The neighbourhood ladies got together at Alice’s house last week. Her special dessert treat was waiting for us in the middle of her coffee table - a spectacular edible fruit arrangement.
Although it looked like something out of a magazine, Alice told us it was really quite easy to do. All you need is different kinds of fruit and some bamboo skewers.
“The first thing I did was take a cantaloupe and cut it in half,” she said. “I took one half of the cantaloupe and I turned it upside down on my plate so the curved side is facing up. This is what I’m using as a base to stick my skewers of fruit into.”
“Then I used strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, honeydew melon and pineapple arranged on the skews to make my fruit flowers, and just poked them into the cantaloupe to make the arrangement.”
I have to say, the bouquet was beautiful! Alice had used honeydew melon wedges as leaves on some of her skews and then topped them off with different “flowers”. One kind of flower was made by cutting slices of whole pineapple and then nicking out the edges to make them look like a flower with pedals. Other flowers were whole large strawberries with the tops cut in a zig zag pattern so they looked like tulips. Other strawberries were skewed upside down so they looked like buds. Some of the skews were beaded with red or green grapes.
Alice had cut orange wedges and skewed them all around the base of her bouquet make a beautiful border for her arrangement. (I thought if she’d used a bowl instead of a plate, she could have also hung the wedges on the side of the bowl.)
She’d also used the other half of her cantaloupe to make mellon balls which she also skewered in clusters. It was probably one of the most elaborate ways I have ever seen fruit arranged!
We probably spent half the evening talking about different ways of making fruit bouquets when Alice said that her real topic for the evening was “How to reuse dryer sheets”.
I try to stay away from products with chemicals for the most part, but I admit I do have a box of unscented dryer sheets that I keep on hand for items that are particularly static prone, like things made out of fleece.
Many of the ladies do like to use them for the fragrance they leave in the clothes as well as for their static-reducing abilities. It turns out, there’s lots of other ways they can be reused once they’ve been through the dryer a couple of times.
Velda told us that she uses her old dryer sheets over her sponge mop to sweep her laminate floors. She said that she uses a couple of those elastic sheet holders to clamp on to the dryer sheet and secure it to the mop and it works wonderfully for picking up all sorts of dust and pet hair.
Daphne said that she also saves all of her dryer sheets and puts them in with her cleaning supplies bucket. She told us that they are fabulous to use not only for dusting furniture, but they also work great for polishing bathroom fixtures, and surprisingly enough she says they work great for cleaning soap scum off a shower door!
Mother Eco told us she uses them in drawers and suitcases to keep them smelling fresh. She says that they also work as an air freshener in closets or in the car. She mentioned that she’s even stuffed them inside shoes to freshen them up.
Judy says that she uses them to clean the dust from her computer screens or the TV, and then she wipes down the slats on her venetian blinds. She says it really helps them to repel the dust and dirt.
Ellen swears by using them to clean pans with cooked on food. She says she just puts one in the pan with hot water and lets it sit overnight and in the morning the pan will come clean easily. She says that you can also clean latex paint out of paint brushes easier if you rinse them out in a can of water with a used dryer sheet in the bottom.
Helen says she keeps some handy for when she notices pet hair on her clothes. She says if you swipe a sheet over the pet hair, the sheet will attract it. Not only that, but if your clothes have static cling after you put them on, you can wipe a used dryer sheet over the clingy areas to tame it down.
I had to admit that I cut my dryer sheets in thirds before I use them because I usually don’t need more than that to take the static out of a dryer load. Not only that, but I also reuse two or even three of these smaller sheets together for another load. The only thing I have ever reused those squares for other than the dryer is in my sewing box. It’s a trick that someone told me about a number of years ago that really works. I have found that if after I thread my needle, I run it and the thread through a couple of layers of dryer sheet, it’s much less prone to tangle.
All in all, it was another interesting ladies’ night and we all learned a couple more tricks in reuse that we can take home and try for ourselves!