Like popcorn? Grow some
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.