Donna’s discoveries and more time for reading
Posted by Donna MacMeans Aug 12 2012, 12:36 am
While I realize we listed author Cindy Nord as a guest blogger today, she had to cancel unfortunately – which leaves you with me today . I do want to mention that Cindy has sent an eARC of her new debut release No Greater Glory for the members only prize drawing that was mentioned in the newsletter. If you’d like to be eligible for the monthly prize bundle, just sign up for the newsletter on the Members Only page.
But back to the blog – you might recall that I talked a bit about Scotland a couple of weeks ago. Well, that hasn’t been my only discovery this summer. While I’m no domestic diva, I did learn a few amazing “tricks of the trade” that have made a once PITA chore a much easier exercise. Of course, less time cleaning means more time for reading & writing (just in case the editor/agent is lurking ). So here we go.
Discovery #1 – an easy way to fix corn on the cob with no silks. I’m adding a link to a youtube video (embedding didn’t work) so you can see what I’m talking about, but basically you nuke the corn in a microwave, husk & all, then cut through the husk and corn at the end where the corn meets the stalk. If you hold the twisted pointy end of the husk, the corn just falls out of the husk – silk-free. It works! We had to nuke the corn longer than what is suggested on the video because our microwave is old and not as powerful as the newer models. But check this out!
Discovery #2 – I’m fortunate in that my daughter cooks. We’ve made an arrangement. She plans the meals, does the shopping, does the cooking and I pay for the groceries and clean up after. Generally this is easy-peasy, but then she made gumbo last week and some of it got burnt on the bottom of the pot. Blech!
Now I’m a believe in the value of a good overnight soaking in hot water with dishwashing detergent, but even that didn’t budge the crispy black crud on the bottom of the pan. I tried to scrape with a knife – very limited success. Soaked some more but the stubborn crud still adhered. Then I tried something new. I put fabric softener on the black crud and set the pot aside. Fabric Softener! Who knew? The next day, most of the black crud lifted easily from the bottom of the pot. I tossed more softener on the remaining crud and that gave way after a couple of hours. The rest I could clean easily with a scouring pad. I’ll be keeping a small bottle of fabric softener in my kitchen from now one. Just make sure you rinse out the pot really, really well or your next meal might smell really good but have a questionable taste.
Of course, you all probably know that a few drops of fabric softener combined with water in a small sprayer is great for taking wrinkles out of cottons and synthetics – esp. after packing. Just spray on lightly, soothe the fabric with your hand and the wrinkle just vanishes as the fabric dries. I hate ironing and appreciate that this works.
Discovery #3 – Another burnt pot story – though this one was burnt grease. She was making fried calarmi that night. The problem with burnt grease is that it leaves a smooth discoloration marking on the pan. Routine scouring doesn’t seem to make a dent. I discovered that if you soak the pot in hot soapy water, then put a scouring powder like Comet or BarKeeper’s Friend on the burn like a paste, leave for a few minutes and then scour the pot, the grease burn will come out. It does take a bit of elbow grease though. Still, it’s better than a permanently discolored pot.
Discovery #4 – Okay, this is more of a thunk on the side of the head. If when you wash and fold sheets, if you put the sheets & any extra pillow cases inside one of the matching pillow cases – you’ll have a neat co-ordinated bundle to put in the linen closet. It makes it easy to grab an entire set in a hurry.
So those are my handy cleaning tricks from this summer. How about you? Any neat tricks to share? Let’s face it – we all can use a little extra guilt-free time with a book. What book are you reading currently that calls your name? Me? – I’m still researching sizzling sex scenes. Research can be a bear sometimes. :-)
Posted in cleaning, corn on the cob, pots & pans