Thursday, August 23, 2012

From pinned to practice: chalk, wasps and blueberry breakfast cake

This week I tried out 4 pins, all with limited success.  I guess you win some, you lose some. :P

#1. Use chalk to get rid of grease stains

The first was this laundry tip - to use chalk to get rid of grease stains.  I had a shirt and a dress that had oily spots on them, so I figured I'd give it a try.  I didn't have regular chalk on hand, just sidewalk chalk, so I'm not sure if that made a difference.  I rubbed the chalk on the stains, but I wasn't sure how long to leave it before laundering.  Since I had a load waiting to be washed (and I'm not an overly patient person) I waited about 15 minutes.  I took before/after pictures, but the stains really didn't show up in the before pictures, so I decided not to post them, since you couldn't really see a difference anyways. After one wash I could still see the spots on the dress, and a few of the spots on the shirt, so I rubbed the chalk on again and let it sit overnight before washing again.  The shirt came out nice and clean, but the spots on the dress were still there, just smaller.  However, I think the dress may have gone through the dryer before I initially noticed that it was stained, so that might have been a factor.  And there's a possibility that the stains weren't from grease but from something else, since I don't remember how they got there. :P  So, I'd say that this method works, but probably it's best to do it on fresh stains.

#2. Cover cups with cupcake liners to keep wasps out of drinks

The second pin I tried was this tip - use upside-down cupcake liners as cupcake covers to keep wasps, dirt, etc out of drinks.  I hosted an outdoor potluck brunch yesterday, so I thought this would come in handy.  However, I was disappointed to find out that the cupcake liners didn't really fit nicely over my cups (even when I tried with my narrowest cups).  They must've used very narrow cups in this picture, or had oversized cupcake liners.  I could get a cupcake liner to cover the cup, but every time I touched the cup, it slid off (even with the straw through), which made it pretty useless.

So, in order to get the liners to stay put, I had to flatten them out, and then fold them down around the cups.  It worked, but it doesn't look as nice as the Pinterest picture.  The other downside of this, if young kids are drinking from these cups, is that you need to remind them that these are just covers and not water-tight lids.  Annika almost spilled her drink since she's used to being able to tip a lipped cup.  So this works (no one had a bug in their drink), but it's not as great as the picture leads you to believe.

#3. Homemade wasp trap from an empty pop bottle

This was the third pin I tried out - homemade wasp trap.  Again, I thought it would come in handy for our outdoor brunch.  However, not a single wasp ended up in my trap (and there were definitely wasps around).  Not sure what I did wrong...  Maybe not enough syrup inside?

#4. Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Finally, I tried out this recipe for buttermilk-blueberry breakfast cake, to serve at our brunch.  Mine didn't turn out as pretty (and I forgot to take a picture of it before serving :P)

I accidentally added the blueberries to soon, so the whole cake was sort of purplish.  Also, some of the comments after the recipe said that it was a bit dry, so I added extra buttermilk and I may have added a bit too much (it was quite moist).  And to top it all off, when I went to bake it in the morning (I mixed it all the night before and stuck it in the fridge overnight), my internet wasn't working and I couldn't double-check the recipe to see how long to bake it. :P  Luckily I remembered the right time and temperature, but it probably could've used a little longer, since it was quite "moist" in the middle.  Despite all this, it still tasted pretty good (there's lemon zest in there, and I really like the blueberry/lemon combo), and I may try it again.

So that was my week.  Go check out my friend, Andrea, to see what pins she's been putting into practice!

PS. by the way, the brunch went really well, despite the so-so turn out of my pins (and no one was stung by a wasp!).  Thanks to everyone who came! :)


Anne said...

I love Pinterest, but sometimes things are a little too good to be true! :) I've just discovered your lovely blog, and am now following! So nice to "meet" you! ♥

pam said...

Hi Anne! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Pamela said...

I kind of laughed when I saw the wasp pin on pinterest when it showed up on my feed. At first I thought it was a soup. Yuck! Then I realized it was a wasp catching trap.