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Masking Tape Dustpan

I managed to avoid most of the housework on New Year’s Day, following the superstition that you might inadvertently sweep all the good luck away. Lord knows I need all the luck I can get. But avoiding housework one day means that there is twice as much on the next, so I have been scrubbing the holiday out of this house since about 6:30 a.m.

The Christmas tree has been retired to the back porch for a bonfire later this week. The decorations are all carefully wrapped and packed and labeled. I have vacuumed. I have dusted. I think there may be dust bunnies from the ceiling fan stuck in my hair, but the fan is bunny-free. It’s all a little sad really. Packing all the happy away into boxes for 11 more months… wistful sigh.

After I carried the Christmas tree (and the crackpot tree stand that contributed to the crookedness of said tree) through the house and out the back door I was left with a gimantico trail of pine needles across the carpet and the kitchen floor. I reached for my broom and my dustpan because I CAN’T STAND IT when things stick to my barefeet, and got to work. But my dustpan has seen better days. It is chipped and cracked and mostly handicapped, but in it’s day my dustpan was the *#@%.

Before you think I’m too cheap to replace a dustpan, think again. Recently we made a trip to the Mighty Dollar for I-don’t-know-what and I was seduced by a shiny green dustpan with a little brush that snaps into the handle. I thought, “Ah ha! My dustpan is broken. I will replace it.” So I did. Now here’s why I hate the Mighty Dollar– because nothing is ever as it seems. Because when I got my pretty little green dustpan home, I came to discover that it was COMPLETELY USELESS. The stupid thing doesn’t even sit flush with the floor.


So I got a little ghetto with the old dustpan and fixed it up. With masking tape. Forget about duct tape- masking tape is like magic.

All the pine needles and Christmas crumbs have been swept away, and hopefully I kept my luck intact. I am ready for 2012 to be a good one- new year, new possibilities, new recipes!- but not a new dustpan.

Shrimp Sticky Rice to add to your kitchen repertoire…

Steam a pot of white rice (not instant) according to package instructions and in the last 4 or 5 minutes of cooking  add your thawed, peeled, and de-veined shrimp (tails removed), and frozen peas. Put the lid back on the pot and the steam will finish the rice, cook the shrimp (most of the way through) and the peas.

Add oil to a hot nonstick skillet and then toss in onion and bean sprouts. I actually used alfalfa sprouts (sometimes called clover sprouts) because I think I might be the only person around here that buys the bean sprouts and they were lookin a little pekid.

Stir in the rice, shrimp, and peas, and then continue cooking for about 5 more minutes (until the onion and bean sprouts are incorporated and the oil and heat starts to “toast” the rice a little bit).

Pour in soy sauce (and some green onions if you have them!)

And sesame oil…

…and then add two beaten eggs and some pepper.

Continue cooking until the eggs are done and serve steamy hot in a bowl.

Shrimp Sticky Rice


4 cup of water

2 cups of white rice

1 pound frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled, and de-veined (I like mine with the tails off)

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

1 cup bean sprouts

1 small onion, chopped

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 beaten eggs

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

To Make

Prepare rice according to package instructions. In the last 5 minutes of cooking put the raw shrimp and the frozen peas in the pot on top of the rice and re-cover to steam. When it’s done, set aside. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and then add oil to the hot pan. Saute onions and sprouts in hot oil for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the rice, shrimp, and peas to the skillet and stir quickly over the heat for about 5 minutes to combine all ingredients. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions (optional, but awesome). Stir and then pour in the 2 beaten eggs and the black pepper. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until the egg is done and serve steamy hot- with a little more soy sauce if you like.

Spencer Tullos

Monday 2nd of January 2012

Looks Good.......

Peggy Campbell

Monday 2nd of January 2012

Well a dustpan with masking tape is pretty good. I use any piece of advertisement that comes in the mail that isn't flimsy. It works remarkably well! Chuck just shakes his head at this....but hey, it works!

Heather Tullos

Monday 2nd of January 2012

I was going to include your ever creative uses of junk mail, Mom, and it totally slipped my mind!! I promise it was in my train of thought earlier though-- because SERIOUSLY--- who wants to spend money on a dustpan???