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Substitute and Solve - Make your own tasty, cheap microwave popcorn

Dear Reena,

I was a guest at a ladies workshop that you spoke at last month; you were demonstrating how to make your own microwave popcorn. Can you please tell me the quantities again? Thanks, Melissa

Dear Melissa,

Just like store bought popcorn, not every kernel will pop but this method is cheap, easy and best of all tasty. Into a brown paper bag mix; half cup un-popped popcorn and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. Add a sprinkle of salt. Fold over two or three times to seal. Microwave two and a half to three minutes or until pops slowdown. Carefully open bag and eat. Butter may be added as desired.

Extra Popcorn Treat: In a stainless steel pot, combine three quarter cups cornstarch, one quarter cup butter or margarine, 2 tsp. water, half cup icing sugar and one cup marshmallows. Stir and heat until marshmallows melt. Pour contents over 20 cups popped popcorn and form into popcorn balls. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.

Extra Tip: Grease or wet hands before forming balls to reduce stickiness.

Hi Reena,

How can I get black scuff marks off of painted ceramic without taking the paint off? Also, I have a large area of melted red wax crayon in the back seat of my car. It is not possible to scrape any of it off as it has soaked into the fabric. Thank-you in advance, Shelly

Dear Shelly,

To remove scuff marks on ceramic pieces, rub with an art eraser and wipe with a damp cloth.

To remove wax on upholstery, heat the wax using a hair dryer and scrape as much of the wax as possible. Spray WD-40 onto the area, leave for 10 minutes and wipe. Scrub the area with Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo and water. Rinse with water and let air dry (test all products on an inconspicuous area first).

Dear Reena,

How can I remove chewing gum that has been ground into our carpet? I looked on your website but couldn’t find the answer. Thanks, Jordanna

Dear Jordanna,

Spread smooth peanut butter over the gum; work it around all of the mess. The gum will become oily and easy to remove. After it is gone, clean the carpet with dish soap and water.

Dear Reena,

How can I tell if the jug I use for vinegar is lead crystal? It is beautiful, has a glass stopper and I have been using it for vinegar for almost a year now but realized that maybe I shouldn't be, after reading your column in the newspaper. Thank you, Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Lead crystal was discovered in 1674 when an established glassmaker changed his manufacturing formula, by substituting lead oxide for calcium. Studies show that lead crystal, can leach lead into objects overtime, which can cause lead poisoning.

The easiest indication as to whether or not your decanter is lead or crystal is to examine the weight. Lead weighs quite a bit more than glass. Another indication is the color that shines from the jug. Light diffracts through crystals but not through ordinary glass. In other words, you will notice that lead projects a brilliant spectrum of colors compared with glass.

Big Smile Tips:

Rub cut strawberries on your teeth to whiten them. Leave for 5 mins. and rinse with water.

While baking soda will taste disgusting at first, if you rub it on your teeth and brush with your wet toothbrush daily, you will soon notice that it does a great job at whitening teeth.

Before composting your orange peel, rub the white part on your teeth to lighten stains and brighten your smile.

HUMOUROUS Tips:

Don’t dust any cleaning surface higher than your tallest friend.

Staying focused while cleaning is important. Set a timer for five minutes and start cleaning, when the times goes off stop cleaning and eat a huge snack to reward yourself.

Share the work of cleaning your house by forming a Cleaning Club with people in the neighborhood. Nominate yourself President and supervise while all members clean your house.

Company pops over and the house is a mess, inform guests that you are in the process of reorganizing and needed to scatter stuff in every room to figure out the best place for each item.

Used facial tissue can be saved as extra stuffing for pillows.

Attach clothes to the bottom of your indoor slippers to polish your floors as you walk.

READER FEEDBACK:

Dear Reena,

With regards to your tip about cleaning pots, I want to tell you that a handful of rhubarb (available in the frozen food section in the winter) does a great job of cleaning a blackened pot (voice of experience). P.S. When preparing rhubarb, if you bake it instead of boiling it, the rhubarb won’t go mushy.

Mrs. R.

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 February 7, 2013

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Dear Reena,

I was a guest at a ladies workshop that you spoke at last month; you were demonstrating how to make your own microwave popcorn. Can you please tell me the quantities again? Thanks, Melissa

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Dear Reena,

I was a guest at a ladies workshop that you spoke at last month; you were demonstrating how to make your own microwave popcorn. Can you please tell me the quantities again? Thanks, Melissa

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