Creative uses for old shower hooks
Every time I buy a new shower curtain, I buy new shower curtain hooks to match. I have frogs, flowers, and angels that matched some decor in the bathroom in the years past. Besides donating them, is there any fun, creative things I can do with them? — Palooka, Missouri
It depends on how large the actual hook part is. You can hang them on your closet rod to organize purses, scarves, jewelry, an umbrella, ties, belts, hats, aprons, hair ties or anything in a bag that you want to keep in one place, such as craft supplies or gift items. Hang one from your regular curtain rod and add a small hanging plant, or on a towel rod to hold and display a hand towel or a nylon bath poof. You could put hooks around rolled washcloths and display them in a basket. Flower pot decorations? Some might be large enough to use as napkin rings, too. Or hang them from your Christmas garland or tree.
I need ideas for meals for kids at church. I have been put in charge of the kitchen for cooking meals on Sunday nights. I will be feeding roughly 100 to 150 people. And for a lot of these kids, this will more than likely be the only meal that they will have eaten that day. Church budget is $200 for the month. Here is what I have come up with so far.
spaghetti, salad and bread
sloppy joe’s and tater tots
mini corn dogs
grilled cheese sandwiches and soup
pancakes and sausage
tater tot casserole
I still have two weeks to try and come up with ideas and then get everything planned. Thanks in advance. And the ages will be from 5 through adult. — Rissi, Tennessee
That’s quite a tight budget to feed that many people. Your list will make you over budget unless you’re savvy with coupons and sales (one example: when turkeys go on super sale) or have a good network with local businesses or farmers. Soups, pasta dishes, fried rice, chili, stew, peanut butter sandwiches and fresh fruit (in season and cut in half per person) or breakfast foods such as oatmeal, waffles or pancakes will be cheapest for a large crowd. Shop at a bakery outlet or any place that offers day old bread, too. Consider asking for help from others attending (money or a dish to pass) or you’ll be absorbing the difference. Stress the importance of offering a healthy meal for these kids to get more people to buy into your goal. Maybe some of them hunt, fish or have home gardens, which can help keep the cost down. You can contact farmers, grocery stores, u-pick farms or your neighbors and ask whether you can glean their excess. Maybe you have driven by a home that seldom picks their fruit or nut trees or have a neighbor who has wild berries. Just ask. Fallen fruit and unharvested vegetables rot and can be a chore to clean up, so they might be more than happy to give it away. If needed, you can offer to volunteer some time to help them in exchange for food. You can place an ad in your local newspaper, on craigslist.org or on freecycle.org, too. Or find out meat prices at a local butcher for a half or whole cow or pig. You might be able to split an order with someone else.
photo by Michael Lehet