kitchen linens

Yesterday I was putting the linens away after doing the laundry.

On Sunday night we had our Mom .. her two sisters . . her brother and sister by love . .

over for dinner.

I love having that little group over. . .they are so easy to please.

As I was putting the laundry away. . .

I thought about how I have learned little things from so many people.

Like laundry for instance.

My Mom's laundry is always pristine.

She irons everything. . .almost everything.

It always looks so wonderful.

I don't iron iron hardly anything .. .

but I do like clean kitchen laundry.

When I have people over for dinner. . .
I generally keep my kitchen linens quite basic.
I like to be able to toss everything into the wash later. .
no fuss. bother.
Several years ago. . .
I developed a fondness for clean every day kitchen linens.
We were staying in Maui at a place that had kitchenettes.
Every day. ..after we would come back for our lunch.. . .
there would be a clean dish cloth. . .a clean tea towel. . .
AND ..
CLEAN POT HOLDERS. . ..all wrapped into one bundle.
Now. .the first two didn't surprise me. .
but the clean pot holders kind of grew on me.

When I have company over (if you are my kids and reading this. . .it may not mean you) . .

I do several things before they arrive.

I take out the trash. .

I empty the dishwasher. . .


I put my dish cloth. . .hand towel .. and tea towel from food preparation in the laundry hamper.

I take out a fresh dish cloth. . a fresh hand towel. . . a fresh tea towel. .

and. .

I make sure my pot holders are clean for handling the hot dishes.

Now. .

you may be saying to yourself. . .

well. . .isn't she hoity toity. . .

No I really am not. .

I am just doing one small extra step to keep the food borne illness risk down to a minimum.

OH .. and the good news. .

is that you can buy very inexpensive pot holders. . .about 2 for $2 at SuperSt*re.

I just purchased these. . .last week. The two top have already had a wash ..

and have shrunk a little.

I still use oven mitts when I am handing a real hot oven . . .

but for most food prep .. .my $1 pot holders do the trick.

If it makes you feel any better. .

I don't iron my tea towels. . . .

I just fold them while they are still warm from the dryer. . .

fold them neatly .. .

and call it .. .



  1. A girl after my own heart and I learned it all from my mum!

  2. I would love to have dinner at your house. Some of my pot holders need a wash. I love clean kitchen towels too. I have a lot of them. I like doing the laundry. Period.

  3. Yes, I need to do something about my kitchen linens.....I like your practice.

  4. i am with ya sister.....but white?
    not for me and my kitchen....unless you share you tips for keeping white looking WHITE and not dull. I find that even with bleach after sometime they just don't look crisp anymore.
    love your tips and i know you have a lots more, keep 'em coming.

  5. Thanks for the reminder that I do need to restock my kitchen linens. I think I'll look for the basic, easy-to-wash ones. I love oven mitts, so I'll add more of those to my shopping list, too. I have become very meticulous about constantly replacing the kitchen linens (and bath hand towels) and keeping everything washed up - my washer seems to run daily with towels and linens. This sounds like a great reason to head to Target!

  6. Whew - just had a quick run to the kitchen to pull out my blueberry-stained oven mitts and throw then them into the hamper. That was inspirational - kitchen linens are neglected around here and end up looking just a tad worn and stained. Time for some new things, no doubt. Like another writer, I find that I am replacing hand towels etc every day in order to keep ahead of any possible viruses, but I'll have to pay more attention to tea towels and pot holders.

  7. I like that idea. I might have to pick up a few extra pot holders today :0)

  8. Lovella,

    I have just recently found your blog here as well as the Mennonite Girls Can Cook, and I must say that I am in love! With the recipes, but most especially with your warm and comfortable style, and way of writing, and making me sit down and think for a few moments each day! How I envy you being able to stay at home and take care of your loved's my wish someday, after we have children to do the same. I feel like I need more inspiration and prayer in my life for many reasons - so stopping here is helping me get back on track. We have been struggling with infertility for years, and I need to find some kind of meaning as to why things happen the way that they do. Anyway, not to bore you, but I wanted to say that this young woman in Michigan loves reading your blog every day and seeing how your calmness gives her a few moments of thoughtful reflection each day. Love, Mona

  9. I learned that little trick way back also...take out the garbage...clean tea towels...
    It Takes so Little to be Above Average by Florence Littauer. She speaks about so many of those things in her book from way back...
    I love crisp new bedding and tea towels...

