Spring is a time when a lot of people gain a burst of energy. We tackle spring cleaning. We start grilling outdoors again. We relish the bright colors and fresh fragrances. We also want to give our homes a new start as well. We have noticed that some of you enjoy the show for that very reason. We try to bring you a good mix of stories that will make your home, your cooking and your life a little better.

A reminder that we can now be seen at our new time on KOIN-6 in Portland, 8:00am, right before our sister show "Garden Time," at 8:30am on KPTV-12.

Picture Perfect Frames

If you are looking to make a statement on your wall the best way to do that is to add artwork. Some of the best artwork, the kind with the most character, could be found at a local garage sale, antique store or even in your own attic. Gary Germer from Gary Germer and Associates (503-235-0946) showed us some pieces that were great pictures in bad frames or good frames around terrible pictures. If you find a picture, take a close look at the frame. It could be a hidden gem tied to a bad picture. That is also true for pictures. If you find a picture you like you can check to see if it is valuable by using a small magnifying glass. Look for brush strokes and artist signatures. If it is a print and not a painting you will see small dots from the printing process. Also, by looking for a signature or numbers in a series you may have a piece that can be worth more than just aesthetic value. Of course the number one rule is to look for pieces that you like. After all you are looking for something enjoyable to put on your wall.

HD Connecting Cables

If you are buying or have bought a new High Definition TV you may not be getting the best picture possible. Using the right cables to connect to your set may make all the difference in the world. Owen from Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) showed us the new HDMI cable which will keep your HD signal strong among all your different video sources. That includes your game players, DVD machines, cable, and satellite boxes. Owen also recommends a good surge protector. This will keep a surge in your house power from destroying your new sensitive electronic equipment.

Pea Soup

It is spring time and that means your vegetables will be starting to ripen soon. One of the first crops of the season is peas. Chef David joined us again to share a recipe for pea soup that he had put together that includes peas (fresh or frozen will work, not canned), shallots, leeks and chicken stock. He added some butter and oil to the pan. Next went in the shallots and leeks, which were cooked until soft then we added the chicken stock and let that cook until it boiled. The peas went in next and once 5 minutes had passed we blended the mixture until smooth and then we put it in a bowl. We added mint oil and sour cream and we were done. If you are looking for a new and fresh taste of spring, give this recipe a try. Click here for the full recipe.

Wine Glasses

To really enjoy wine you have to know the ins and outs of wine glasses. The flavor and taste of wine can change dramatically if you use the right glass. The correct stemware will allow a wine the right amount of air, will allow you to see the color and will help focus the flavors. Rudyard Coltman from Vinotopia (located in Cinetopia in Vancouver) (360-213-2811, toll free 877-608-2800) walked us through the four main types of glasses. First was the champagne flute. Its small size is perfect for focusing the bubbles and aroma of the champagne for the drinker to enjoy. Next was the basic white wine glass. This one is perfect for the pinot gris and chardonnay’s. The bowl is a little bigger and a bigger bowl helps to aerate your wine. That releases the different flavors of the different grapes. Next was the Bordeaux glass, which is generally used for red wines. Finally the biggest of the glasses was the burgundy glass. This one has the biggest bowl which is great for releasing the complex flavors of the heavier wines. Finally we talked about temperature, which is critical for enjoying wines. White wines should be served between 50-60 degrees and reds should be between 60-68 degrees. For that reason you should never hold on to the bowl of the glass. That will raise the temperature of the wine and may ruin the flavor. You should always hold on to the stem of the glass to avoid this. Rudyard also told us that experts have found that crystal is the best glass for drinking wine. We finished with the 5 S’s of wine drinking. Number 1, the seeing of the wine. How does it look? Number 2, the swirling of the wine, which releases the aroma. Number 3, the smell. Your sense of smell is much better than your sense of taste and so you can enjoy the ‘flavor more if you smell a wine. Number 4, you want to sip. Roll the wine around your mouth and get a sense of the wine on your tongue. Finally, number 5, savor the wine. This is where you let the flavors of the wine linger in your month. Did you enjoy the wine? What other flavors did you find? If all of this sounds interesting to you, you can find out more at the Wine 101 classes they have at Vinotopia. Check them out on your next trip to Vancouver.


Recycling Containers

Recycling is hot! We all want to do our part for the environment. But some of us are confused about what to save and how to separate it. Half the battle is finding the right container to store your items until recycle day. We stopped by the Container Store at Bridgeport Village (503-620-5700) to see what Dan Lerma had pulled together. The first thing he recommended was to decide where you wanted your recycling containers to go. The reason for that is that you want it to look nice if you are going to have it visible. The first item we saw was a nice metal stacked container that featured pull out bins. The container next to it had 2 bins side-by-side with an easy to control lid so you can access it with out smashing your fingers. Plus, like the first model, it had a nice metal exterior. If you have your recycling in the garage or an area that doesn’t require a decorative container, the Container Store had a whole bunch of other storage ideas. Dan showed us some stackable storage containers that were labeled for quick identification. He also recommended that you thoroughly wash out your bottles and cans so you don’t attract critters to your garage. For more ideas about organizing your recyclables stop by your local Container Store.

Winterize Your Plumbing

It is time to winterize your plumbing… wait a minute, isn’t it almost summer? It seems like we are too late to be worrying about that… Not according to Dave from George Morlan Plumbing (503-224-7000). Now is the perfect time to get that job done. Better now than when it is 20 degrees out! First we looked at insulation. Just a little water frozen in your pipes can do a lot of damage. The key is to keep the temperature above freezing. The insulation allows the water to cool down slowly and helps avoid freezing. There are insulation wraps and foam tubes that can cover your pipes. To really help prevent freezing you will want to use a heating cable. The one we saw was from Frostex and you can cut this to the right length and it will keep your pipes warm in the coldest of weather. It also is self-regulating and only turns on when it gets down to 35 degrees. You can also pick up faucet covers that you can use outdoors in the fall once you are done watering to protect your outdoor faucets from breaking.

Power Washers

It is spring and that means spring cleaning, inside and out. To help with the outside cleaning you may need a power washer. The right power washer can help make a tough job easy. Ryan from Stark Street Lawn and Garden (503-625-2967) showed us a couple of power washers and how you can use them. The larger models have a lot of pounds per square inch and a lot of water volume. The home owner may not need something that big. For most homeowners a machine that has a PSI of 2000 or less should do the job. If you have a higher PSI you could do some real damage to your deck or the side of your house. Look for a model that has interchangeable nozzles that will help you adjust the pressure to meet your needs. If you are looking for a machine to make your outdoor chores easier, check out the different machines at Start Street.



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This page last modified
February 12, 2011.