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At Home: Organize kitchen with Julia Child-style pegboard

Great storage solutions are born in one of two ways: in a frantic effort to make sense of an ever-expanding universe of things, or as a surrender to the knowledge that space is, in the end, limited.

In the case of most of our houses — and particularly our kitchens — that limitation seems to be more stringent than ever. There are only so many pots, pans, paring knives and gadgets that can fit.


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Ask yourself these questions: When you empty the dishwasher, do you end up with a bowl/saucepan/oversized utensil that’s like the last kid standing in musical chairs? Are kitchen gadgets creeping beyond the accepted boundaries of the kitchen? (Tip: Yes, keeping that Cuisinart under the bathroom sink is crossing a line.)

If so, you need storage help. We suggest swiping a little inspiration from the ultimate kitchen pro, Julia Child.

Not only was Child the person who brought French cooking to American kitchens, but she was also 6-foot-2. And she worked for a World War II-era spy agency. Her weakness? Kitchen tools.

A look at photos of Child’s home kitchen reveals that it wasn’t some tiny, overflowing room. It was a generously sized room plus three additional pantries. Yet, still overflowing: Knives are hung on magnetic racks on what appears to be every available vertical surface, including the side of a cabinet. There are crocks of utensils, a Cuisinart in disarray on the butcher block and pegboard. Miles of pegboard, hung with everything from skillets to ladles to whisks to fish-shaped molds.

Child had so much kitchen stuff (and, honestly, this seems only fair and right) that it was literally climbing up the walls.

The pegboard system kept things within reach and orderly (the outlines of pans were traced onto their spot on the boards, and a small Polaroid picture was taped underneath each one, so that pans were never misplaced). And it has been widely copied (check your home design boards, Pinterest lovers).

So when I, in a fit of tiny kitchen angst, went looking for storage ideas, I knew pegboard would pop up right away. I didn’t really want to jump on any bandwagons, but I realized that pegboard, done right, could be a tidy way to use a tight spot where a cabinet would never fit. Behind a door, for instance.

My search revealed a twist, however: A company called Wall Control (motto: “the organization you crave”) offers a modular, metal pegboard system made to hold everything from small kitchen tools to beefy pots and pans.

Offered in a few bright colors, as well as galvanized silver, the metal pegboards are sturdier than classic pegboard and have a slick, industrial look that would be at home in a garage — or a more modern kitchen.

It’s a nice update that means you can pull together a pegboard to corral your stuff, and you won’t have to jump on Julia Child’s bandwagon. Wall Control has already done it for you.

Two 16-by-32-inch panels cost $64.99 at wallcontrol.com or via Houzz or Amazon.

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100-Mile Yard Sale draws bargain hunters to Highway 25 from Jackson to Kennett

For 100 miles along Highway 25 this weekend, people and businesses from Jackson to Kennett, Missouri, are opening their garages and parking lots to people hunting for bargains at the 19th annual 100-Mile Yard Sale.

The sale runs today through Monday.

Highway 25 has a narrow shoulder and speed limit of 45 or 55 miles per hour for much of its length, and although the Missouri Department of Transportation doesnt officially record how many people attend, David Wyman, area engineer with MoDOT, said vehicle and pedestrian traffic was expected to be heavy this weekend.

We try to put out message boards, and we know Highway 25 comes to a standstill in many areas causes some pretty dangerous driving conditions, Wyman said. We want people to be cautious.

Vehicles lined Highway 25 between Jackson and Gordonville on Thursday morning. Some pulled off into driveways; others just pulled onto the grassy shoulder. Pedestrians crossed the highway.

North of the Gordonville city limit, Bo Burns house sits back from the highway down a short driveway, and he said he hasnt seen many accidents.

People are usually watching, he said.

Burns said he is no newcomer to the event.

Every year for about five years now, Ive had a sale here, he said.

Burns said hed seen at least 100 people between 6 and 10:30 a.m. Thursday, most of them looking for iron skillets, Dutch ovens or tools.

