Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Tasty Turkey Tips

By Reena Nerbas

Restoring Old Tile

Dear Reena,

We live in a 1930’s heritage home and there is natural tile in front of the fireplace, unfortunately the tile has been scraped by the bottom of a chair. We have tried to fix it but with no luck at all. Would you have a suggestion for us? Robert

Dear Robert,

For many surface scratches you can buff them out with fine grit sandpaper or fine steel wool. A popular handyperson expert trick is to purchase one tile to match the scratched tile, sand the tile to produce tile dust. Cover scratches with instant glue and pack the scratch with the tile dust. Gently sand after the glue is set.

Newlywed Housekeeping

Dear Reena,

I am newly married and want to take good care of my home. At my wedding shower, a conversation broke out about some of the necessary areas in the home that people forget to clean. What do you think they are? Kaley

Dear Kaley,

The kitchen sponge and dishcloth are often left too long before changing. Other forgotten areas of the home may include: The space between appliance and counter, behind appliances, floor and wall vents, ceiling fans, top of fridge, pillows (decorative and bedroom) and mattress cleaning.

Holiday Baking

Dear Reena,

I am so frustrated with holiday baking. I follow every recipe exactly as it states and my cookies and cakes always burn. What am I doing wrong? Candice

Dear Candice,

It is important to note that baking times are only guidelines, because ovens typically bake at different rates and vary slightly when it comes to temperature. Weather (humidity), altitude, oven pans i.e. glass vs. metal and oven models will change the outcome of your food. You are the boss of your oven; baking time is done when you say it’s done. Begin by purchasing or borrowing an inexpensive thermometer to test your oven temp. Check baking ten minutes before the recipe states, if the toothpick comes out clean, baking is complete. If baking is browning too quickly on top, cover it with foil.

Road Salt Stains Car Mats

Dear Reena,

How do I clean road salt stains from my rubber car mats? I tried vinegar and it doesn’t clean very well. Bill

Dear Bill,

Begin by beating the mats with a broom to remove most of the loose dirt and dust. Next vacuum the mats until no dirt remains. Using either dish soap or carpet shampoo and water, create lather and distribute onto the salt stains, scrub with a stiff brush. Rinse and let air dry.

Handy Hints of the Week:

  • When I was using a permanent marker one day, I noticed that it seeped through the paper onto the wood table that I was writing on. I immediately sprayed the area with hairspray and the ink disappeared without damaging the wood. Submitted by: Brittany

  • Hard shell clams are easy to open if you pour boiling water over them. Submitted by: Ronald

  • I save old shower curtains and wash them well. When the curtain is clean, I use it for a tablecloth at picnics. I also save the curtain rings for napkin holders. Submitted by: Sam

  • I have worked in the manicure industry for many years. For longer lasting nail polish, I wipe each nail with vinegar before applying polish. Submitted by: Shauna

Tasty Turkey Tips:

  • Before cooking turkey, defrost the meat in the fridge. Leave the turkey at room temperature for one hour before roasting to ensure that it cooks evenly.

  • Make your own Garlic Butter to add wonderful flavor to your turkey. Finely chop 1 tbsp. of each of the following: Fresh rosemary, thyme and sage. Add two cloves grated garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add one cup room temperature softened butter. Stir all ingredients together. Loosen the skin of the turkey and take three quarters of the Garlic Butter and rub it between the skin and the meat. As the butter melts it will flow throughout the turkey while cooking. Stuff any remaining herbs into the cavity of the turkey along with chopped carrots, onion and celery. Smear remaining Garlic Butter on the outside of the turkey.

  • Before cooking, pour chicken stock around the turkey. Baste every 30 minutes.

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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