Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hodge Podge Day

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have. ~Norman Vincent Peale

More great questions from readers today!

My husband was given a chest type freezer, that had bait in it that went bad. The freezer now has a bad odor. I've bleached it , put baking soda in it for 2 days, and now I have put vinegar in it . Is there something I can get this odor out with . It would be a shame not to be able to get it out, considering it works well. ~Nancy

Fill the freezer with crumbled newspapers and close the top. They absorb the odor. Check after a few days. If this doesn't work try using activated charcoal that absorbs odors. Watkins sells a little can with it in that you place where the odor is, and there are other brands also. I've had good luck with using the

How can you eliminate the urine smell out of bathrooms. I have a little boy. It is not a constant problem, but one I could use some advise on. I am trying not to use bleach (even diluted)because my son has very sensitive eyes when it comes to odors. My son shares this restroom with his two sisters and it is also the guest bathroom. ~fifi

I use a spray made with essential oils and use this to clean around the toilet and on the lid etc. I vary it a lot but the basics are to use 5 drops of lemon, 5 tea tree, 5 drops lavender and 5 of peppermint. You can also use a good organic cleaner (I use Watkins) and then add a few drops of essential oil to that too. I clean with this in the bathroom and kitchen. It works great! What I would do is make a spray bottle just for that bathroom and keep it under the sink with some paper towel or rags and once a day quickly wipe it down.

Back in the 1980s I had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake that had raspberry juice as an ingredient...It was wonderful and very moist. I've hunted on the internet and can find tons of RVC recipes, but none calling for raspberry juice. Can you help? ~Amanda

All I could find was one that uses raspberry jam. Does anyone have one that uses juice? I'm wondering if you could replace 1/2 cup of the buttermilk with raspberry juice from frozen raspberries.

Red Raspberry Velvet Cake

3 cups sifted cake flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 large egg whites
2 cups buttermilk
1 bottle (1-ounce size) red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
7 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Combine the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, powder and salt. Set aside. Beat the granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed for 4 minutes or until well blended. Beat in the egg whites for 5 minutes or until fluffy. Combine the buttermilk, food coloring, and vanilla in a small bowl with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar and butter, alternating with the buttermilk mixture until all is mixed together. Don't overmix.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Tap each pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 for 28 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Finish cooling on wire racks. To prepare frosting, combine cream cheese and vanilla in a medium bowl; beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended.

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread with jam and top with second cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

On OFL we have tips on making your own citrus vinegar to use as a cleaner:


  1. Great tips. Thanks so much..I'm a lurker but so enjoy coming to visit.

  2. For the lady with the freezer: if the newspaper doesn't work, trying calling a cleaning service or even your local insurance agent for advice. In the past 8 years both my parents and my in laws had house fires. They both were given cleaners that took out the terrible sooty smell. One cleaner was a powder to mix with water, the other was a spray. The smell came out of wood furniture,appliances, upholstery, etc. My parents got some either from the insurance agent or the Red Cross, my in laws were given it by the cleaning service after their fire. I don't think it was very expensive and it is possible it would work for this too.


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