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Substitute and Solve - Fancy butter shapes jazz up wedding feast

Dear Reena,

My daughter is getting married and I am in charge of preparing the food for the late night meal. Can you please tell me how to make fancy butter shapes? I imagine this is a difficult process. Thanks, Merle

Dear Merle,

Not only are fancy shapes easy to make, but they are also easy to flavour. Purchase little, fun-shaped silicone moulds and fill each mould with softened butter. Place moulds in the fridge for at least 40 minutes. Remove butter from fridge 45 minutes before serving. Turn butter onto wax paper to soften. Serve plain butter or flavour with a variety of crushed dry herbs such as basil, garlic, oregano and salt, or sweeten butter by adding honey.

Dear Reena,

My mother-in-law actually purchases grease for cake pans. I have always buttered and floured all of my pans. Is there a way to make my own pan grease to have on hand? Alyssa

Dear Alyssa,

Combine one cup shortening with one-quarter cup flour and one-quarter cup cooking oil. Store in fridge and apply to pans as needed.

Dear Reena,

Have you ever heard of this problem? Whenever I bake raspberry cupcakes, the berries drop to the bottom of the cups and won’t distribute evenly in the cupcake? Any ideas of how to avoid this? Gerry

Dear Gerry,

Roll the berries in flour before adding them to cupcake batter. This trick works with nuts as well.

Dear Reena,

Can you tell me an easy trick for cleaning gutters, I haven’t cleaned them in a few years and my wife is bugging me. Thanks, Darren

Dear Darren,

Clogged rain gutters prevent water from dripping away from the foundation of your home, so they should be cleaned twice each year. When soil around homes becomes wet, serious challenges can result. The easiest tools for cleaning rains gutters are scaffolding and work gloves; if scaffolding is unavailable, a sturdy ladder will do the trick. After leaves and debris are scooped away using work gloves, slimy brown goo remains. While this may not obstruct water, it will smell. Wash gutters using a garden hose or pressure washer.

Dear Reena,

Why do some people add milk to meatloaf? I saw this on a cooking show and thought it was strange. Thanks, Cody

Dear Cody,

Often when people add milk to meatloaf, they use a recipe that also calls for bread. The bread soaks up the milk creating fluffy bread and a moist meatloaf texture.

Dear Reena,

How can I remove tomato skins in a hurry? George

Dear George,

To remove tomato skins in a hurry, put tomatoes in boiling water for 45 seconds. Plunge tomatoes into ice water and the peel will slide right off.

Dear Reena,

I am tired of strong smelling detergents. Can you please give me a recipe for homemade laundry detergent using products that are easy to locate? Shauna

Certainly Shauna,

Grate three bars of Ivory soap (Fels Naptha is an alternative). Combine four pounds each of borax, washing soda and baking soda. Add grated soap and mix well. Pour two tablespoons detergent directly into wash drum with every load. Caution: Check manufacturer’s warnings before using in your machine.

Hangnail help:

The best way to avoid hangnails is by keeping your hands well moisturized. The splits usually occur when the skin around the nails dries up and dies.

Soak your hands in a warm solution of 50/50 baby, mineral or cooking oil and water solution. It will be easier and much less painful when clipping hangnails.

Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Check out my website Reena.ca.

Reena Nerbas is a rural Manitoba home economist is a lab coat - and she’s not afraid to use it. Keep your questions coming:

» householdsolutions@mts.net

(204) 320-2757

reena.ca

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 15, 2014

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Dear Reena,

My daughter is getting married and I am in charge of preparing the food for the late night meal. Can you please tell me how to make fancy butter shapes? I imagine this is a difficult process. Thanks, Merle

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Dear Reena,

My daughter is getting married and I am in charge of preparing the food for the late night meal. Can you please tell me how to make fancy butter shapes? I imagine this is a difficult process. Thanks, Merle

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