Martha Stewart: Plants that look best at night and more
Dear Martha: What plants look best at night?
- Aneliese Castro, La Cañada, California
Dear Aneliese: A moon garden glows in twilight while other plants in the landscape recede into darkness. To grow one, start by clustering a group of pots on a porch, or plant a bed with a mix of white flowers and plants with silver foliage.
Possible choices of flowers include: tuberose, Kalanchoe, dusty miller, lilac, delphinium and scabiosa. White petals and fuzzy, silver leaves will reflect the waning light and extend the hours during which you can enjoy the splendors of your garden.
Dear Martha: Which gluten-free pastas are the tastiest?
- Amy Spellacy, Upper Arlington, Ohio
Dear Amy: As interest in gluten-free diets has risen, so has the number of appetizing alternatives to wheat pasta. We polled members of our test kitchen to find out their favorites. Each pasta type has a distinct flavor reminiscent of its main ingredient, so try tailoring your recipes to that base.
For example, buckwheat soba noodles pair well with grilled eggplant, sesame and soy. Fresh vegetables are a good match for sweet-corn noodles and quinoa pasta is delicious with a meat sauce.
Try roasted tomatoes and olives with rice, soy and potato penne, and add a cheese sauce with bacon and peas to brown-rice spirals for a spin on classic mac and cheese.
Dear Martha: What’s the best way to store guacamole?
- Isabelle Miner, Bethel, Connecticut
Dear Isabelle: Guacamole won’t keep for more than a day, but you can maintain its freshness and pretty color by storing it in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed directly on its surface (not just over the container). By limiting its exposure to air, you’re preventing oxidation, which is what causes the dip to turn brown.
Dear Martha: My pet sheds everywhere. How can I remove the hair effectively?
- Haley Sullivan, Chelmsford,
Dear Haley: Regular grooming will help cut down on your pet’s shedding but won’t completely stop the fur from flying. To pick up dog or cat hair, choose the method that’s best suited to the surface you want to clean.
An electrostatic mop will trap hair on wooden and other hard floors better than a vacuum, which can blow hair around. For clothing and fabrics, use a tape roller, lint brush or dry sponge (sold at pet-supply stores). On upholstery, use a hand vacuum with a motorized beater-bar attachment.
Questions should be addressed to Ask Martha, care of Letters Department, Martha Stewart Living, 601 W. 26th St., 9th floor, New York, N.Y. 10001. Questions may also be sent by email to: email@example.com. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number.