Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Dusting

By Reena Nerbas

Lumpy Gravy

Dear Reena,

How embarrassing, I had a house full of company for supper and I thought that everything was organized and ready to go. As everyone came up to serve themselves the buffet style meal that I prepared, someone pointed out that my homemade gravy was runny. In a panic, I poured the gravy into a cooking pot, added some cornstarch and quickly stirred. The gravy thickened but the large lumps were something I will never live down. Where did I go wrong? Why was the gravy lumpy is it because I hadn’t stirred long enough? Patrice

Dear Patrice,

Here’s my first piece of advice, laugh about it. Secondly, who tells someone that their gravy is too runny? Further to that, you could have stirred that gravy for an hour and the lumps would have remained, because the cornstarch became too hot, too quickly which caused it to cook. Next time even if you are in a hurry, dissolve cold water with cornstarch so that the cornstarch (or flour) liquefies. Slowly add the solution to your gravy and it will thicken. If time allows; cook gravy and other sauces in a double boiler to prevent items from burning.

Dusting Tips

Dear Reena,

I am looking for something I can spray on a cloth to act as a dust magnet. I like to use old socks and dusting spray but I can no longer find the brand that I like. Do you have any ideas for dusting? Thanks for your wonderful column and past help. Diane

Dear Diane,

The two easiest methods for dusting are either to use the dust attachment on your vacuum. Or purchase a good quality micro fiber cloth. Wet the cloth with water and dust your entire house, they are absolutely amazing. Be careful not to toss a dryer sheet into the dryer when cleaning micro fiber clothes.

A sock is also a great tool for dusting, if mineral oil products are safe on your furniture, purchase pure mineral oil at a pharmacy and mix half cup with 4-5 tablespoons of lemon juice to make your own polish. Pour a small amount onto your dry dust sock and polish away.

Handy Hacks:

Looking for a simple way to dust baking pans and surfaces with exactly the right amount of flour? Just cut the foot section off a clean old pantyhose leg, fill it with flour, tie a knot in it, and keep it in your flour jar. Give your new flour dispenser a few gentle shakes whenever you need to dust flour onto a baking pan or prepare a surface for rolling out dough for breads or pastries.
·         Make oranges easier to peel by rolling them along the counter using the palm or your hand before you cut them open. Submitted by: Jan

Little Chuckle? “The two biggest sellers in any bookstore are the cookbooks and the diet books. The cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food, and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it”. – Andy Rooney

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.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Need a Presenter on the topic: Effective Speaking or The Power of Words? Check out: Reena.ca

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