Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Basil, Olive Oil, Pasta and Pizza

By Reena Nerbas

Removing Tape from Carpet

Dear Reena,

My, I am in a quandary! I have glued my area rug with double sided tape to my existing carpet, and now it seems an impossible task to remove the tape from the carpet (I live in a rental apartment). I need your solution to this mess.

Thank you, Gizele

Dear Gizele,

In this case, I would soak the carpet with the hottest water that the carpet can stand. Doing this loosens the glue, making it easier to scrape adhesive residue. Another option is WD-40; open the windows in order to ventilate the room. Spray the carpet, let sit for 10 mins. wipe up all sticky residues. Clean carpet area with dish soap and water.

Rinse with water and pat dry.

Growing Basil

Dear Reena,

I am taking on a new challenge this year which is growing my very own basil. How should fresh basil be selected and stored? Barb

Dear Barb,

Basil is more popular than ever! If you grow your own basil, it should be picked just as the plant begins to bloom.

Early morning hours are the best time, after the dew has evaporated and before the sun is high. The oil content in the leaves is the best at this time. When purchasing basil, look for leaves that are bright green and fresh-looking. Limp wrinkled leaves with black spots are often an indication that the basil is old.

Basil leaves should be rinsed lightly and dried. Wrap in paper towels and seal in a plastic bag. Basil can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Dried basil (like other dried herbs) may be substituted for fresh in recipes however use only one third of the amount of the basil required.

Washing Machine Ring

Dear Reena,

The inside of my washing machine tub has a dirty ring around the top (soap scum I would think). So I am wondering what I can use to clean this. Lynn

Great question Lynn,

Like most items in life, this requires general maintenance and cleaning. Overtime washing machine odors transfer to clothing and the problem snowballs. Cleaning your machine regularly will help to keep it fresh and ready for use.

Unplug your washing machine before cleaning it! Unclog the filter regularly – open it up and remove the debris that has accumulated. Clean the detergent drawer, wiping with a cloth should remove gunged-up bits of soap (use an old toothbrush to get into small areas). Scrub the inside of the tub with one cup of vinegar and half cup of baking soda.

For regular use, add vinegar or washing soda or good ‘ol borax to all cycles. This removes odors and stops soap scum, lime scale and mildew. Always leave your washing machine door slightly open when not in use to stop it from smelling and encouraging growth in your machine. Extra tip: Cutting down on liquid fabric softener will keep the machine cleaner, longer.

BBQ Pizza

Dear Reena,

Can pizza be baked on a coal BBQ grill? Tammy

Dear Tammy,

Yes, for that wood-oven taste made famous in Italy, barbeque your pizza. Prepare the coals for grilling. Use the indirect method if you have a covered grill. Move the hot coals to the sides of the grill in a circle just larger than the pizza. For extra flavor, sprinkle mesquite or hickory chips onto the coals. Place pizza on the grill 4 to 6 inches above the coals. Cover; cook 15 to 25 mins. or until crust is brown, cheese is melted and center is hot. To cook a pizza on an open grill, place the pizza on a sheet of heavy duty foil or on a foil pan 4 to 6 inches from medium coals. Cover with foil tent; cook 15 or less.

Fabulous Tips of the Week:

  • Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place for no longer than one year. If refrigerated, it will thicken and turn cloudy.
  • To reheat pasta, place it in rapidly boiling water for 1 to 2 mins. or pour boiling water over pasta in a colander to heat it through. Drain and serve immediately.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Need a Corporate Presenter on the topic: Harness the Power of Words? Check out my website

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