Thats whats most popular, Burns said, but people look for just about anything.

Burns said he enjoys participating in the 100-Mile Yard Sale.

I meet a lot of people, he said.

Burns said his wife, Laurie, and her mother do a lot of shopping at yard sales throughout the year, and some of their finds make it onto the tables Memorial Day weekend.

This year, in addition to his own items, hes hosting a lady from church who sells Tupperware and two people from work who wanted to clear out some space at home.

One of his coworkers, Kathi Gower, said this was her first year selling at the 100-Mile Yard Sale.

Gower said she doesnt really have much experience holding yard sales herself, but Bo is kind enough to let me park my stuff here and sell it.

Im having a good time, enjoying chatting with people, she added.

Gower said shes moved a few times in the last three years, and she had several items she didnt want to move again.

I thought I had a lot of stuff at home, she said, gesturing to her two tables of mostly dishes and decorative items, but compared to whats here? She laughed.

Aside from houses on the main highway, signs beckon from subdivisions and side streets, and those willing to journey off 25 just might find that elusive bargain.

Renee Gordon, out shopping with her son, said she looks forward to this event every year and has attended for at least the last 12 years.

I schedule this weekend off in January, she said.

Gordon, an artist who owns Flesh Hound Tattoo Studio in Cape Girardeau, said she usually isnt looking for any one item in particular, but she looks for bargains and pieces that grab her attention, especially if she can incorporate them into a still-life painting.

Its been a good day, Gordon said, adding what she had seen of this years selection was a better variety than shed seen in past years.

Brad Farrar, general manager of Winks Convenience Store at 7950 Route K in Gordonville, said the store has been open only about nine days, but there had been a little more traffic than usual through the store.

Mainly for restroom use, Farrar said, adding he thought it would be a good idea to install portable toilets along Highway 25 during the sale.

Usually I take 25 home, Farrar said, watching trucks and vans and cars pull in and out of the Winks parking lot. Not today. Ill go around.

mniederkorn@semissourian.com

(573) 837-0898

Pertinent address:

Highway 25, Jackson, Mo.

Highway 25, Kennett, Mo.

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Food is first-rate at Fieldcrest Estate’s Sunday brunch – The Repository

Breakfast is only part of the story at the abundant weekly buffet.

NORTH CANTON  Strolling the rolling, grassy grounds of Fieldcrest Estate during the recent 720 Market event, I was reminded again of what an oasis of calm the place is, right in the middle of town.

That day, I spotted a sign for Fieldcrest’s Sunday Brunch Buffet and knew I had to return to investigate. Several years ago, I enjoyed a Thanksgiving buffet there with my parents, but this weekly Sunday buffet is even better.

You pull in at Fieldcrest, the former H.W. Hoover Estate, at 1346 Easthill (55th) St. SE, and wind around up a hill to the Fieldcrest Lodge, a rustic-looking structure where the buffet is served. Inside, the lodge is casually elegant, with high ceilings, log walls, subdued lighting, white tablecloths and cloth napkins. Motown music was playing at background volume. The vibe was relaxed, not in the least hectic.

The all-inclusive price is $19.95 for ages 13 and older; $9 for ages 4 to 12; and free for 3 and younger. It is, I soon discovered, an excellent value. The buffet, incidentally, was voted Best Sunday Brunch Buffet in The Canton Repository’s 2016 Best of the Best awards. Aidan Medley is the chef at Fieldcrest.

There are so many buffet offerings — both breakfast and lunch food — that it can be a bit head-spinning. For newcomers, I’d recommend a stroll around to survey what’s available before diving in.

I started off with an omelet, freshly made by one of the two polite and fast-moving young guys manning the skillets. It’s fun to watch them at work. The wide array of fillings include bacon, ham, sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, black olives, and feta, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. My omelet was stellar, and from chafing dishes I scored sausage links, bacon and fried potatoes that were crispy and non-greasy with a subtle rosemary flavor. Another savory breakfast option is sausage gravy and biscuits.

