Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Tip for Freezing Cheese

By Reena Nerbas

Discoloured Leather Furniture

Dear Reena,

We have two red leather chairs; the one I sit on has a whitish or a discoloration on the area where my head rests. I did try leather cleaner but it started to take the red off and left a rough spot on top of the discolored area. I phoned the store where we bought it (at the time it was only a year old) and they said it was probably the chemicals I put in my hair. I will admit I get highlights done, but we have had other leather chairs and have never had this problem. Anyway it has gone on for 4 years now and I wonder if you or any of your readers have a solution for this as I have a towel over it now because the mark is embarrassing. Thanks for any help you can give me. Elaine

Dear Elaine,

It is quite common for leather to discolor around where head and arms rest, this is a result of products that we use and body oils combined with abrasion. Discoloration is most prevalent on dark colors. Leather repair kits are available on-line or in stores, although coloring matching is very difficult and can often accent the area instead of hiding it. Leather recoloring balm is a great option for you because you don’t need an exact color match. Rub balm onto the entire surface, the leather becomes softer and all colors blend together well. Leather protective products help prevent this challenge from occurring in the future.

Crumbling Grout

Dear Reena,

The grout on my shower wall is crumbling. I pride myself in being a bit of a handyman. What steps can I take to repair this? Thanks, Ernie

Hi Ernie,

You will need to purchase new grout, make sure to choose grout that offers color matching caulk. Use a utility knife to cut out the old caulk. While wearing safety goggles, scratch out at least the top layer of old grout. Mix a small amount of new grout with water (according to the directions on the package) a paint mixing paddle does a great job. Mixing together small batches of grout as needed will give you lots of time to work. Smear grout onto the wall and smooth off excess with a sponge pad. Finish by caulking corners and tub/tile joints.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dear Reena,

I am experimenting with chocolate chip cookie recipes. Now I have heard that you absolutely love chocolate and so I thought you would be the perfect person to ask for some advice. What is the difference between white and brown sugar and butter vs. margarine in a chocolate cookie recipe? Thanks Tina

Dear Tina,

If I were stranded on an island I would definitely be happier with a bag of chocolate chips! Brown sugar gives you a softer, chewier cookie; white sugar bakes into crispier cookies. Using butter in cookies results in flatter cookies compared with cookies baked with margarine which are higher.

Feedback from Reader Who Cares

Re: Freezing Cheese

Hi Reena,

I freeze all my blocks of cheddar cheese in smaller pieces as I buy the huge store name blocks of cheese. I wrap them in paper towels before freezing to avoid moisture when thawing. My tip: Leave the block of frozen cheese to thaw naturally on your counter and the cheese stays firm and doesn’t crumble. Thawing in the fridge causes it to stay too cold and to adhere together. Sincerely; Dorothy

Handy Tips of the Week!

·        Clean plate trick; when frosting a cake, place the cake on the serving plate. Put strips of wax paper around the cake. Frost and decorate cake and then remove wax paper strips. Submitted By: Marcel

·        When the visor of your hockey helmet fogs up; spray it with Pledge furniture polish. Wipe off excess and the visor stays clear. Submitted By: Austin

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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