How to Avoid Sticky Situations with Shelf Paper

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are living the rental life here in Baltimore. That means, despite some of the features being in sore need of updating, we’re limited as to how much improvement we can actually make. Or, for that matter, how much time and how many resources we’re willing to invest.

That being said, the kitchen was in a sad state of affairs when we first arrived. After some major scrubbing, like, BIG TIME elbow grease, the cupboards still weren’t anywhere I wanted my dishes. Ultimately, I thought that the best measure would be to freshen up the cupboard interiors with some thick, clean, fresh, fun, clean, barrier-like, and did I mention clean?, shelf paper.

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If you’ve never tried lining your drawers or shelves, it can be easy to jump into the cutting and peeling and sticking head first. However, if that’s your method, you may soon find yourself in a sticky, rippled, ill-fitting mess.

First, make yourself a template! I cut mine from an empty cereal box. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to fit.

Once you’ve measured and fit your template, you’ll find that most shelf paper has handy-dandy grids on the back to help with cutting nice straight lines.

After cutting out your shelf and drawer pieces in the correct sizes, DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE.

Okay, I just wanted to make sure I had your attention before you got sticker happy and started peeling off the backs of the paper.

Before that oh-so-satisfying-step, you should lay out all the papers in their places just to have a final guarantee that they all fit properly.

Okay, have you done that?

Guess what?

Now, yes, NOW, you can start to peel the stickers.

But, and you’re going to love this part, there’s another trick involved!

If you’re bubble-averse like I am, then this method is a life saver.

I call it “the underneath-er quicker sticker”

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haha No I don’t.

If I did, though, it would be an accurate and effective description. Basically, you want to peel the backing away slowly from below, while applying even pressure to the top and smoothing away bubbles as you go.

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Finally, you can trim any uneven edges with a craft knife but that’s only if you’re a stickler for edges like I am.

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You’re done! You did it! Hooray!

Now for some sweet Befores & Afters

From BLAH to BAM!

Not too shabby, eh?

Hope this is helpful for your shelf lining efforts!

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Unhelpful Recipes: Newfoundland Wild Blueberry Icebox Cake

I just returned from a trip to Newfoundland to stay in the home my great-grandparents built in the forties. It was just lovely to explore the natural beauty of the province we call “The Rock” and, amongst the other fine experiences, was how special it was to prepare food in my great grandmother’s kitchen.

While my Nanny took the time to prepare blueberry pies from scratch, I opted for a simpler way to make use of the abundant wild blueberries that grow all around the property.

If you’ve never made an icebox cake, then you are in for a treat! They are easy peasy and so delicious. Not to mention, they have something of a vintage appeal to the “baking” style.

All you need is a handful of ingredients and the best part? It’s no bake!

Newfoundland Wild Blueberry Icebox Cake

Ingredients:

  • Graham Crackers
  • Whipped Cream (sweetened, if that’s your preference)
  • Wild Newfoundland Blueberries

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If you’re feeling extra authentic, start with some charming depression glass bowls or one large vintage serving dish!

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Directions:

  • Alternate layers of delicious ingredients
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours
  • And that’s it!

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Basically, the graham crackers absorb the moisture from the whipped cream and become cake-like. I opted to use coconut whipped cream on account of my lactose intolerance but regular dairy works the same. Feel free to add a splash of vanilla or icing sugar to your liking.

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Oh, and most importantly, share with friends.

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Unhelpful Recipes: What the Heck is a Fiddlehead?

This post is part of the ECM Fiddlehead Bloggers Hop! Be sure to check out the other fab posts on Fiddleheads from some other local bloggers.

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Until I moved to Atlantic Canada, I had never heard tell of a Fiddlehead – with the exception, of course, of the genuine article that’s found at the top of a violin. Typical Ontarian, eh? That first spring of my residence in New Brunswick, I began to see them around the Farmer’s Market and at the grocery store. Curious, I began to probe…

For those of you who have also been in the dark on this weird and delicious springtime green, a Fiddlehead is actually a type of fern. They’re only delicious while they’re young and curled so the window of the season is quite short. Sometimes you can spot them in the forest – but definitely wait until you get home to properly clean and cook them before eating.

Personally, I was taught all this great info within seconds of asking “What the heck is a fiddlehead?!” It seems my Maritime friends were eager to share in the secret delicacy. What I didn’t expect was to open up a great debate on the best way to devour these delicious green morsels. I’ve discovered that there are two schools of thought on the matter: Team “Butter is Better” vs Team “Tart and Tangy.”

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Edit: This picture is NOT an example of the genuine fiddleheads that are safe to eat. True fiddleheads are covered in a brown paperlike coating and are never fuzzy even as they grow. Shoutout to reader Rhonda for the wisdom that only a Maritimer would know!

Since, as you well know, I’m not really here to be of any help to any of you in this arena, I’ll just give you the two unhelpful recipes and let you make up your own minds.

Team Butter is Better

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain fiddleheads. You’ll want to make sure you pull off the brown/white papery sheath to reveal just a fresh, green curl.
  2. Steam in vegetable steamer or over shallow boiling water.
  3. Toss with copious amounts of butter.
  4. Serve.

Team Tart and Tangy

  1. See above.
  2. See above.
  3. Drip on a vinegar of your choice. Personally, I like a nice balsamic but cider vinegar also works well in this context. But I’m not your mother. Use whatever vinegar you want.
  4. Serve.

I have to admit it: Fiddleheads are delicious either way (and many other, more complicated ways) but I’m definitely team Butter is Better. Butter forever! Butter for all! You might even want to add a wee sprinkle of parmesan, if you’re so inclined.

If you don’t like either suggestions, that’s fine too. As I mentioned at the top of this post, I’m participating in the ECM blog hop, providing links to some other amazing local bloggers who will probably have much more detailed and helpful guides on how to prepare these curly tendrils. But we both know that’s not going to happen here on this blog.

Happy fiddleheading!

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