Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Freezable Foods

By Reena Nerbas

Old Christmas Cards and Magazines

Dear Reena,

I have hundreds of Christmas cards that I will be throwing away. Is there any organization that does anything with them? I also have several magazines that I used to donate to doctor’s offices so that people could cut out recipes. Where should I take them? Irene

Dear Irene,

Sometimes children’s clubs and schools collect cards and magazines for craft projects. Greeting cards can be cut into gift tags. Your easiest bet is to donate both to self-help organizations for people to purchase, and use as needed.

Oil Stain on Car Floor Mat

Dear Reena,

I’m a handy kind of guy, so last week I topped up the power steering fluid in my car, and then put the half-full 350 ml bottle behind the driver’s seat on the little rubber-backed carpet floor mat. When I went to remove the bottle today, I noticed that the clear oil had almost all leaked out and was absorbed by the removable floor mat. What would you recommend I use to get the oil and oil stain out of the floor mat?  Thanks, Dave

Dear Dave,

There are several retail products available to clean grease off car mats. If you prefer to clean the mess using products that many people have on hand; use the following technique. Remove the mats from the vehicle. Spray the mats with the spray nozzle on your garden hose, or a pressure washer. Next combine a few tbsps. dish soap with water and wash the mats. Since dish soap is formulated as a grease cutter, this works well. Rinse the mats with water followed by white vinegar. Air dry.

Freezable Foods

Dear Reena,

What kind of food is recommended for freezing, and which foods should be avoided? Andy

Dear Andy,

Except for eggs in shells and canned foods, many foods are freezable. It is important to note that some foods do not freeze well. Some foods change in taste, consistency and texture such as; mayonnaise, cream sauce, cream cheese, creamed cottage cheese, sour cream, fried foods, cake icing made with egg white, and raw veggies such as lettuce, lose their crispness.

Feedback from Smart Contributors

Re: Determining how long to cook fish

With regards to the inquiry about how long to cook fish. Years ago, I worked for a firm that did printing for the Freshwater Fish Corporation. Their directions were to cook until the flesh flakes, that is, the muscle layers readily separate.

On a further writer’s observation about using a wine bottle for a substitute rolling pin — I would be extremely cautious about this. Any use of glass such as this is highly recommended to be avoided due to possible breakage! Alan

Re: Using Polydent to clean a vase/bottle

In addition to my tip of using Polydent to clean vases, I would like to add that you need to clean the vase very well afterwards, so that the Polydent does not wilt the next flower arrangement. Anne
Life Hacks:

  • Place a wooden spoon across a boiling pot of water. The spoon helps prevent the water from boiling over. When I’m not worried about my sauces boiling over; I slide my mixing spoon into the hole of the pot handle, being sure that the spoon is not on the heating element, this makes a perfect spoon holder. Submitted by: Sharon

  • Store a carton of ice cream inside a sealable bag. Doing this preserves the taste and prevents freezer burn. Submitted by: Darren

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.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at

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