Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Use for your crockpot!

If you want to strip paint from metal without the nasty fumes and mess of chemical strippers, just fill a slow cooker with water and set the dial to high. The heat and moisture will soften the paint, and often it will fall off as a single piece.

Some paints will loosen within a couple of hours, but for best results, plan to cook the hardware overnight. If the paint doesn't fall off by itself, scrub lightly with a stiff plastic brush. The paint will harden as it cools, so scrub the hardware as soon as you pull it out of the water.

(I found this on the Family Handyman blog)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Have a hard time peeling your hard boiled eggs? 
Over time I have learned that the fresher the egg the harder it is to peel. If you can, don't make your hard boiled eggs the same day you buy them. You would think that the fresher the egg the better, but that's not actually the case. Eggs that are a week old work best but of course make sure they are not past the expiration date. 
If you are using the hard boiled eggs right away, it also is easier to peel them under cold running water right after they have boiled.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scratches on Wood Furniture?

Scratches on your wooden floor or a piece of wood furniture driving you nuts? You can have a quick fix to this problem with a Brazil nut or a pecan.

Break open the nut and rub the raw part where the scratch is. The natural oils that are so tasty do a double job by darkening the wood and making the imperfection blend in. Wipe with a soft cloth to remove any residue from the nut.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Going Green

Checking out at the grocery store recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologised and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

Actually she was right about one thing -- our generation didn't have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then…?

After some reflection and soul-searching on "Our" day here's what I remembered we did have.... Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day. Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Victoria. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then. We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

(I borrowed this from a friend on Face Book)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quick Fix for a Broken Fingernail

Find a new tea-bag and empty the tea out of it. Cut a small piece of the paper bag to fit your crack. Apply a base coat polish on the split nail and when it's still wet apply the cut piece. When the base coat is dry, apply your favorite polish!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Easy Cinnamon-Apple Rolls

Put a can or homemade cinnamon rolls on the bottom of a round pan, a can or homemade apple pie filling over top, bake at 400º and watch for bottom to be done: about 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with icing. Delicious!                 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Do spices get old?

Actually, spices won't spoil, but they will lose potency over time, and in general, they're best if used within six months of purchase. They should be stored in a cool, dry place, and if you're unsure of a spice's freshness, take a sniff -- if there's no smell, toss it and restock.