols, sparkly-twinkly lights and the heavy, inescapable scent of cinnamon pinecones inundate every venue in the northern hemisphere and beyond.  Brings tears to my eyes.  (Not the holidays; the cinnamon pineconesACK!!) 

 

Since we published ideas and etiquette tips on The Great Buffet, the Allspice Chronicles had countless requests for instructions and ideas on napkin folds.  Given that there’s no time like holiday time to practice and perfect the timeless art of “napkin origami”, every Monday from now until the end of the year we will happily feature a new napkin fold, from fancy-schmancy to buffet-roll basics.  Add them to your entertainment arsenal and perfect your party-making prowess; and for heaven’s sake, teach them to the kids!  Napkin folding is a great way to keep older children occupied and feeling productive while you’re doing everything else.

Today we’ll start with something on the simple side.

Enjoy!

 

The Pyramid Fold

 

This fold is relatively easy to achieve with almost any sort of cloth.  While all napkin folds will work best with a medium weight cloth, most or all of them can be achieved even on flimsy, lightweight material if you use a bit of spray starch and an iron.

 

Step 1:

Lay the napkin face down in front of you, seams facing upwards.

Step 2:

Fold the napkin in half diagonally.

 

Step 3:

Rotate the napkin so the corners on the open end face away from you.  Fold the right corner up to meet the top corner, making sure that the new fold cuts directly down the center.

Step 4:

Fold up the left side just as you did the right; pat well to reinforce the seam that runs down the center.

Step 5:

Carefully lift the napkin and turn it over, keeping the open end facing away from you.

Step 6:

Fold the top, open section of the napkin down towards you and make the two points meet at the point nearest to you.

Step 7:

Flip the napkin over, keeping the open end towards you.  Fold the napkin in half along the center seam and stand up.

Voila!

 

Posted October 17th, 2011.

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Canning & Kitchen Safety (Note To Self: Buy The Jar Lifters)

by Danica Waters / photo courtesy of http://www.yattermatters.com/2010/06/watching-a-pot/boiling-pot/

 

Today’s post will be short and sweet.  It’s not that I’m experiencing a lack of things to say; it’s because I’m currently limited to typing with my thumb.  You see, the proper jar lifters I inherited from my mother finally gave out during a wild and crazy session of “putting up” a dozen jars of Corn Relish over the weekend.  My daughter and I were on a roll, and we had some fantastic Kentucky Bourbon Peaches we wanted to get through, as well.  Pots were ready and steaming, jars were sterile, peaches were perfect.   I could hear that all-too-familiar voice inside my head sounding off:  “Make it work, girl.  Find a solution.”

 

Yes, I admit to being notoriously prone to finding makeshift ways to make things work.  I’m usually pretty good at it.  In this instance, my miraculous “paper clip and a cheese doodle” solution came in the form of a trusty pair of tongs tucked away in a kitchen drawer.  Of course they could work just as well!  And we’d stay right on schedule!  Not.

 

After successfully teaching my daughter about how easy it was to blanch peaches, I grabbed my tongs and went in after a sterilized jar to put the blushing beauties in.  Unfortunately, while pouring the almost boiling water out of the jar, the tongs slipped, and I ended up blanching my hand.  My right one.  Life is good.

 

Don’t be like me.  While you really don’t need every bell and whistle offered in the canning world, you do need those items that will keep you safe.  Jar lifters are your friend.  Tongs are best left for barbeques.

 

I am happy to report that we caught the burn in time, and I should have the use of my fingers in a day or so.  Because most cooking processes involve dealing with things that can burn you, I thought it would be good to quickly go over how to properly deal with a burn:

 

Assess the burn:

 

According to MedLine Plus, there are three levels of burns:

  • “First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. They cause pain, redness, and swelling.
  • Second-degree (partial thickness) burns affect both the outer and underlying layer of skin. They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.
  • Third-degree (full thickness) burns extend into deeper tissues. They cause white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb.

“FIRST AID FOR MINOR BURNS

  1. If the skin is unbroken, run cool water over the area of the burn or soak it in a cool water bath (not ice water). Keep the area submerged for at least 5 minutes. A clean, cold, wet towel will also help reduce pain.
  2. Calm and reassure the person.
  3. After flushing or soaking, cover the burn with a dry, sterile bandage or clean dressing.
  4. Protect the burn from pressure and friction.
  5. Over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain and swelling. Do NOT give children under 12 aspirin. Once the skin has cooled, moisturizing lotion also can help.
  6. Minor burns will usually heal without further treatment. However, if a second-degree burn covers an area more than 2 to 3 inches in diameter, or if it is located on the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or a major joint, treat the burn as a major burn.
  7. Make sure the person is up to date on tetanus immunization.

FOR MAJOR BURNS

  1. If someone is on fire, tell the person to stop, drop, and roll. Wrap the person in thick material to smother the flames (a wool or cotton coat, rug, or blanket). Douse the person with water.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Make sure that the person is no longer in contact with smoldering materials. However, do NOT remove burned clothing that is stuck to the skin.
  4. Make sure the person is breathing. If breathing has stopped, or if the person’s airways are blocked, open the airways. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.
  5. Cover the burn area with a dry sterile bandage (if available) or clean cloth. A sheet will do if the burned area is large. Do NOT apply any ointments. Avoid breaking burn blisters.
  6. If fingers or toes have been burned, separate them with dry, sterile, nonadhesive dressings.
  7. Elevate the body part that is burned above the level of the heart. Protect the burn area from pressure and friction.
  8. Take steps to prevent shock. Lay the person flat, elevate the feet about 12 inches, and cover the person with a coat or blanket. However, do NOT place the person in this shock position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it makes the person uncomfortable.
  9. Continue to monitor the person’s vital signs until medical help arrives. This means pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure.

