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Scrapbook Makes Great Organizer For Recipes

Q. My recipe collection is such a mess. How do you organize yours? - Nancy Perkins, Lawrenceville, Ga.

A. My recipe collection was always a mess until I developed a filing system that worked for me.

Years ago, I would snip a recipe from a newspaper or magazine and put it in a pile with other interesting recipes. When I wanted that recipe, I had to sift through the pile to find it. Not a good system.

Then I established a file drawer with specific folders for different categories. This worked well, but as my collection grew, the files grew and I had to constantly refile. Soon one drawer became two and then three.

I noticed that many of the original newspaper clippings had begun to deteriorate. I started to Xerox some of the most fragile, but I did suffer real losses to my collection.

My salvation was a scanner that files each recipe right into my computer. I am now in the process of putting every one of my valuable recipes into the computer. I plan to make printouts of my favorites so that I will have a book of recipes in addition to a computer file.

As computers become part of our everyday lives, I find this system to be the most useful and efficient. But there are ways to organize and preserve favorite recipes without the new technology.

Scrapbooks are great for storing recipes. You can divide them into sections or make different ones for different categories. Punch holes in an envelope as well and keep it in the scrapbook to hold a few loose recipes.

Recipes can also be filed in accordion folders or in a recipe box. Organize them in a way that makes sense to you; I have a whole section of recipes just on rhubarb.

You may want to laminate your recipe cards so that drips and spills will wipe right off. This is easy to do with the self-stick clear laminating paper sold at office-supply stores.

Q. I would like to plan a simple garden to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Do you have any ideas for this? - Willa Sykes, Amanda, Ohio

A. It’s not hard to invite butterflies and hummingbirds into your garden. You just have to know what they like.

Butterflies and hummingbirds are both attracted to bright colors. Hummingbirds are particularly drawn to red flowers and to tubular shapes. Bee balm (monarda), ornamental sages (salvias), fuchsia, trumpet vine, vining honeysuckles, penstemon and cardinal flower (lobelia) are all good choices.

Butterflies love sunny spots, so avoid planting in the shade. Asters, butterfly bush (buddleia), verbenas, zinnias, goldenrods, garden phlox, impatiens, purple coneflower (echinacea) and marigolds are among the flowers they like.

Plant a range of flowers and plan to have blooms from spring straight through to fall. This will give butterflies and hummingbirds a whole season of nectar, proving to them that your garden is a good place to visit.

A water source - such as a garden pond, birdbath or even large glazed terra-cotta saucers filled with water - will also help to keep them coming back.

Check your local library or bookstore for books on the subject. Here are a few of my favorites: “Butterfly Gardens: Luring Nature’s Loveliest Pollinators to Your Yard” (Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1995), “Butterfly Gardening: Creating Summer Magic in Your Garden” (Xerces Society, 1990), and “Natural Gardening” (Time-Life and The Nature Company, 1995).

Q. I have 15 rosebushes in a sort of garden area, so I found your recent column on roses interesting.

One of the problems I have every year is mildew. You mentioned that you sprayed your plants with a dilute mixture of Epsom salts and baking soda to control mildew and promote green growth.

What proportions do you use and how often do you spray? Do you spray before you see a problem? - Don Blaine, Greensboro, N.C.

A. To make my spray for roses, add 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 cup of baking soda to 1 gallon of hot water; let cool before using.

I spray my plants with this solution four times during the growing season, and it keep the leaves looking beautiful and healthy.

MEMO: Questions should be addressed to Martha Stewart, c/o The New York Times Syndication Sales Corp., 122 E. 42nd St., New York, NY 10168. Questions may also be sent to Stewart by electronic mail. Her address is: mstewart@msl.timeinc.com.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Martha Stewart New York Times Syndicate

Questions should be addressed to Martha Stewart, c/o The New York Times Syndication Sales Corp., 122 E. 42nd St., New York, NY 10168. Questions may also be sent to Stewart by electronic mail. Her address is: mstewart@msl.timeinc.com.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Martha Stewart New York Times Syndicate



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