A juicy slab of prime rib is sliced to order. The guy behind me asked for prime rib in his omelet, along with mushrooms and cheese, and was happily obliged. 

Also made to order are waffles, with maple syrup, cherries, strawberries and blueberries, and fluffy, real whipped cream. I had a bite of my friend’s cherry-topped waffle, and it was sensational. (I was trying to pace myself.) While eating the bountiful breakfast we’d assembled, I began tallying what it would cost at a quality restaurant for omelet, waffles, potatoes, two meats, orange juice and coffee. Probably $15 or more.

I’ll note here that there is a full bar set up during brunch (at additional charge), including mimosas ($5) and Bloody Marys ($6).

Next, I went for one of the made-to-order pasta entrees, also created in skillets from numerous available ingredients. I chose an olio aglio version, with olive oil and garlic plus shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, bell peppers and pesto, tossed with grated parmesan and penne pasta. (A red sauce and Alfredo sauce also are available.) The flavor blend was terrific, the shrimp tender and not overcooked. An entree like this would probably be $15 at another restaurant. 

Along with pasta, there are made-to-order stir-fry entrees served over rice. Available ingredients include sugar snap peas, cabbage, celery, broccoli, baby corn and water chestnuts. Among the sauces are Thai sweet chili, sweet and sour and teriyaki. 

From the island of chafing dishes, my friend assembled a full plate and everything was flavorful and well-prepared; nothing seemed institutional or generic. The BBQ ribs were tender and falling off the bone. The boneless chicken breast, with prominent grill marks, was moist and had a grilled flavor. The mashed potatoes, with bits of potato skin folded in, were real, and the beef gravy tasted homemade. The broccoli and cauliflower blend was definitely not from a frozen bag.   

Also in chafing dishes last Sunday were baked fish, rice pilaf, sausage and peppers, meatballs and mac and cheese. And did I mention there’s a salad bar? One could do a light and healthy meal here of fish, pilaf and salad, or fill a plate with ribs and mac and cheese.

For dessert there is fresh fruit — watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries — plus cookies, mini-cupcakes and pie. I tried a slice of pecan pie, which was excellent, and a fresh cheesecake concoction that managed to be both rich and light.

Throughout the meal, efficient Fieldcrest employees were whisking away our empty plates. A guy named Tim was super attentive at filling our beverages and knowledgeably answering our questions. He told us about a gift shop and live animals we could visit on the Fieldcrest grounds after dining. We definitely needed a stroll!

The Sunday buffet is offered year-round, with pricier grand buffets (minus the made-to-order options) offered on Easter, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For Father’s Day (June 16) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the buffet ($22.95) will feature items grilled on the patio, plus an old-fashioned baseball game on the grounds.

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Kitchen Diva: Cooking with cast iron | Lifestyle | agrinews-pubs.com

My love affair with cast-iron cookery began when my mother, Angeline, gave me the heavy, black, cast-iron skillet that originally belonged to my grandmother, Willie Mae Davis. What I love most about cooking in my grandmother’s skillet is that it’s a direct connection to my history and heritage.

I don’t fry foods very often, but my heirloom skillet is my pan of choice for the task. As I stand there, turning pieces of fish or chicken in the bubbling hot oil, I think about all the other women in my family who have done the same task with this same pan.

In times past, properly seasoned cast iron was the nonstick cookware of its day. It can stand up to high heat and almost any type of utensil without damaging its surface.

Cast-iron cookware also leaches small amounts of iron into the food, a benefit for those who have iron deficiencies. Cast iron heats up slowly, so using it requires a little planning, but once it’s hot, it distributes the heat evenly and holds it steady like an oven. Seasoned cast iron doesn’t require oil to sear or blacken meats.

Recently, I received a beautiful, mid-sized cast-iron skillet with “love” handles on each side as a gift from Lodge cookware. It’s perfect for serving directly from the stove to the table.