DO NOT

  • Do NOT apply ointment, butter, ice, medications, cream, oil spray, or any household remedy to a severe burn.
  • Do NOT breathe, blow, or cough on the burn.
  • Do NOT disturb blistered or dead skin.
  • Do NOT remove clothing that is stuck to the skin.
  • Do NOT give the person anything by mouth, if there is a severe burn.
  • Do NOT immerse a severe burn in cold water. This can cause shock.
  • Do NOT place a pillow under the person’s head if there is an airways burn. This can close the airways.

Call 911 if:

  • The burn is extensive (the size of your palm or larger).
  • The burn is severe (third degree).
  • You aren’t sure how serious it is.
  • The burn is caused by chemicals or electricity.
  • The person shows signs of shock.
  • The person inhaled smoke.
  • Physical abuse is the known or suspected cause of the burn.
  • There are other symptoms associated with the burns

Call a doctor if your pain is still present after 48 hours.

Call immediately if signs of infection develop. These signs include increased pain, redness, swelling, drainage or pus from the burn, swollen lymph nodes, red streaks spreading from the burn, or fever.

Also call immediately if there are signs of dehydration: thirst, dry skin, dizziness, lightheadedness, or decreased urination. Children, elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system (for example, HIV) should be seen right away.”

Source:  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000030.htm

Stay safe, have fun, and for heaven’s sake, GO BUY THE JAR LIFTERS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted August 8th, 2011.

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Canning for Dummies: You Have No Idea How Easy This Is!

by Danica Waters

For most of us, the very thought of canning our own food floods us with insecurities. Our skin goes pale and clammy, our breathing becomes shallow and erratic; suddenly we find ourselves approaching our kitchen like it has transformed into our 6th Grade Chemistry lab. Echoing through the mists of time and our rapidly firing synapses, the unmistakably foreboding voice of our chem teacher assures us we will most certainly blow up the house or render that beautifully blushing box of peaches to the equivalent of Montezuma’s Revenge if we make a single wrong move.

Mmmmm-hmmmmm…

Say it isn’t so!
Ok. It isn’t so. Canning is actually one of the easiest and most rewarding things you can ever hope to do in a kitchen. Here’s a short but thorough video into what canning (or “putting up”) food is all about:

Canning for Dummies: You Have No Idea How Easy This Is!

Need canning supplies? Check out our favorites featured in the links in the right-hand column of our site. Each product is personally chosen and highly recommended. And better yet, a portion of every purchase made via Amazon.com through the links on our website goes to support the Allspice Chronicles.

Posted August 3rd, 2011.

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National “Can-It-Forward” Day Saturday, August 13, 2011

by Danica Waters

In this day and age, home canning and preserving has nearly become a lost art. But the folks at Canning Across America are working hard to change that. A national collective of chefs, cookbook authors, gardeners, and food lovers have teamed up with Jarden Home Brands to demystify the arts of home food preservation by means of a National “Can-It-Forward” Day. Here’s more information regarding the event:

This is an excellent excuse to gather all your friends together and spend the day learning the art of home canning.

To sign up to host a canning event in your home or other facility, click here.

 

Following is a complete schedule of events to be broadcast from Seattle’s Pike’s Place Market:

Can-It-Forward Day Demo Schedule
Jul 29th, 2011
by Shannon

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2011 SCHEDULE

8:00 a.m.

Mixed Berry Jam Canning Demonstration featuring Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin by Jeanne Sauvage, Canning Across America, Gluten-free baker & author

9:00 a.m.

Cooking Demonstration by Kelsey Angell of The Pink Door Restaurant featuring Mixed Berry Jam

10:00 a.m.

Canning Demonstration of Kosher Pickles featuring Dill Sandwich Slices recipe from Fresh Preserving.com made by Judith Dern, Allrecipes.com and cookbook author

11:00 a.m.

Cooking Demonstration by Diane LaVonne of Diane’s Market Kitchen featuring Dill Sandwich Slices

Noon

Canned Tomatoes Packed in Own Juice Demonstration featuring the Ball® Salt for Pickling and Preserving by Brook Hurst Stephens, Blogger, Learntopreserve.com

1:00 p.m.

Cooking Demonstration by Philippe Thomelin of Olivar Restaurant featuring Canned Tomatoes Packed in Own Juice

2:00 p.m.

Mixed Berry Jam Canning Demonstration featuring Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin by Jeanne Sauvage, Canning Across America, Gluten-free baker & author

3:00 p.m.

Pepper Jelly Canning Demonstration featuring Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Pectin by Shannon and Jason Shibaguyz, Urban gardeners, canners, DIY masters & authors

SUNDAY, AUGUST 14, 2011 SCHEDULE

The preserving celebration continues Sunday, August 14, with more free and open-to-the-public demos from Seattle’s most seasoned canners. It also marks the kick-off to Canning Across America’s third Can-a-Rama, a week of home canning parties and seasonal preserving nationwide.

Noon

Apricot-Raspberry Jam Demonstration by Rebecca Staffel, of Deluxe Foods, a Seattle artisanal preserves company

2:00 p.m.

Pickle Jalapeno Chile Peppers by renowned pickle expert Lucy Norris

If you do not live in Seattle area, we encourage you to host a party in your in your neighborhood and watch Can-It-Forward Day Web TV on August 13th! Sign up for Can-It-Forward Day here.” (schedule of events courtesy of www.canningacrossamerica.com)

 

Need canning supplies?  Check out our favorites featured in the links in the right-hand column of our site.  Each product is personally chosen and highly recommended.  And better yet, a portion of every purchase made via Amazon.com through the links on our website goes to support the Allspice Chronicles.

Posted August 2nd, 2011.

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