Hearth & Home

Hearth and Home by Daphne Ross

One man's clutter, one man's need

Last weekend my family and business had a huge and very successful tent sale overflowing into the yard sale. We sold a ton of stuff, mounded a FREE pile at the curb, threw boxes and magazines into the village recycling bins, and took a donation packed vanload to Goodwill.

Very little did we take back, and after 3 truckloads, a van full, and a stacked and strapped trailer (all from home) only one item a rotor-tiller made its way back to my husband's pole barn. And it was he that declared, "All this stuff, junk, and crap are on a one-way trip!"

After the clean-up work was done, bank deposits made, and rewarding shopping accomplished my family can breathe easier because we now live in a de-cluttered shop and household. Or so I thought.

We decided not to sell clothes and shoes at our sale; they take up too much table space and adult clothes just don't sell. So I didn't clean out our clothes and coat closets. I didn't empty dresser drawers on my bed and sort out the give-away. And I didn't take time to go through my jewelry and accessories. So now that the push to fill a tent with great junk is over I can finish the remaining de-cluttering tasks.

I never took time to really dig for clutter. I took it right off the top. So now is the time to pull out the drawers, take lids off the totes, inspect under the bed boxes, and get it out of my house. No I am not having another sale, and no I am not storing it for next year's tent sale. Whatever items end of up the give-away box are donated to a local charity, a receipt received, and the used for tax deduction purposes. It's a win-win method.

Unmanned donation bins, those big metal boxes found in parking lots and near recycling centers are great for quick, drop-of donations, but you can't get a receipt for your goodwill. Even if you only have one bag or one box to donate, I strongly urge you to take your items to a charity second-hand store, or donate directly to someone in need.

Our coat closet is tight and it doesn't need to be, no doubt a resident of Ohio will be wearing a coat we don't need anymore, because we have too many, or we keep what doesn't fit. It feels good to know my old coat will keep a fellow Ohioan warm this winter.

I challenge you this; if you wait until colder weather to clean out your coat closet, throw a coat or two into your vehicle, and if you see someone in need of coat, just give it to them. I think I'm going to do just that. And tonight I think I'll finish sorting through my clothes closet, but I better start with the laundry baskets first.

The best desserts are the ones that bake while the family is eating dinner; ice cream melts wonderfully over a steaming two-crust pie or fruit crisp. Share your recipes with Hearth &Home, 5973 Blachleyville Rd., Wooster, OH, 44691. Emails are always welcome: thewritecook@sssnet.com

Mexican Grilled Corn
4 ears corn
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 lime, juiced
Red chili powder, to taste
2 limes cut into wedges, for garnish
Remove the husks of the corn but leave the core attached at the end so you have something to hold onto. Grill the corn on a hot grill or cast iron griddle pan until slightly charred. Turn it so it gets cooked evenly all over. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and cilantro together. Grate the Parmesan in another bowl. While the corn is still warm slather with mayonnaise mix. Squeeze lime juice over the corn and shower with Parmesan. Season with chili powder and serve with extra lime wedges.

Easy Grilled Pork Chops
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 (1/2-inch) bone-in pork chops (about 3 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Begin by making the marinade. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, vinegar, cumin and red pepper flakes. Easy, right?
Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and place in a re-sealable plastic bag with the marinade. Let rest on the counter for 1 hour. That's easy.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Remove the pork chops from the bag and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until the pork chop releases from the grill, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. If using a grill pan, be sure to do in batches so you don't steam the chops. And don't worry if you have neither; you can do this in a pan. See, easy!

Grilled Corn on the Cob
Nonstick nonflammable cooking spray
1 cup butter
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ears corn, shucked and cut in half
Spray a grill rack with nonstick nonflammable cooking spray. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, 350 to 400 degrees F.
Beat the butter, cilantro, salt and pepper in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture over each half ear of corn. Wrap the corn in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Grill, turning frequently, until the corn is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Grilled Smoked Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Glaze
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for grill
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 thinly cut (about 1/2-inch thick) smoked pork chops
Preheat a grill pan to medium-high.
In a plastic resealable bag, big enough to fit the chops, mix together the sugar, honey, oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes. Add the pork chops and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Remove the pork from the marinade. Lightly brush the grill with oil. Put the chops on the grill and cook until grill marks form, about 2 minutes. Rotate the chops 90 degrees, and grill for 2 minutes more, to create diamond grill marks. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from grill to a serving platter and serve.

Bacon Wrapped Grilled Corn on the Cob
8 ears corn
1 pound package bacon
Gently pull back the husk exposing the corn. Do not remove the husk. Remove the corn silk and use a brush to make sure all the silk is removed. Soak the corn with the silks removed in water for 30 minutes. This will prevent the husks from charring. Preheat a grill to medium heat. Remove from the water and pat dry. Take a strip of bacon and wrap it around the corn. Fold the corn leaves back over, covering the bacon and corn. Tie the leaves with butcher string and repeat the process for each ear of corn. Place the ears of corn on the hot grill and cook, turning occasionally until bacon is cooked and corn is tender, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Spicy Grilled Corn
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ears of corn, shucked (husk and silk removed
Preheat the grill to medium heat.
In a small bowl, mix the butter, paprika, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Rub the spiced butter on the corn, coating completely.
Wrap each ear of corn in aluminum foil and place on the grill. Cook 20 to 25 minutes, turning several times for even cooking. Carefully remove the foil before serving

Pork Chop and Pineapple Pie
1 boneless pork chop per person
1 slice red onion per person
1 slice green bell pepper per person
2 canned pineapple slices per person
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce per person
1 tablespoon margarine or butter per person
Salt and pepper
For each serving, lay a pork chop on a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Top each chop with the onion, green pepper, and pineapple slices. Drizzle with the teriyaki sauce. Top with the margarine and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in the foil, rolling ends to completely seal the package. Freeze or refrigerate.
When ready to eat, place packages directly in coals for 15 to 20 minutes. Check to see if the pork chop is cooked through; rewrap and cook a little longer, if necessary.

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