A time to reflect, rejoice, and remember ~

June 16, 2022

Did you know that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day? The name Decoration Day comes from a tradition following the Civil War where veterans would decorate the graves of fallen comrades. The end of May was chosen as that’s when flowers are most prolific. It is perhaps the most somber day marked on Americans’ calendars. Each year, we are called to pause to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country in wars, both at home and abroad. One thing is crystal-clear, Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to recognize those that contributed.  

After the Civil War ended in 1865, Americans were struggling with the enormous loss of 620,000 to the conflict. As a result, days of remembrance began to spring up all around the country. Still, Waterloo, New York, is officially recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo started to have an annual and organized remembrance day, as of May 1866, when businesses closed and the graves of the military were decorated with flags and flowers. Three years after the end of the Civil War, Major General John Logan, head of an organization of Union veterans called the Grand Army of the Republic, called for a national celebration to honor fallen Civil War soldiers. 

While this allows residents to enjoy a three-day weekend, the holiday’s true significance has been somewhat diminished in the minds of the American public. To remind residents of the holiday’s solemn purpose, former US president Bill Clinton passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act in December 2000. The law urges Americans to observe a moment of silence at 3:00 pm to honor the nation’s fallen heroes. 

While coming from bitter roots, as the years have gone by, Memorial Day has become known as the “unofficial start to summer.” For most of us, it means a beach, lake, or river trip accompanied by a splendid display of food, libations, and sunscreen. Laundress Lucca highly frowns upon sunburn as she’s had her fair share of sun-related skin cancers, so don’t think a red nose makes you attractive.

While Laundress Lucca always takes the time to pay homage to those who died to make our freedom fabulous, she’s also an entertainer at heart. Memorial Day weekend is no exception. Out comes the 1956 Chris Craft Woodie for its inaugural spin around the lake with mascot Jack at the helm.

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An endless mélange of picnic foods and snacks accommodate those daytime activities for friends and guests. However, the big event of the weekend is the grand dinner served al fresco by Laundress Lucca herself. She sets her outdoor extravaganza with all her regalia flatware, china, and medieval candelabras. As divine as the situation sounds, cleanup is always involved, which can dimmish the lavishness of the night before.

Flickering candles may set the mood for a dinner party, but there’s nothing charming about spilled wax. Although your first thought may be to throw the tablecloth away, don’t despair; removing wax on your own is relatively easy. Once the wax is removed properly, you can add the tablecloth to your next pick-up-and-delivery order with If the fabric is durable, as cotton is, try to remove the wax yourself. If the material is fragile, however, you should not attempt it on your own as the friction may cause damage to the fabric. With silk or any other delicate fabric with wax spots, it is best to have it professionally cleaned.

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Table linens – allow the wax to harden before attempting removal. Place the tablecloth in the freezer. When the wax is frozen, it becomes even more brittle and is easier to remove. Once the wax is hard, gently flake it off with a dull butter knife. Do not scrape as this can permanently damage the fiber and set the stain. If you don’t mind the use of chemicals, use a cotton swab and dab nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol onto the stain and simply watch the oily, waxy stain melt away. Continue to do this until the stain is removed. Blot up any residue. If you choose the nail polish remover route, steam the stain to remove traces of acetone on the fabric. 

Another way is to use heat. Place either paper towels or pieces of a brown paper bag on both sides of the stained area. If you use a paper bag, be sure to choose one that does not have any writing on it. Set your iron to warm or medium, and iron over the paper. Do not use steam while ironing, as this makes the surface tacky. The heat from the iron will cause the remaining wax to melt off the tablecloth and soak into the paper. Then, just do some spot cleaning. Repeat the ironing process if necessary using fresh paper towels or brown paper bags. Keep changing the paper and repeating the ironing until all wax is removed. 

Once complete, that tablecloth heads straight to the front porch with the rest of your pick-up and delivery items for If you are signed up for our weekly subscription service, we show up on your chosen day and return your laundry within 48 hours, clean and ready for the next adventure. 

As our special summer coverage continues, tune in next week on how to remove sunscreen from a bathing suit and mustard from Bermuda shorts.

But now, Laundress Lucca borrows her favorite dessert recipe from gal-pal Terri Cloth:

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What makes Terri’s lemon tart so perfect? It’s the lemon curd filling. It’s not too sweet but not mouth-puckeringly sour either, and so custardy it just melts in your mouth. This is a classic French tart that’s elegant and pretty as a picture, yet the filling is as simple as can be; just eggs, sugar, butter, and fresh lemon. 

Terri’s lemon tart recipe is a classic tart known in French as Tarte au Citron. Endlessly popular, you’ll find it on the shelves of patisseries all across France. It’s tangy, refreshing, and light. This tart makes the perfect dessert to follow decadent and rich main courses. 

