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The Grapevine (June 29)

  • Published Saturday, June 29, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Sanitizing and countertops

To try to prevent food-borne illness in the kitchen, sanitizing countertops is part of the drill if you put food on them, said Angela Fraser, a food safety specialist from Clemson University. Wash the countertop first, then use a sanitizer such as a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of warm water, Fraser said. Apply the sanitizer with a clean paper towel and let the counter air dry, she said.

Bleach and water are safe on countertops made of hard wood, Corian, Formica and stainless steel, Fraser said, but other countertop surfaces such as granite and marble may be harmed by a sanitizer. Follow care instructions, and, where a sanitizer cannot be used, avoid letting food come in contact with the surface, Fraser said.

Read the labels on cleaning products, took because some are not recommended for use in the kitchen, she said.

Pepper tip

Pepper plants should be staked while young to avoid flopping later. A thin, four- or five-foot wooden stake will do the job, pushed into the soil about four inches from the plant's main stem. A small, metal cage sold for tomatoes will work, too. Pinch back stems on young plants to promote bushiness.

Washington Post

Refresh rooms with paint

Q: Can you suggest quick and easy, and budget-friendly, tips for freshening a space?

A: Interior designer Marika Meyer says: “Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. And remember not to ignore the ceilings and trim. One of my favorite tricks is to tint the ceiling in a pale subtle blue or green. It is a great way to lighten the space and also to trick the eye into thinking the ceilings are taller than they are. Trim also gets grimy over time. A fresh coat on your trim can often freshen up the whole room.”

Washington Post

In bloom at Botanica

Daylilies are in bloom, including this Green Apple hemerocallis in the Kansas Hybridizers Daylily Bed in Botanica’s parking lot. The Prairie Winds Daylily Society will have a daylily bloom show July 6 at the Extension Center.

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