I also could use my new pan right away because Lodge pans already re seasoned with a baked-in factory coating of oil. Seasoning is simply oil baked into the pores of the iron, which prevents rust and provides a natural, easy-release finish that continues to improve with use.

Seasoning can refer to both the initial finish of the cookware, as well as the ongoing process of maintaining that finish.

Lodge uses a soy-based vegetable oil to season its traditional cast iron and carbon-steel cookware. No synthetic chemicals are added.

The oil is highly refined, and all proteins that cause soy-related allergies are eliminated. The oil contains no animal fat, peanut oil or paints.

Here are a few tips for cleaning your cast-iron pans:

1. Wash cast iron by hand with a nylon-bristle scrub brush. If needed, use a pan scraper for stuck-on bits.

2. For extra-sticky situations, simmer a little water for 1 minute, then use the scraper after cooled.

3. Dry promptly and thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

4. Rub with a very light layer of cooking oil or Lodge Seasoning Spray, preferably while the cookware is still warm.

5. Hang or store cookware in a dry place.

6. Occasionally, you may notice some dark residue on your towel when cleaning. This is perfectly safe — it’s just the seasoning reacting to foods that may be slightly acidic or alkaline. It will disappear with regular use and care. Soap isn’t necessary, but if you like, a little mild detergent is fine … promise.

7. It’s very important to maintain the seasoning of your cast iron and seasoned steel cookware by applying a very thin layer of oil after each cleaning. This will help keep you cooking for decades.

I gave one of my large, cast-iron Lodge skillets to my daughter, Deanna, which she immediately put to use to pan-sear fish. So, from mother to daughter to granddaughter and great-granddaughter, the cast-iron tradition continues in our family, one fabulous meal at a time.

And to think that it all started with a single castiron pan from my grandmother, Willie Mae.

This recipe for Black Pepper Shrimp is the perfect dish to prepare in a castiron pan.

Cast-iron Black Pepper Shrimp

Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons peeled and shredded fresh ginger

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1½ teaspoons cracked black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon stevia or agave syrup

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens

Procedure

Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the last shell segment and tailfin intact.

Heat the oil in a 9-inch or 10 1/4- inch Lodge cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until the shreds turn light brown and caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir in the coriander, peppercorns and sweetener, and let heat for 15 seconds.

Add shrimp and cook, shaking and tossing, until they turn pink and curl up, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with lime juice, salt and scallion greens. Gently mix together and serve from the skillet or as a topping for brown rice or whole-wheat pasta with roasted red bell peppers.

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Sales and traffic, for 100 miles this weekend

For 100 miles of Highway 25 this weekend, people and businesses from Jackson to Kennett, Missouri, open their garages and parking lots to people hunting up bargains at the 19th annual 100-Mile Yard Sale, today, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Highway 25 has a narrow shoulder and speed limit of 45 or 55 miles per hour for much of its length, and although the Missouri Department of Transportation doesn’t officially record how many people attend, David Wyman, area engineer with MoDOT, said vehicle and pedestrian traffic was expected to be heavy this weekend.

“We try to put out message boards, and we know Highway 25 comes to a standstill in many areas, causes some pretty dangerous driving conditions,” Wyman said. “We want people to be cautious.”

Vehicles lined Highway 25 between Jackson and Gordonville on Thursday morning; some pulled off into driveways, others just pulled onto the grassy shoulder. Pedestrians crossed the highway.

North of the Gordonville city limit, Bo Burns’ house sits back from the highway down a short driveway, and, he said, he hasn’t seen many accidents.

“People are usually watching,” he said.

Burns is no newcomer to the event, he said.

“Every year for about five years now, I’ve had a sale here,” he said.

At 10:30 Thursday morning, Burns said, he’d seen at least 100 people just since about 6 a.m., most of them looking for iron skillets, dutch ovens or tools.