The filling is a brilliantly yellow, beautifully fresh lemon curd that’s completely smooth. It sets enough that you can cut neat slices, yet soft enough that it melts alluringly in your mouth just like custard. 

As for the taste, it’s a Goldilocks bullseye: not overly sweet, not extremely sour, just right. Laundress Lucca found that other Lemon tart recipes she has tried tend to veer too far in one direction or the other. A perfect balance between the two is her ideal. 

From the kitchen of Miss Terri Cloth


  1. Lemons – “I swear by Eureka, but for this recipe, Meyers just perk things up.” “I have both varieties in my orchard, so I like to use half and half.” We use zest and juice for this recipe, so look for the brightest yellow you can find. 

  2. Butter – even though this recipe calls for unsalted butter, I use salted for everything, especially my sweets. Cut into cubes, so it melts evenly.

  3. Eggs – eggs are what sets the lemon curd filling into a custard. I use both whole eggs and egg yolks. Yolks add richness which gives the filling a creamy mouthfeel. Plus, I only use eggs from my completely organic, cage-free hens with bright orange yolks. 

  4. Sugar – caster sugar is best for ease of dissolving. However, ordinary white sugar will work just fine here if that’s all you can “borrow” from your hot neighbor. 

Combine ingredients: Put ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together. Turn the stove to low to medium-low heat. Don’t get in a tizzy about scrambling the eggs – the lemon juice and sugar dilute the eggs enough that they won’t easily set. That’s a trick my aunt, Betty-Gail Cloth, taught me for her bourbon-bailey’s pecan pie.  

Whisk over low heat: once the butter melts, it will become a fairly thin and smooth mixture. Whisk constantly to ensure the base doesn’t “catch” until the mixture thickens into pourable custard – about 5 minutes.

Check thickness: use a spoon or spatula to dollop some custard onto the mixture’s surface. It should hold shape briefly before disappearing. You can thicken it further on the stove, but there is no need. We are baking the tart briefly to set it so we can cut tidy slices. 

Strain: pour the custard into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, and use a rubber spatula to push it through. This makes the filling completely smooth and strains out the zest, plus any rogue lemon seeds, as well as any bits of the filling that might have solidified on the base of the saucepan. 

Fill pastry shell: while some may take a shortcut at this point and head straight for the freezer aisle to buy a premade crust, if you intend to remain in Terri’s good graces, it’s best to follow her process and recipe. As Miss Terri continues, “this is the recipe I’ve been using for years and years, and it has never failed me! This recipe is a shortcrust pastry, which can be used just as readily for a quiche crust as it is for a tart crust. 

1 ¼ cups plain white flour

½ tsp salt

7 tbs unsalted butter, cold, and cut into small cubes. 

3 tbs ice cold water.

  1. Place flour, salt, and butter in a Cuisinart or other food processor

  2. Pulse 10 times or until it looks like rough breadcrumbs, skip feeding the pigeons and save the crumbs for the recipe.

  3. With the motor running on low, pour 2.5 tbs of water into the feeder.

  4. Turn up to high and blitz for 30 seconds or until it turns into a ball of dough. Initially, it will look like breadcrumbs, and then it will turn into a soft dough. If it doesn’t look like it’s coming together at 20 seconds, add another ½ tbs of water. Don’t blitz longer than 30 seconds at the most, or you will have bubble gum instead of pastry. 

  5. Form a disc and wrap it in cling wrap. If there are escaped crumble bits, that’s fine, just press them into the ball and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Since you are making a tart that only needs cooking for 5 minutes, you should thoroughly cook the pie crust prior to pouring the filling in. Bake for 15 minutes at 350*, remove and let cool slightly. Put back into the over for another 5 minutes to “set the base.” Remove from the oven, and voila, you have the perfect, flaky pastry ready for the velvety lemon curd deliciousness.

Fill that perfect pastry shell with the lemon curd filling. Smooth the surface. This is easiest to do using a small offset spatula. 

Bake for just 5 minutes. Nothing needs cooking here; it’s just to finish setting the custard without getting any color on the surface. We don’t want to bake it any longer because the filling will overcook and become curdled and dry rather than soft and custardy.

A naked tart is a bit drab. Decorate as desired! Lord knows I’ve used lemon slices, raspberries, and mint leaves, so whatever is at its prime in the garden will work just swimmingly. 

Ironically though, on the day I snapped this photo, I was actually showcasing the hand-embroidered tablecloth I just had laundered at It’s a family heirloom sewn by Terri’s great-grandmother in Ireland, Saffron-Loin Cloth. “I appreciate that at my request, Pacifica Laundry will wash my cloth on the delicate cycle with a cold-water wash and rinse to avoid bleeding and shrinkage. Further, after laundering and a cool-dry cycle, they hang it on a hanger ready to go for the next photo op and next great recipe.” 


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