Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Angel Wings

By Reena Nerbas

Chicken Wings

Dear Reena,

My children love to eat chicken wings. I make them by battering them with flour and spices but, when I deep fry the wings the coating falls off, making a big mess of skinless chicken wings. What am I doing wrong? Thanks, Rorie

Dear Rorie,

Here is the trick; after rolling chicken wings in batter, cover the bowl of wings with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the fridge for one and a half hours. As the flour adheres to the meat, the wings become sticky and the batter holds to the meat during frying. Also, make sure that the oil is very hot before dropping meat into the pot. To test proper deep frying temperature, drop a bite size piece of bread into the oil. If the oil bubbles around the bread and turns light brown within 60 seconds, the oil is ready to use. Or put the handle end of a wooden spoon into the oil, when bubbles form along the handle a little, the oil is ready. Or drop a popcorn kernel into the oil, the kernel pops when oil reaches approximately 350 degrees, which is perfect for deep frying.

Cleaning Feathers

Dear Reena,

I enjoy your column every week and I wonder if you have a solution for cleaning the real feather wings on the angels that I inherited recently when my mother and sister both died. Thanks, Jan

Dear Jan,

I am so sorry to hear about your losses, I am sure that these angels are extra special to you. Since the feathers are attached to the body of the angels it may be difficult to hand wash the feathers with dish soap and water, which is a popular technique for cleaning bird feathers. Either take them outside and hold a hairdryer to the wings to blow off dust. Or use a steamer to wet the wings and sterilize them. Dry the feathers with a hairdryer. The angels should look as good as new.

Storing Wreaths

Dear Reena,

I own several Christmas wreathes which I pile into plastic totes in my basement. Every year I waste hours fluffing up each wreath before hanging them. Do you have any idea of how I can store wreathes so that they don’t become squished? Thanks, Mindy

Dear Mindy,

Store wreathes on hangers and cover them with an upside down plastic garbage bag (much like a dry cleaning bag). Hang wreathes on a rod in the basement or inside a closet; they will not lose their shape.

Linen Napkins

Hi Reena,

I wonder if your readers would have suggestions about what I can do with my old linen napkins. I rarely use them and have over a dozen sets in many different colors. Still have the tablecloths as well but I suppose they will have to stay with me (I’m 79). None of my kids want them as they have to be ironed and I don’t believe anyone has found an easy way to iron linen! Thanks for your time, Wilma

Dear Wilma,

Here are a few ideas for utilizing old, well-kept linens. 1. Sew several napkins together to create beautiful pillowcases. 2. Cut linens into smaller squares. Cut pieces of felt the same size as linens. Using fabric glue, adhere fabrics together to form coasters. 3. Donate linens to a non-profit organization, nursing home or hospital. 4. Sew napkins together with a backing to make a table runner for special occasions. 5. Use linens instead of tea towels, because linen is the best fabric for polishing glass.

Feedback from Reader Who Cares

Re: Homemade Pancake Syrup

Dear Reena,

Here is my version for easy Homemade Pancake Syrup. In a pot, stir together one cup brown sugar and half cup water. Boil for about one minute and add one teaspoon vanilla or maple flavoring! Delicious and saves well in the fridge. Carol

Quick Shoe Drying Tips

·        Dry shoes in a hurry by stuffing them with newspaper or tissue paper. Change the paper often.

·        Stuff shoes with a rolled up towel to absorb moisture.

·        Dry shoes on a drying rack inside the dryer.

·        Dry with the help of a hair dryer.

·        Lay opening of shoes onto heat vent to dry.

·        Cut a wire hanger to form two “S” shaped hooks. Hook the hangers onto the front of an electric fan. Remove shoelaces and hook the shoes onto hooks with the opening facing the fan. Turn on fan.

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