“That’s what’s most popular,” Burns said, “but people look for just about anything.”

Burns said he enjoys participating in the 100-Mile Yard Sale.

“I meet a lot of people,” he said.

Burns said his wife, Laurie, and her mother do a lot of shopping at yard sales throughout the year, and some of their finds make it onto the tables Memorial Day weekend.

This year, in addition to his own stuff, he’s hosting a lady from church who sells Tupperware, and two people from work who wanted to clear out some space at home.

One of his coworkers, Kathi Gower, said this was her first year selling at the 100-Mile Yard Sale. Gower said she doesn’t really have much experience holding yard sales herself, “but Bo is kind enough to let me park my stuff here and sell it,” she said.

“I’m having a good time, enjoying chatting with people,” Gower added. Gower said she’s moved a few times in the last three years, and she had several items she didn’t want to move again.

“I thought I had a lot of stuff at home,” she said, gesturing to her two tables of mostly dishes and decorative items, “but compared to what’s here?” She laughed.

Aside from houses on the main highway, signs beckon from subdivisions and side streets, and those willing to journey off of 25 just might find that elusive bargain.

Renee Gordon, out shopping with her son, said she looks forward to this event every year, and has attended for at least the last 12 years.

“I schedule this weekend off in January,” she said.

Gordon, who owns Flesh Hound Tattoo Studio in Cape Girardeau and is an artist, said she isn’t usually looking for any one item in particular, but does look for bargains, and for pieces that grab her attention, especially if she can incorporate them into a still-life painting.

“It’s been a good day,” Gordon said, adding what she had seen of this year’s selection was a better variety than she’d seen in past years at the 100-Mile Yard Sale.

Brad Farrar, general manager of Wink’s Convenience Store at 7950 Route K in Gordonville, said the store has only been open for about nine days, but there had been a little more traffic than usual through the store.

“Mainly for restroom use,” Farrar said, adding he thought it would be a good idea to install portable toilets along Highway 25 during the sale.

“Usually I take 25 home,” Farrar said, watching trucks and vans and cars pull in and out of the Wink’s parking lot. “Not today. I’ll go around.”

mniederkorn@semissourian.com

(573) 837-0898

Pertinent address:

Highway 25, Jackson, Mo.

Highway 25, Kennett, Mo.

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Food is first-rate at Fieldcrest Estate’s Sunday brunch

Breakfast is only part of the story at the abundant weekly buffet.

NORTH CANTON  Strolling the rolling, grassy grounds of Fieldcrest Estate during the recent 720 Market event, I was reminded again of what an oasis of calm the place is, right in the middle of town.

That day, I spotted a sign for Fieldcrest’s Sunday Brunch Buffet and knew I had to return to investigate. Several years ago, I enjoyed a Thanksgiving buffet there with my parents, but this weekly Sunday buffet is even better.

You pull in at Fieldcrest, the former H.W. Hoover Estate, at 1346 Easthill (55th) St. SE, and wind around up a hill to the Fieldcrest Lodge, a rustic-looking structure where the buffet is served. Inside, the lodge is casually elegant, with high ceilings, log walls, subdued lighting, white tablecloths and cloth napkins. Motown music was playing at background volume. The vibe was relaxed, not in the least hectic.

The all-inclusive price is $19.95 for ages 13 and older; $9 for ages 4 to 12; and free for 3 and younger. It is, I soon discovered, an excellent value. The buffet, incidentally, was voted Best Sunday Brunch Buffet in The Canton Repository’s 2016 Best of the Best awards. Aidan Medley is the chef at Fieldcrest.

There are so many buffet offerings — both breakfast and lunch food — that it can be a bit head-spinning. For newcomers, I’d recommend a stroll around to survey what’s available before diving in.

