Thursday, May 31, 2012

Poison, Not Just an 80s Metal Glam Band (or One Woman's Private Struggle with Sugar Ants)

A year ago we moved into a house that counts among its features a rooftop patio accessed via sliding glass doors off the kitchen. Immediately off. Not down the stairs, across the city back yard, and up the stairs to the top of the garage. It is possibly my favorite thing, to be able to step outside to grill, pick some herbs, or water my plants. The downside, a ceaseless parade of sugar ants inside on my counters, seemed a small price to pay. Until this year, that is, when spring came early and so did the ants. They were in such great numbers a week ago that something had to be done. And so I searched for a home remedy that wouldn't poison the dog or put noxious chemicals in our living area. My success was so great that I'm passing it along:

Jammy Borax
Recipe below

Let me be clear: Use Borax with caution and don't leave Jammy Borax around where Fido can reach it.

2 T jam, preserves, honey or sugar syrup
2 T Borax

Fashion 1-2 small trays/shallow bowls out of tin foil (or recycled lids from sour cream or yogurt containers, or the like). Just use something you won't use for food later.

Spoon all ingredients into the lid/tray and mix well to combine (if using more than one tray, just do a tablespoon of each ingredient for each tray). Set right outside the point of entry the ants are using. (I set mine on the ground outside our sliding glass doors, next to the outside wall, and leaned a dustpan over it to block the dog from licking it. I also told the dog in no uncertain terms to stay the heck away from the jam.)

The idea is that the ants snack on the jam and then head back to their colony where they either share or infect the queen and kin with the poison. Then you have no more ants. This is what happened for us. Within about 20 minutes the tray was positively teeming with ants. We set out the Jammy Borax last week and I haven't seen an ant inside (or out, for that matter) since. We also spent about 30 minutes smushing every ant we saw inside, just for the sake of immediate results.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Home fries, home slice!

I have a mental picture of the dude (read: nerd) who inquired of Google, "What does 'Wasabi, home slice' mean?" Even my kids know Wasabi is more than a spicy, expensive root that is usually replaced by a cheaper preparation of horseradish, mustard and green food coloring. Wasabi is a one-word interrogative statement employed by hipsters (read: metro-nerds) when seeking information from other hipsters usually as a direct question of current emotional well-being or purpose. Translated into improper English: "What's up?"

Home slice, on the other hand, is what you call your homie, your paisano, your brother from another mother, even your children.

Anyhoo, I gave up eating potatoes for breakfast several years ago because I just love them so darned much and they were making me pudgy. I'm more moderate now and do eat them sometimes - more like 1-2 times a month. This morning I tried them a new way, following this recipe from Simply Recipes. They were so, so good. There was some distrust of the onion among the natives. But, oh! I will enjoy having them again in the distant future.

One further note: I made them with peeled, uncooked russets. I think if you use cooked potatoes they will come out approximately like the delicious breakfast potatoes at Toast.

That's all.

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