I have always wondered, should I wash the raw meat before cooking it? Many recipes tell you to and it just seems like the right thing to do. So I have been washing it and sometimes would think to myself, I really wish I didn’t have to touch for so long. It’s slimy and gross. But I would continue to do it because I thought it was the RIGHT thing to do. Especially after hearing so many stories about people getting sick from veggies that haven’t been fully washed. But, I was incredibly WRONG. Do not wash your raw meat! The best way to prevent the bacteria from spreading is to cook your meat. I am so glad NPR covered this topic recently. Click on the link to read the full story and to hear the radio version. They cover a study and a new health campaign to help spread the word. Basically, you risk spreading bacteria because bacteria can fly up to 3 feet from where you wash the meat. Keep it simple to be safe. Just cook your meat to kill the bacteria and check it with a thermometer. The article states chicken needs to be cooked to 165 degrees to ensure it’s fully cooked. Yippee! I can be lazy again. Now with confidence I am doing the right thing.
I love to sit outside and had a nice table and chairs but the space wasn’t welcoming. Plus, whenever I had people over there was never enough seating. People would go outside to check out the view, and then come back inside. So rather than buying all new furniture I decided to spruce up the space by having 2 custom benches made and adding some decor items. I had the benches made by Heirlooms and Hardware at the OC Mart Mix and got a bunch of random pillows from Crate and Barrel. And here is how it turned out. We spend so much time out here and have even had up to 6 people sitting at the table at once. It’s a small table but the benches give so much extra seating that you don’t really notice the small table.
In case you are curious, here is the before and after.
The first night we sat outside, there were a ton of flies coming into the space which is totally annoying. I remembered a friend posted something on Pinterest to keep them away and decided to give it a try. Here is a link to the original post I saw. Basically, you hang a bag full of water with a couple pennies in it. The flies don’t like the reflection when they get near it and go somewhere else. So I tried it, and it totally worked! Like magic. Immediately the flies were gone. After a couple of weeks I didn’t like looking at the bag and it started to leak. I thought, I wonder if a glass jar would have the same effect? So I took the bag down. I grabbed a canning jar from my kitchen filled it with water, added the pennies, and put it on my table. And, amazingly it worked too! It’s much easier on the eyes and looks more like decor. Plus, it does it’s job to keep the flies away. Who would have guessed that a simple jar with a few pennies would deter flies?