Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: In the Kitchen


By Reena Nerbas

Tarnished Silver

Hi Reena,

I just dug out a silver plated ice bucket; which has not been used for a long time and it is very tarnished! What is the best way to deal with this? Anne

Dear Anne,

Whether dealing with jewelry or serving dishes, silver pieces are known for blackening over time. Interestingly, the more a person uses silver, the less it tarnishes. When cleaning silver, never use abrasive pads or clothes; as they can become scratched and ruin some (if any) etching details. Line your kitchen sink with big sheets of crumpled aluminum foil. Place the ice bucket in the sink. Pour in enough hot water to cover most or all of the ice bucket. To the water add; half cup salt, one cup baking soda and 4 cups vinegar. Leave for 20 minutes. Turn the ice bucket regularly so that each side comes in contact with the foil. Remove from sink. If any blackened areas remain, sprinkle that specific area with additional baking soda; then clean with a soft toothbrush. Rinse with water; soft cotton clothes are great for polishing.

Crock Pot Perogies

Dear Reena,

I am having a large pile of guests at my house in the next few weeks. I have limited space in my oven and therefore have decided to use my crock pot to cook part of the meal. Is it possible to make perogies in a crock pot? Thank-you, Greta

Dear Greta,

Using your crock pot (slow cooker) has many advantages. You can make part of the meal ahead of time; and like you said it is a great solution when oven space is limited. Take frozen perogies and toss with melted butter or margarine or cooking oil; every perogy should be coated. Add 2 Tbsp. water to the pot. Cook for 3 hours. Add sauces, bacon pieces or sautéed onions as desired.

Cleaning Cookware and Glassware

Dear Reena,

Please give me some suggestions for the following: Cleaning the stoneware dish of a crock pot. Cleaning the brown film that forms on cookie sheets. Cleaning a glass container that previously was used for a plant container. There is a distinct line around the top of the container that I can’t get rid of. Thanks, Joyce

Dear Joyce,

Separate the slow cooker crock pot from the electrical component. Submerse the pot itself in hot water and dish soap. Scrub with a non-abrasive scrub pad. Some people (like myself) have experienced the best results by scrubbing the pot with a wet S.O.S pad and dish soap however, many manufacturers advise against this commenting that abrasive pads may scratch the pot. Another option is to place the cooled pot on the bottom rack of the dishwasher; the hot water and dishwasher detergent are powerful at removing food residue as long as the food has not cooked onto the sides of the pot.

You can clean your baking sheets by using a combination of baking soda and dish soap or Bar Keepers Friend. Scrub with a non-abrasive cloth. If the shiny coating is gone, it will not return. In the restaurant business people use steel wool to scrub non-coated aluminum baking sheets. Some people had great results cleaning sheets with oven cleaner in a ventilated area, test on an inconspicuous area first. To make cleaning easier (in the future), line pans with parchment paper before baking or spray pans with non-stick coating or grease pans with oil or purchase silicone sheets. Parchment paper is a great investment; you will save time cleaning up, food will not stick to the paper and your pans will last for years.

Fill the glass vase with hot vinegar. When the vinegar is cool enough to touch, scrub the water line with a non-scratching abrasive cloth or very fine sandpaper. Pour out the contents and polish with a drying cloth. If the mark returns, the glass is permanently etched.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Need a Presenter on the topic: Effective Speaking or The Power of Words? Check out:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply