Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Keeping Warm

By Reena Nerbas

Keeping a Trailer Home Warm

Hi Reena,

I am wondering if you have any tips on keeping a poorly insulated trailer warm throughout the winter, we are renting so we don’t want to do make any structural changes. I have heard about hanging shower curtains over the windows to try and keep the heat in. I really think a lot of the heat escapes through the walls too. Any ideas? Thanks, Sue

Dear Sue,

In order to winterize the trailer, you will likely need to spend at least a little cash. One popular method for adding warmth to a trailer is to surround it with square bales; this will help insulate the interior. Also make sure that the weather stripping on the doors and windows work and purchase inexpensive plastic window kits, these will likely be more effective than shower curtains, which are difficult to properly hold in place.

Tobacco Tar Residue

Hello Reena,

I have a tricky, sticky situation and as I read your column regularly, I thought you might be able to help. I had a tenant in my suite for the past year; he has now left for greener pastures. My problem is that he left the sink in such a state, that I had to replace it. It was completely coated in tar as are the pipes below. I have replaced the sink but the pipes still reek of tar and I cannot have anyone back in the suite until I get rid of the smell. Have you any ideas of how I might clean the residual tar out of the pipes and get rid of the smell of tobacco? Thanking you in advance, Deborah

Dear Deborah,

Begin with this easy method of cleaning the drain: Pour 1-cup vinegar into the drain, chase with 1-cup baking soda. Plug the drain and fill the sink with hot water (do not leave water in sink if small children are in the home). Leave overnight and in the morning, drain and pour hot water down the sinkhole. If the odor remains; clean the drain with a commercial product such as Drano, use according to the directions. If you still notice an odor; turn off the water and place a pail under the U-shaped pipe under the sink. Remove the pipe from the drain. Using a baby bottle brush, thoroughly scrub with vinegar, dish soap and water. Replace the pipe, and turn the water back on.

Crispy Pizza Crust

Dear Reena,

I enjoy making homemade pizza, but I find that the crust texture after baking is soggy. Do you have any suggestions for baking a thin crispy crust pizza? Thanks a lot, Peter

Dear Peter,

Bake pizza on a pizza stone, in fact even before making the crust heat the stone in the oven 500 degrees for 10 mins. In a bowl combine: One quarter ounce active dry yeast, one quarter tsp. sugar and three quarter cup water. Make sure that the water is hot, but not so hot that you cannot touch it. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise. Leave for 5 mins. In another bowl combine: One and three quarter cup white flour, half tsp. salt and 2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Stir into yeast mixture. Knead for 2 mins. and add a little flour if dough is sticky (about 1 tbsp.). Roll into a 12 inch circle. Using a fork, poke holes all over the surface of the crust. Bake crust in 500 degree oven for 4 mins. Add toppings but don’t smother the crust with excessive amounts of cheese, sauce and meat. Bake 7 mins. Enjoy!

Practical Tips of the Week!

·        The easiest way to cut a bunch of baby tomatoes in half is to sandwich them between two lids. While firmly pressing the top lid with one hand; cut the tomatoes with a sharp knife. Submitted By: Trevor

·        Remove pet hair from furniture using a window squeegee. Submitted By: Trevor

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 reena.ca.

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