Archive for November 15th, 2008

Winter is nearly upon us, which means flannel sheets are upon us, too.

Or not.

Depends on whether you’re the type who likes flannel sheets. Some people don’t.

Some people feel smothered by the extra weight and warmth. Sure, flannel sheets are snuggly when you first hop into bed, but once the body tempature rises, well, I’ll take a 100% cotton sheet any day. Or night.

People can get picky about their beddings. Or, as some say, their “linens.” Polyester sheets pill, synthetic quilts scratch. Some people insist on having their pillows down. 

It’s become a normal thing to buy cotton by the hundreds, as in 800. Count. And with foreign accents. Egyptian, for example.

I once heard of a technique where you put an old soft flannel sheet between two cotton ones and, wa-la, zee pinnacle of vinter comfort.

And are flannel sheets really made of flannel? Not exactly. Real flannel is a woolen fabric made from loosely spun yarn, which comes in varying degrees of weight and fineness. What we’ve come today to think of as “flannel” is actually “flannelette,” flannel’s skinny little cousin.

Flannelette is usually made from either wool or cotton, the latter of which is commonly used for sheets and those handsome, oftentimes plaid shirts that were popular in the 60s and 70s. (I wore mine over a tight red thermal undershirt, which, along with my wafflestompers, painter pants, and feathered hair transformed me into a Farrah-Fawcetted flannelette superette.)

Speaking of flannel, urban legend has it that Red Flannel Hash, that New England breakfast hash that involves beets, was not always a root dish.

The story goes that a mining camp wife, who also ran a boarding house, suspected her husband of having an affair. One day she woke up on the wrong side of the bed (having slept in real flannel sheets). While cooking breakfast for the miners, she noticed her husband’s red flannel long johns hanging with the laundry. She ground them up and tossed them into the hash. Breakfast was served, and the miners loved that “bright red hash.”

When they asked for more the following morning, the wife, out of red flannel long johns, substituted beets in the next batch of hash. It proved to be just as popular.

Red Flannel Hash
1 cup diced potato
1 cup shredded beets (note: original recipe missed the beet—ha!—sorry ’bout that)
1 medium onion
Chopped 8 oz. corned beef
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Slowly fry the beets, potato, onion, and corned beef until done. Fry or poach eggs and place on top. Serve immediately.

So here’s a Topic for you: write about flannel sheets. Or polyester. Or down pillows and comforters. Or sleeping naked.

You get the picture. Think about your bedding preferences, set the timer for 15 minutes, then do a Writing Practice.

You’ll sleep like a lamb afterwards.

Read Full Post »