I started off with an omelet, freshly made by one of the two polite and fast-moving young guys manning the skillets. It’s fun to watch them at work. The wide array of fillings include bacon, ham, sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, black olives, and feta, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. My omelet was stellar, and from chafing dishes I scored sausage links, bacon and fried potatoes that were crispy and non-greasy with a subtle rosemary flavor. Another savory breakfast option is sausage gravy and biscuits.

A juicy slab of prime rib is sliced to order. The guy behind me asked for prime rib in his omelet, along with mushrooms and cheese, and was happily obliged. 

Also made to order are waffles, with maple syrup, cherries, strawberries and blueberries, and fluffy, real whipped cream. I had a bite of my friend’s cherry-topped waffle, and it was sensational. (I was trying to pace myself.) While eating the bountiful breakfast we’d assembled, I began tallying what it would cost at a quality restaurant for omelet, waffles, potatoes, two meats, orange juice and coffee. Probably $15 or more.

I’ll note here that there is a full bar set up during brunch (at additional charge), including mimosas ($5) and Bloody Marys ($6).

Next, I went for one of the made-to-order pasta entrees, also created in skillets from numerous available ingredients. I chose an olio aglio version, with olive oil and garlic plus shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, bell peppers and pesto, tossed with grated parmesan and penne pasta. (A red sauce and Alfredo sauce also are available.) The flavor blend was terrific, the shrimp tender and not overcooked. An entree like this would probably be $15 at another restaurant. 

Along with pasta, there are made-to-order stir-fry entrees served over rice. Available ingredients include sugar snap peas, cabbage, celery, broccoli, baby corn and water chestnuts. Among the sauces are Thai sweet chili, sweet and sour and teriyaki. 

From the island of chafing dishes, my friend assembled a full plate and everything was flavorful and well-prepared; nothing seemed institutional or generic. The BBQ ribs were tender and falling off the bone. The boneless chicken breast, with prominent grill marks, was moist and had a grilled flavor. The mashed potatoes, with bits of potato skin folded in, were real, and the beef gravy tasted homemade. The broccoli and cauliflower blend was definitely not from a frozen bag.   

Also in chafing dishes last Sunday were baked fish, rice pilaf, sausage and peppers, meatballs and mac and cheese. And did I mention there’s a salad bar? One could do a light and healthy meal here of fish, pilaf and salad, or fill a plate with ribs and mac and cheese.

For dessert there is fresh fruit — watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries — plus cookies, mini-cupcakes and pie. I tried a slice of pecan pie, which was excellent, and a fresh cheesecake concoction that managed to be both rich and light.

Throughout the meal, efficient Fieldcrest employees were whisking away our empty plates. A guy named Tim was super attentive at filling our beverages and knowledgeably answering our questions. He told us about a gift shop and live animals we could visit on the Fieldcrest grounds after dining. We definitely needed a stroll!

The Sunday buffet is offered year-round, with pricier grand buffets (minus the made-to-order options) offered on Easter, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For Father’s Day (June 16) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the buffet ($22.95) will feature items grilled on the patio, plus an old-fashioned baseball game on the grounds.

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Owners put their heart into the menu at Buttermilk

Originally, Buttermilk co-owners Katie Kouvelis, her husband Spiros, and Pete Kostopoulos planned a more generic menu with “traditional ham and cheese dishes and strawberries on top of pancakes,” Kostopolous said. “But I came up with the biscuit idea in my sleep.”

He’s referring to the Stuffed Breakfast Biscuit, a homemade biscuit stuffed with cherrywood smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage gravy, cheddar jack cheese … and topped with more sausage gravy, cheddar and crumbled bacon. And it’s served with farmhouse potatoes.

“It’s a heart attack on a plate but it’s damn delicious,” Kouvelis said.

“But then we put a twist on everything,” Kostopoulos said of the Geneva breakfast and lunch restaurant. “How many breakfast dishes could we come up with? A whimsical twist on childhood favorites. Like the gas station honey bun or doughnut for 79 cents that everyone wants. It’s not only twisty and turny, it’s fun!”

McDonald’s, not one ounce of it.”

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