The Quick Fix

Please give me a show of hands.

How many of you have ever used a stapler to hem up a pair of pants in a pinch?

The reason why I’m asking? The other morning, I decided to don a pair of pants from my fall/winter wardrobe. It was the first time I had these pants off the hanger since they were put away in the spring. As I bent down to put on the appropriate shoes to go with the outfit, a glint of silver caught my eye.

There they were, a couple of staples, used to hastily secure the fabric that had come loose from the thread. The last time the pants were worn, the hem had come out late in the day, and I resorted to the stapler to corral the wayward fabric. Unfortunately, I had hung the pants back up in the closet instead of putting them in my to-be- repaired pile. Needless to say, a hasty change of wardrobe was in order. I did not wear the stapled pants to work.

But the incident did spark a memory of my father, who also used a stapler to hem up his pants, but only after first trying tape and glue. He neglected to inform Mom that the pants needed repair, and she came upon his haphazard office-supply mending fix when the pants were in the wash. He took a bit of ribbing for that one —especially the glue!

The recollection gave me a bit of a chuckle as I changed my own clothes, and I shook my head as I thought, “Like father, like daughter.” But at least I knew that glue was not an appropriate fabric-hemming tool. A stapler is a much more efficient shortcut.

And who doesn’t like a good shortcut? Some of my favorite recipes make good use of convenience products to mimic something that will pass for being made from scratch. And the upcoming Thanksgiving Day feast is a good time to make use of such tactics.

Check out today’s food page for some ideas for simplifying the feast. More will be forthcoming between now and the big day.

I’m especially fond of two make-aheads for Thanksgiving staples: Crockpot Stuffing and Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes, and you can count on hearing more about them between now and then. But today I’m going to share a recipe that caught my eye from an online post.

Every year, Hubby Bryan and I debate about what kind of bread to serve at the Thanksgiving table. Crescent rolls? Brown-and-serve rolls? A good crusty artisan loaf?

But this colorful offering might just be the answer to the bread dilemma. It’s a savory version of the popular monkey bread, made multi-hued by varying the toppings. It starts with a couple of tubes of refrigerated dough.

 Savory Pull-a-Part Bread

Brush a tube pan with olive or vegetable oil.

In small bowls, place an assortment of toppings: shredded cheese, paprika, chopped herbs, sesame or poppy seeds.

Using 2 or 3 tubes of refrigerated breadstick dough (depending on how many guests are expected), cut each breadstick into thirds and roll the dough into small balls. Roll each ball in a topping, alternating your selection each time. Arrange the balls in the pan and drizzle with olive oil between the layers and on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

This can be assembled early in the day; just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Uncover and bake while the turkey rests.

Do you have a dish for the Thanksgiving table that everybody raves about? Please share the recipe. Recipes can be sent to; or mailed to Beth Rickers, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187.