Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Keeping Mandarin Oranges Fresh

By Reena Nerbas

Grit from Dishwasher

Dear Reena,

The dishes washed in my 7 year old dishwasher no longer look or feel clean. The machine seems to be working properly but the dishes end up with gritty film on the outside, I end up having to rewash the dishes by hand. Any ideas? Thanks, Seline

Dear Seline,

Imagine a person who ate three meals a day plus snacks without ever brushing their teeth. Rinsing with water would not remove the plaque and build-up. The same is true for a dishwasher that requires regular check-up and cleaning appointments. Maintain the machine; by carefully scrubbing the interior, especially where the base of the dishwasher door and floor meet. As well, the filter needs to be taken apart and cleaned from time to time. It’s amazing what gets caught in there: straws, cherry pits, tea bags, bones, pieces of glass, stickers etc. Experiment with a few dishwasher detergents and increase the hot water temperature according to your manual. The next step is to purchase a product called, Iron Out. Run it through your empty dishwasher, it will clean the dishwasher from head to toe including the basin, hoses, racks etc. If poor results continue, contact a professional because the dishwasher will need to be thoroughly examined for damaged parts or incorrect hook-up.

Livingroom Seating

Dear Reena,

How many seats should I make available for an average size living room? Cheers, Bill

Dear Bill,

With endless designs, layouts and room sizes there is not one suggested rule of thumb. The criteria of seating should depend on the function of the room and the group size of your personal family and guests. However, designers recommend 48-100 inches space between the couch and chairs. Adjust space depending on your family needs but you should not need to turn sideways to walk between furniture. In an ideal setting; you are able to hold a comfortable conversation in the room, eat or play a game around a table and be able to see the television.

Deviled Eggs

Dear Reena,

Every time I make deviled eggs (which I love), the eggs fall apart as I peel them and the filling is chunky unlike restaurants where the filling is smooth. What am I missing? Sam

Dear Sam,

Here are a few tricks to ensure perfect deviled eggs every time! Place the eggs into a pot and fill with enough cold water to cover the eggs. Sometimes people add cold eggs to boiling water which causes them to crack. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-12 mins. (varies depending on the stove). Do not overcook because the yolks will become dry, grey and crumbly. When cooking is complete, submerse the eggs in ice cold water for 5 mins. (trying to peel hot eggs will result in a mess). Peel eggs, and cut in half. Scoop yolks and any broken egg whites into a food processor (do not use a fork) and add your favorite ingredients i.e. mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, onion, cheese, mustard, salt and/or pepper. Blend until smooth. Add filling into a sealable bag, cut the corner of the bag and pipe egg yolks into egg whites. Garnish with paprika, bacon and/or chives.

Feedback from Reader Who Cares

Re: Car Freshener

Dear Reena,

Your column mentioned using scents to mask the smell of smoke in a car. Changing the cabin air filter may be a permanent fix, instead of masking the smell. We bought a used car apparently owned by a heavy smoker. Changing these filters solved the problem for us permanently for the years that we owned the vehicle. ~ Louis


Dear Reena,

I would like to share an experience that I had. My brand new dishwasher stopped working during a regular cleaning cycle. So I opened the door and scooped out the water, I began the dishwasher again and it started working. The next day the same thing happened, the dishwasher stopped in the middle of the cycle, this time I called the plumber. The plumber informed me that the water pipes were frozen. He insulated the pipes and the machine has worked properly ever since. Thanks, Ruth

Handy Tip of the Week!

·        Mandarin oranges taste the best at room temperature but when left too long they become hard and tasteless. Increase the shelf life of mandarin oranges. Store them in the original green paper in the refrigerator crisper. Place a few at a time into fruit bowl. Better get them before they’re gone!

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