  10. Yes...that's exactly right all the way. I shudder at a grimey dish towel, and a crusty pot holder just isn't quite right.

    I still enjoy a red tea towel that says "Oh Canada" on it. It is a "special day" tea towel around here. Getting tea towels from vacations spots still delights me.

    My mom almost always gives me fresh kitchen linens each Christmas. The old sets get moved to the dust rag pile.

    Another thought and a question: New kitchen linen sets are such a fun anniversary gift for them a "booster" bridal shower gift for a now old bride who still deserves to be celebrated.

    The question: Are you tempted by the new silcone pot holders? They made sense, easy to clean, but...not quite homey. What say you?

  11. Jill, those silicone pot holders are perfect to rinse and put away. I have a couple that are already bent in the middle and I use them on the grill or as extras if the other ones are in the laundry. I love how you collect tea towels from your travels, I've picked up that tidbit from you.

    Charlotte. ..those ones that get dingy end up in my rag bag. Now and then . . I take up all the dingy ones and put them all together in the washing machine . .give them an extra dose of bleach and the hottest water. If they don't come clean, they get moved to the rag bag. The rag bag cloths gets moved to the trash.

  12. Great post...a timely reminder to take a good look at all those kitchen linens from time to time. Why I still use potholders from two-decades ago...when they could be replaced for next-to-nothing is beyond me.

  13. Such a practical post and thank you for sharing it so well. It's hard to know how to do that in a way that you don't come across as knowing all . .. just sharing what works and what your desire is. I'm picky about my dishcloths looking and smelling clean, but that doesn't mean I sometimes don't procrastinate with that one little step . .. get it in the laundry already ... or bleach the kitchen sink and throw in the dishcloths.
    I haven't been as good with the pot holders. Good tips! ... not just for company, but general kitchen duty.

  14. Sounds like you had a nice evening with you family! How splendid to have those close to you over for a meal! I definitely need some new pot holders...

    Stay Cozy, Carrie

  15. Hey...wouldn't it be fun if someone would start a chain letter potholder exchange?

    Seems like everyone out there could use new potholders...they could be sent through the regular mail for not too much. Any takers on this idea?

    My DIL wanted me to be in a chain recipe email, which required me to send the link to 20 friends. Sadly, I don't have 20 friends that I email!

  16. I can relate to this. My mother's laundry is always done perfectly. She irons all of her bed lines and it often amazes me at how well they are done. I try to make sure my beautiful, unstained ones are at the sink when she comes. Yes, mine are clean...they just have been used quite often. You did inspire me however...thank you!

  17. I may not be much of a housekeeper at all...and I am not so inclined by nature. kitchen linens are changed several times during a baking day! I must have my potholders and tea towels clean and ready for a handy 'grab' during baking....the only thing I am obsessive about....okay....well not the ONLY thing but the only kitchen thing! least that is all I am confessing to!

  18. I just have to say I LOVE TOWELS ...
    My favorites are the flour sack towels... they dry so well!
    Cute post Lovella!
    ... love fresh & clean :)

  19. I was just thinking last week... I need new dishcloths & tea towels. And I thought none of this fancy stuff- plain white is what I'd like. There's something about having a child that makes you fall in love with bleach!

  20. I so agree with you. Every day there is a new tea towel, hand towel and dishcloth in my kitchen. I've heard it said that there are more bacteria and breeding ground for bacteria in a kitchen than a bathroom. It's those potholders that I need to remember to throw into the wash more often. They are usually in the drawer beside the stove and you know, out of sight, out of mind. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I just bought new dish cloths and tea towels from Costco this week. I bought new pot holders last week at Super Store too. This weekend I plan on buying afew new kitchen dish cloths at the MCC sale. Seriously I'm with you....nothing is nicer than fresh kitchen linens...and of course the bathroom hand towel is a must be clean item too. Kathy

  22. I don't know why I love this post so much...but I do! Great suggestions for all of us that are just learning to be great hostesses! Thanks for the tips!

  23. I love your blog and all within...I hope I didn't miss someone who answered with this tip, but to get your whites REALLY white, I use old fashioned 'blueing'...comes in a blue bottle (naturally :o)and you can usually find it in grocery stores and maybe the bigger 'superstores'. It lasts forever and gives your whites that fresh new look. Love to you all!


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