Friday, January 14, 2011

Cleaning Up Around the House

I've been sorting and cleaning the last two weeks, trying to make less clutter around our house. This isn't easy with two teenagers and a ten year old who all take after mom, and tend to keep papers and every book they've ever read. Going with the theme of cleaning I thought I'd share these household tips today from The Detroit Free Press Women's Department, published in sometime during the 1930's.

Removing Egg Stains: Soaking in cold water is good for egg-stained plates, but hot water will cook egg more firmly to the plate. Utensils used for cooking fish, onions or other foods or strong odor should be soaked five minutes in warm water to which a spoonful of vinegar has been added. They should be soaked in soapy water before the vinegar.

Silver Cleaner: When using an aluminum pan for cleansing silver, permit the silver to soak only a few seconds. Place the tarnished silverware in a clean aluminum saucepan , add boiling water enough to cover, and one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of baking soda for each quart of water. Cover the saucepan and let stand a few seconds , then remove silver, rinse well in clear, warm water and wipe with a soft towel.

Aluminum Cleaner: To remove discolorations from aluminum , add cool water and a spoonful of vinegar, let boil half an hour, then rinse well and dry at once.

Ink Stains: Lemon juice is very useful for ink stains. Rub the juice on the mark at once, leave for five or ten minutes, then wash off with milk. Hydrogen Peroxide used before laundering will take ink from white goods.

Blood Stains: Wash in cold water until stain is partly removed and then wash with warm water and soap. Or wash with cold water and salt. If material is heavy, apply a thick paste of raw starch and water. Leave this until dry and then brush off. Repeat if necessary.

For great tips on removing perspiration stains read this on OFL:


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Starting Off the Year With Cooking Ideas

It's hard for me to believe we are nine days into 2011 and I'm just now on the blog. It's been chaotic to say the least. I've had two kids home sick, and my husband, but at least they waited to catch those nasty germs until after the holidays. I've been cleaning this weekend, and looking through recipes trying to find a few new recipes that might please everyone, not just one or two of us. Also, one of the things I received for Christmas was a revolving spice rack, and I've been looking over my notes with herb blend recipes and suggestions. I'll share a few of those, but first I had a couple of emails to answer from readers, and to share.

I posted a waffle recipe in December and left off the amount of pancake mix, but I did fix it later. The post is here: Sorry about that:)

One of our readers, Jacqui, sent me this suggestion after seeing a salad recipe I shared. Thanks:)

Another salad that is great for Christmas--and especially if these ingredients are available-- is a spinach salad or green salad topped with tangerine pieces, avocados and any kind of nuts that you like. I like to dress it with a nut oil like walnut oil, avocado oil, hazelnut oil and an orange vinaigrette. Cuisine Perel makes a wonderful blood orange vinegar but it is pricey at $8.99 a bottle. It lasts and lasts but it is expensive. For a less expensive and equally good dressing I use either fig or pomegranate vinegar on this salad. It is absolutely wonderful. Thanks for such a great year round newsletter ! Jacqui in Monterey, CA

Below are a few herb/spice blends to try this winter, using dried herbs.

Cajun Style Seasoning Mix

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Optional: 1/4 tsp. cumin

Combine and store in a glass jar.

Lemon and Herb Seasoning

2 tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dill
2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried lemon peel (grind if it's too large)
Optional: 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper

You can use more dill, I just don't like it to overwhelm the other flavors. The salt and pepper is completely optional-- or use just one of them if you wish. This recipe doesn't have garlic powder, but you could add a small amount of that too. Combine the ingredients and store in a glass jar.

Italian Style Blend

1/2 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup dried basil
2 tbsp. dried sage
1 tbsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. garlic powder (not salt)
1 tbsp. lemon pepper
1 tbsp. garlic pepper
2 tbsp. salt

This is a larger quantity but can be used with so many things that it should be used fairly quickly. I love flavored peppers instead of salt so I tend to have them on hand. If you don't, then you could substitute black pepper, and garlic powder. The lemon is nice, but it would taste fine without it.

On OFL I have some tips on using chili powder: