Summer heat is tough. Last week we told you to enjoy the cooler weather and get out and enjoy the summer with your family. Now the heat is telling us the same thing. It is too hot for projects. It is a good thing that we are focused on indoor projects this week. Of course we even have a couple of tasty tidbits from two of our best local restaurants, Clay's and Iorio. In fact the story from Iorio focuses on two great Northwest things; digging razor clams and eating them! Enjoy!

Preserving Your Shades

You have your beautiful new lamp shade and it is covered in plastic. It is well preserved and safe, right? Wrong! Bea Searles from Naomi's Lampshades (503-636-1884) in Lake Grove joined Robin to show us how to preserve your shades and extend their life. Leaving the plastic on your lampshade can shorten the life of the shade by holding in the heat and causing it to fade faster. Most shades will also have better color if uncovered. If you need to clean your lampshade Bea recommends that you use a soft bristle brush and not your vacuum. A vacuum will sometimes transfer the dust and dirt from other areas to your shade. You can also use a soft clean cloth to wipe the dust away. It is the dust that ends up destroying your shade. Heat is another thing that will destroy your shades. Remember to use the correct wattage of bulbs in your lamps. Most lamps are designed for a certain type of bulb and using the wrong bulb can ruin your shade and even create a fire danger with your lamp. If you have any questions about lamps or shades, you can always call Naomi's.

Clay's BBQ

The taste of bar-b-que is truly a taste of the summer. Everyone has a recipe or technique for grilling a tasty treat, but we think we found the perfect summer BBQ and it wasn't in our backyard. We found Clay's Smokehouse Grill (503-235-4755) on SE Division and it has some of the best bar-b-que in Portland. Mike Slyman is the owner and operator of Clay's and he took us on a tour of his smoker, the key to his great meats. If you want to use a smoker at home you need to remember 3 main ingredients; smoke, heat and moisture. If you are missing any of those, your smoked meat will not turn out well. Once the meat is smoked it is cooled. When it is ready to be served they put it back on the grill to crisp up the skin and caramelize the sugars. Plus, all of the smoked meats have a seasoned rub on them. The rub contains 50 percent rub and 50 percent sugar, plus some special seasonings (you can add your own at home). The rub is used before smoking and also before the meat is grilled again. The marinade that they use is made up of oil, garlic, lemon juice and other spices. It is used on other non-smoked meats and makes a tasty compliment to their other menu items. The use of rubs, marinades and smoke is based on the different types of meats and depends on what you want the meat to taste like and what it is used for. If this seems like it is too much to remember there is good news! Clay's Smokehouse caters for any size group! Stop by and get a taste for real bar-b-que!

Quick Tip - Cleaning Stemware

Enjoying your favorite wine is a wonderful experience. But if you have noticed a funny taste, the problem may not be with the local vintner, it may be your stemware! We dropped by Metrovino (503-517-7778) to chat with Todd Steele to learn why your wine is tasting so 'interesting'. Todd told us about the importance about clean stemware. 'Clean' stemware still could have the taste and fragrance of the laundry detergent that you use on your towels. Todd recommends that you keep a supply of clean and lint-free towels around your bar or kitchen, just for your wine glasses. Metrovino uses lint-free microfiber cloths reserved just for polishing their glassware. Fragrance free softener and detergents are very important! Treat your glasses right and they won't come up smelling like roses!

Iorio Clams

One of the benefits of living near the Pacific Ocean is the availability of fresh seafood. Right now fresh clams can be harvested on the coast with a little elbow grease and some local knowledge! Still there is that chore of cleaning your catch once you bring it home.  Chris Thompson of Iorio Restaurant (503-445-4716) showed us the secret to helping your clams come out of their shells. Tip number one: Once you dig your clams, transport them home in a bucket of sea water to keep them fresh. Once home place the clam in a little hot water for a couple of minutes and they will open up and are easily separated from their shell. Clip off the bi-valve and cut the clam up the 'zipper'. Clean out the dark parts and/or hard parts... this will leave the clam pretty much filleted. Now you can put the clam into a breading mixture (for the complete recipe, including the breading ingredients, click here) and pan fry them in butter and oil. They can be paired with some great locally grown vegetables. Iorio uses lots of locally grown veggies on their menu and even offers classes so you can learn how to prepare your own special dishes! We found the clams to be perfect! Next time you are at the coast, try your luck digging clams. Check with your local bait shop or hotel to find the best places to dig. The limit is 15 per person so buy a license and go dig your dinner! Better yet, stop by Iorio and have the whole meal!

Fixing a Plug

If you have an appliance that doesn't seem to be working, before you toss it out, check the electrical plug. For a lot of our home appliances the plug may be the problem, and replacing the plug may be an easy chore for the homeowner. David showed us how easy it is to replace a plug and get that appliance up and running again. Most of the time the plug fails because we pull on the cord and not the plug itself. If the wires become exposed you should cut the plug off and replace it. The first thing you want to do is check the appliance to make sure that you know what the power requirements are for the unit. The appliance that we had required a 15 amp/125 volt plug. There are lots to choose from at the hardware store so we looked for one that was designated for a small appliance. As far as tools go, you really only need a couple of items. You will need a Phillips or flat head screwdriver and a wire stripper. To replace the plug, go at least 1 inch past the damaged area on the cord. Cut the old plug off there. Then strip the cord down about 1 and inches per the instructions on the plug package (always follow the directions). Your wire will generally be made up of 2 different wires and the insulation on one of them could have a silver color on the outside. This silver color will mean that you will attach that to the silver terminal on the new plug. The other wire will go on the brass screw (terminal). Make sure that your wires are secure on the terminals and that there is no pinching of the wire when you close the new plug. Test your plug in a GFI circuit to make sure it works and you should be done. If you have any problems, check with your local hardware store. Remember you are dealing with electricity and it should be treated with caution and respect. Be safe and you will have a working appliance again in no time.



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This page last modified
August 27, 2010.