Like pop­corn? Grow some

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - REENA NERBAS

QUES­TION: I have taken on a new hobby, which is grow­ing pop­corn in my gar­den! What is the best way to store pop­corn so it stays fresh? Bian­nce, Morden

AN­SWER: Pop­corn is a great year-around treat. One of the ad­van­tages of grow­ing pop­corn in your gar­den is you can sam­ple some of the many dif­fer­ent types of pop­corn. Pop­corn is also a healthy snack choice, com­pared to beef — it has about two-thirds as much pro­tein, more iron and about the same amount of cal­cium. Plus, the hull pro­vides roughage, sim­i­lar to bran flakes.

Store pop­corn in an air­tight con­tainer in a cool, dry place such as the fridge or freezer. If stored prop­erly, pop­corn can be kept al­most in­def­i­nitely.

AN­SWER: The salty soup rem­edy de­pends on the type of soup that you are cook­ing; add one or more of the fol­low­ing (whichever goes with your soup): cream, milk, wa­ter, chicken stock, beef stock, tomato juice, toma­toes, brown su­gar or pota­toes. If you choose cream or milk, don’t let the soup re­turn to a boil or the milk may cur­dle. If you use stock, make sure it is a low-salt ver­sion, or bet­ter yet, your own home­made, un­salted stock.

QUES­TION: On more than one oc­ca­sion I have made a batch of home­made soup that ended up tast­ing a lit­tle too salty. Typ­i­cally the en­tire con­tents of the pot end up be­ing thrown out. Is there any way to save salty soup? Mavis, Win­nipeg

QUES­TION: We hired my niece to paint the base­ment steps while we were away on va­ca­tion. She did a great job on the steps but left the paint­brushes out, and they dried up. Is there any way to soften the bris­tles so that the brushes can be used once again? Robert, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: Dip the paint­brushes in tur­pen­tine oil and let them stand for 15 to 20 min­utes. Rub the brushes against a clean piece of cloth to test if the paint is com­ing off (reim­merse if needed). Or bring a pan of white vine­gar to a boil on your stove and al­low your paint­brushes to sim­mer for five min­utes, in an old pot no longer used for cook­ing. Re­move from pan and wash in hot soapy wa­ter. Soak­ing paint­brushes in hair con­di­tioner, paint thin­ner or lin­seed oil are also op­tions.

QUES­TION: I change the wa­ter in my fish­bowl ev­ery week and as I pour the wa­ter down the drain I can’t help but won­der if there is a use for fish­bowl wa­ter. I read once that you can wa­ter your plants with it, is that true? Garry, Arborg

AN­SWER: Use fish­bowl wa­ter to feed your plants. It will make them grow tall and green! Just one word of ad­vice — be care­ful not to drop the fish into the plant soil when wa­ter­ing your plants (learned that the hard way).

TRIVIA: A town in Italy, Monza, has out­lawed the use of fish­bowls for keep­ing goldfish. This law went into ef­fect in 2004.

QUES­TION: I buy large jars of salsa and spaghetti sauce in or­der to save money. Af­ter a while I of­ten no­tice mould on the bot­tom of the lid. How should I store sauce jars to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing? Lacey, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: You are right; pur­chas­ing bulk foods typ­i­cally saves con­sumers money (un­less half of it is thrown away). I store large jars of sauce in the fridge up­side down. Do­ing this cre­ates a tight seal be­tween the sauce and the lid. Be sure to use sauces be­fore the ex­pi­ra­tion date. An­other op­tion is to di­vide the sauce into por­tions and store it in freez­able con­tain­ers in the freezer.

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