Just a twist to spice things up Life can be a grind...



Just a twist to spice things up

Life can be a grind, but sometimes that's not a bad thing.

Baltimore-based McCormick & Co. has introduced salt and pepper bottles with built-in grinders that make it easy to flavor any dish. All you have to do to get freshly ground salt or pepper is twist the tops on the bottles.

The McCormick Grinders are available in Black Peppercorn, Peppercorn Medley and Sea Salt flavors at a suggested retail price of $1.99. You can find them in the spice section of grocery stores nationwide.

Boards to help you make the cut

Architec Housewares helps you get a grip with nonskid cutting boards.

The polypropylene boards, which are dishwasher safe, are designed with bumpy undersides that grip counter tops. The boards come in white, blue, green, orange and red, in two sizes - an 8-inch-by-11-inch model that sells for a suggested retail price of $7.99 and an 11-inch-by-14-inch model that sells for a suggested retail price of $14.99. The company also makes wood and metallic versions.

They are sold at major department stores, hardware stores and home centers. For more information or to find a retailer, call 800-659-9786.

Pear Primer

The time is ripe for California Bartlett pears, the nation's leading pear variety. Growers offer these tips for storing and preparing Bartlett pears:

Ripen green and firm pears at room temperature four to six days (avoid refrigeration).

When pears are golden yellow, they are at their ripest, most flavorful stage.

Once they have reached desired ripeness, place them in a refrigerator to slow further ripening.

To help cut or sliced pears retain their color, dip them in a mixture of 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 cup water.

Ginger-flavored ice-cream treat

Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream has a cool recipe for grown-up ice-cream sandwiches:

Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of softened vanilla ice cream between two small ginger cookies and roll the edge in finely chopped crystallized ginger. Or, if you prefer, roll the edge of the sandwich in chopped nuts or semisweet chocolate. Molasses and sugar cookies can be substituted for the ginger cookies.


The Farmers' Market of Cross Keys at 5100 Falls Road is open every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through September. The market will be in the parking lot across from Talbot's.

The Silver Run-Union Mills Lions Club and the Union Mills Homestead Foundation will hold the 32nd Annual Old Fashioned Corn Roast Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Union Mills Homestead, 3311 Littlestown Pike, Westminster. $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Call 410-848-2288.

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