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Let’s Cook: Clotheslines and Macaroni

There are some things that never get old -bedding hung on the clothesline is one of them. Life is too short not to indulge in sheets, pillowcases, and blankets hung under a big blue sky, warmed by the sun, and wind dried. As you see these bed layers dancing with the wind, your thoughts turn to bedtime. Even the bedroom will smell like the fresh outdoors.

Making sun-kissed sheets the centerpiece of your bedtime routine brings a welcome that will influence your sleep with luxury. As you settle in and the top sheet encounters your nose, immediately you inhale the fragrance of the great outdoors. It was worth the extra time and steps to create this tiny slice of beautiful. Who does not love naturally dried sheets and economical cost?

We have in our backyard a heavy duty clothesline with five very long avenues for bedding in which to be paraded. It was one of features that Jan and I liked about the house. The t-shaped bookends once modeled that traditional clothesline paint of galvanized grey. It did show off their trim figures, but we felt they need to be younger at heart. We also wanted them to participate in the turning of North Dakota season. After a color consultation among Jan, Lydia and me, the selected color was a deep forest green.

Nicknamed Tall Tillie and Towering Tony they received their new wardrobe just in time for the New York Fall Fashion Runway Review and to sport our Christmas greenery come December. Adding huge eyebolts to their accessories has allowed them to display our hanging geraniums in spring and summer. Standing perfectly tall and still, these mockup models remain calm while lavender and fuchsia ivy geraniums sway from their limbs. This summer Tillie has taken on glowing in the evening with a circle pendant that twinkles throughout the night. They are no longer just clothesline poles but framework that works in all season. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when we are open in our perceptions?

Hanging out bedding has several benefits–such as saving money while reducing energy waste. We can’t tag them with leaving a carbon foot print. It can also help the other “waist” which is your waistline. You will receive some good exercise hauling the clothesbasket and let us not forget the extra bending. Overall freshness is another benefit. You may also experience a good visit with your neighbor as we have with our neighbor, Doris. And last but not certainly least comes the visual aspect of well hung clothesline. Colored sheets perhaps compliment colors such as violet and butter yellow will surely have passers-by smiling at your laundry canvas. Being raised in a family that had a laundromat, we could strip all five beds in the house and within an hour the clothesline was a kaleidoscope of color and textures. Once they were dried naturally, my mom would run them through her electric clothes mangler on our front porch. This pressing machine put a fine finishing touch on our bedding, making them as smooth as silk. Like clothesline poles these too still have a valid purpose in our world because they aid in bringing comfort to resting well at night.

Are you looking for the ultimate in sheet satisfaction? You should consider rinsing your sheets in gathered rainwater. We had on the west side of our home a rain barrel with a screen over it and my mom used this water from time to time on our bedding, especially if we had guests. Needless to say, they had a very fine stay.

As our world moves faster and faster, it is fun to take time to recall a simpler time when attending the bed linens was an art. I recently read a study on sleep and I gleaned from this article a couple of things to pass on. This study found that people who made their bed daily ended up sleeping better. It makes sense; who wants to sleep in a bed that looks like it has been pulled through a wind tunnel? Coming into the bedroom after an extensive day and turning back the bedspread to find orderly sheets is like finding a $20 bill in your winter coat come October.

Lydia has caught the drift of line-hung sheets and when she slips into her sun and breeze sheets, she exclaims “these smell so good and feel great.” It is one thing that a cell phone simply cannot deliver!

Having time to do clothesline bedding comes a bit easier if we do not have to be concerned with what to serve at mealtime. It is for this reason you will find below a very easy macaroni salad. This salad can be a meal as it features boiled eggs, fresh vegetables and the red- gingham-tablecloth favorite elbow macaroni.

Clothesline Macaroni Salad

3 cups of elbow macaroni, cooked in salted water until tender

4 boiled eggs chopped fine

8 to 10 green onions chopped fine

2 large cucumbers diced small

2 cups of grape tomatoes sliced

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard

1 ¢ cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons half and half

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Drain macaroni and rinse starch off. Add to macaroni eggs, onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Toss to blend well. In a small bowl blend mustard, mayonnaise and half and half until smooth. Pour over mixture and blend gently with spatula. This is best prepared the night before.

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