Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: BBQ Pizza

By Reena Nerbas

Carpet Tape Mess

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 that I have created. Thank you, Gizele

Dear Gizele,

What I would do in your case is 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 the 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. My best friend buys basil at the store. How should fresh basil be selected and stored? Barb

Dear Barb,

Basil is now 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 good indications that 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) can be substituted for fresh in recipes however use only one third of the amount of the fresh 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, please. Really enjoy reading your column! Lynn

Dear Lynn,

Like most items in life they require general maintenance and cleaning. Overtime washing machine odors may 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 – a wipe over 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 bad and encouraging growth in your machine (gross). Extra tip: Cutting down on liquid fabric softener will keep the machine cleaner, longer.

Pizza on the BBQ

Dear Reena,

I enjoyed hearing you speak at our office Christmas party and since that time my colleagues and I have had an on-going debate that I am hoping you can settle. 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 on 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 the 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 10 mins. or less.

Abrasive Tub Cleaning

Dear Reena,

I had a cleaning lady over to help me with some spring cleaning. She used S.O.S pads on the bath (which I didn’t realize till afterwards). They have taken the shine off the bathtub. They were obviously the wrong thing to use. What should she have used, and is there any way I can remedy this? Does it mean a new bathtub? Sincerely, Julia

Dear Julia,

For regular bathtub cleaning you can opt for a green scrubby pad, dish soap and water. Scrub and rinse. With so many options available, a scratched bathtub does not necessarily need replacement, you may instead want to consider repair. Here are a few options: Professional bathtub specialists can repair scratches or cover the entire tub with a bathtub liner so that it looks as good as new. There are also scratch kits available at home improvement centers to re-glaze or re-enamel the tub.

Some people recommend applying car wax to the outer rim and sides of the tub as you would for a car. The risk with this is that it makes the tub very slippery especially if any wax lands on the floor of the tub; therefore I do not recommend this option.

Fabulous Tips of the Week:

  • Store olive oil 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. Drain and serve immediately.


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.

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