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March 2017

Welcome to Our Monthly Newsletter!

We hope you will enjoy this month's articles.  

This month's topics are:  


Kerman Oriental Rug Design


Fridge, Counter or Pantry Storage?

Windowsill Herb Water Garden


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If there is a topic you would like us to cover in one of our upcoming newsletters, please call us at  607-272-1566 or contact us by clicking here.

Kerman Oriental Rug

The traditional Kerman Oriental rug fits well into our study of  Oriental Rugs by Design. Again, the same caveats must be repeated:       

  • The way to accurately identify a handwoven oriental rug is not just from the design, but from the way it is woven and the materials used.
  • Many countries produce rugs with designs that may copy another country's rug.
  • Because of the individual nature of hand-woven rugs, we can study the most common examples (and there will be variations!) but we must be aware there are many exceptions to every example and the terms 'always' and 'never' cannot be used when it comes to the study of oriental rugs and their designs.

The Kerman Oriental rug (Kirman), like the Sarouk Oriental rug, is an example of a Persian city rug. City rugs are woven in large factory type environments or workshops on permanent vertical looms, producing rugs in many different sizes with designs and colors palettes that are similar. The usual design of these rugs is curvilinear with floral patterns.

Location of Kerman

Kerman is a city as well as a province located in SE Iran. It was founded in the 4th century and was an important stop for those traveling along the trading routes between Iran and India. It is accessible from the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea ports by train and highway and is the last city between Iran and India.

Brief History of Kerman Weaving

Since the early 1500s, the Kerman area has been a center of workshop weaving. The arts thrived in the area because the province was relatively isolated with little interference from invasions. The dry climate with little rain also attributed to the predominance of the arts over agriculture.

The area was well-known for paisley hand-woven shawls in the 19th century until the decline of the shawl industry brought about the reintroduction of commercial rug production around 1890.

The Kerman weavers, who had perfected the paisley or boteh motif in their shawls, found they could easily adapt to the curvilinear floral designs dictated by the commercial rug industry's demands.

Traditional Kerman Oriental Rug Designs

There is a wide range of recognizable Kerman designs, as the weavers not only wove for Western buyers but for local consumers as well.

Examples include:

  • Center medallion
  • All-over boteh, florals, and stripes
  • Garden panel
  • Tree-of-life
  • Prayer
  • Vase
  • Hunting scenes and elaborate pictorials
  • French Aubusson/Savonnerie

Three Phases of Kerman Rug Design

For more information about Kerman oriental rugs complete with photos, please continue reading here.

Fridge, Counter or Pantry Storage?
Which Groceries Go Where?

Fridge, counter or pantry storage? To make the food you buy last until you need it, does it really make a big difference how you store it? It can be so disheartening to bring home groceries, especially fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, only to end up having to throw them out because they have started to mold and smell bad.

How many times have we bought ingredients for meals that never got eaten because our schedules changed? The average American household throws out probably one-fourth of the food it brings in from the grocery store. That can add up to a lot of wasted money!

How much of the food thrown into the trash could have lasted longer if it had been stored differently? What if you knew how to store foods properly so even if you couldn't use them when planned, they would still be perfectly fine to use later?

We have gathered some tips for you that could extend the life of your fresh groceries to help you save both time and money...

Some General Rules 

  • Always read the directions on the labels. Many food items can be kept on the counter or in the pantry (cupboard) but must be refrigerated after opening.
  • Remember to check expiration dates on food that may spoil. If the date is getting closer, you may be able to simply put them in the freezer to give them a few more weeks of life. For example, spoiled bananas make excellent banana bread. 
  • Keep your refrigerator cleaned out because a refrigerator needs circulating air to work properly and to keep your food fresh and cool. Generally speaking, foods with vinegar or salt in them can be stored safely in the pantry or on the counter (unless their labels say something different). Examples would include jams, mustards, and hot sauces (but not salsa).
  • Keep your refrigerator at the right temperature. If it is under 32 degrees F., food may start to freeze. If over 40 degrees F., bacteria will start to multiply. The ideal temperature would be between 35 and 38 degrees F.
  • If your lifestyle allows, try not to overbuy. Less may be better than more when grocery shopping, especially if you live close to a grocery store.
  • Many fruits, such as apples, release ethylene gas which makes fruit spoil. There are 2 products that may be worth trying. They are both available on Amazon. One is a product called Bluapple and another is a liner you can place in a refrigerator bin. Both work to absorb the ethylene gas.
  • If your fridge is full or your pantry is small, but your freezer is not full (or if you have an extra freezer), try buying frozen vegetables and using small quantities at a time. They are usually flash frozen, keeping more of their nutrients. And freezer burn is your enemy here, not mold!
  • A very general rule, attributed to Rachael Ray, cook and TV personality, states, 'Store fruits and veggies as they are stored in the grocery store.'
  • Reminder: All fruits and vegetables, organic or not, should be washed before using. Please see our article about this subject here.


The article contains information on the proper storage of 39 common grocery items. Please continue reading here.  

Windowsill Herb Water Garden 

A windowsill herb water garden is not only a beautiful sight, it is very handy for the cook of the house. Herbs grown in water will have just as much flavor as those grown in the garden. And, you don't have to deal with the mess of soil and going out to water them!

Which Herbs Grow Best in a Windowsill Herb Water Garden?

Most herbs will grow well in a windowsill herb water garden. Herbs grown from cuttings in the garden will get the best results.

You can use herb plants from the grocery store! Just wash them in plain water first, and cut off the bottom of each stem to allow it to absorb the most water.

They will grow well as long as you keep pinching off the older leaves as they grow to full size.

How to Start a Windowsill Herb Water Garden

  • Begin by cutting about a 4 to 6 inch long piece from the new growth at the top part of the plant either in the garden or from a grocery store or nursery. The new growth will be less woody than the rest of the plant and the roots will have a better chance of starting.
  • Clear the bottom leaves off the plant up to about 4 inches. Wherever you remove a leaf is a potential place where roots can emerge. For more woody plants such as Rosemary, use your fingernail and thumb to remove any extra woodiness along the stem.
  • The cuttings must absorb moisture from the stems so make sure to cut the bottoms of the stems at an angle to increase the area the stem has to use.
  • Place one or two cuttings in each clear, shallow glass or plastic containers.

The Containers 

The containers for a successful windowsill herb water garden can be mason jars, glass bottles, plastic bottles, glass sets from thrift shops, etc.

The ideal containers would be colored ones so the roots do not get too much light, which is not good for them. This will also prevent algae growth on the surface of the roots and the walls of the container. (Although the algae will not harm the plants, they do make the bottles look untidy).

If you have a container you would like to use but it is clear and will be in direct sunlight, you could attach a small bit of construction paper to one side to keep the bright sun from the roots.

Narrow-mouthed containers are the best because they can support the cuttings and keep them as upright as possible, though the top shouldn't be too narrow or tight-fitting around the cutting. It is important that there be free movement of air so the roots can breathe.

If only wide-mouthed containers are available, try covering the top with nylon or wire netting. Inserting the cuttings through the holes will offer some support for them. The netting will also prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water in warmer climates.

The Water

For the next step, please continue reading here. 

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