Is a potato looking at you? Cut the eye off
QUESTION: Any tips on how to keep my potatoes fresh for a long period of time? I am tired of throwing out potatoes. — Borcan, Winnipeg
ANSWER: When purchasing potatoes choose ones that are firm and free of sprouts, green skin or spots. Green potatoes may contain a substance called solanine, which is bitter and can be toxic. If potatoes have turned green, trim off the green areas before using. To prevent potatoes from greening, they should be stored in a dark, cool place that is well-ventilated. Potato sprouts are poisonous; cut off the sprouts and they are fine for eating. Store an apple with potatoes to prevent sprouting.
When a potato grows an ‘eye’ the potato starts to shrivel. This means the potato shrinks and the outside skin gets old ... just like people. Next time you see a potato growing an ‘eye’ and looking up at you, take a knife and cut the eye off. The potato will not shrivel up as quickly. Avoid storing potatoes with onions because, when close together, they produce gases that spoil both.
No need to throw potatoes or potato peels into the garbage, they are easy to compost. In the winter collect leftover fruits and veggies into an empty ice cream bucket and leave outside to freeze. When spring arrives; dump the contents of your buckets into your compost pile. get what you pay for, and ballpoint ink pens are no exception. One hint is to secure lids on pens when not in use. A homeschooling teacher once told me that she always keeps ballpoint ink pens in sealable bags when not in use to keep them working longer.
QUESTION: I am a seamstress and often use velvet ribbon for finishing edges of dresses and blouses. Often the ribbon frays, unravels and curls up, leaving the ends looking unfinished. Your input would be much appreciated. — Mavis, Winnipeg
ANSWER: Good for you for keeping up the art of handmade apparel. When you prepare velvet ribbon for cutting, run a bead of clear nail polish across the ends. After it dries, cut through the coated area. Your edges will no longer fray, ravel or curl. Reader feedback Hi Reena, Just want to let you know that last week I noticed ballpoint ink on my leather couch. I used non-bleach, nongel toothpaste on the area and the ink came out instantly. Tips of the week
When using paint trays for household painting jobs, try slipping an empty (and very clean) plastic bag over the paint tray before pouring paint. Instead of having a paint tray to clean up, it’s a simple job to remove the plastic bag and discard.
Buff out scuffs on suede using a cardboard emery board or a piece of light sandpaper. Proceed gently making sure not to damage suede. Or place the affected area of the suede over steam from a kettle of boiling water to raise the nap and then carefully brush out with a suede brush.
Before filling a garden or household plant container with potting soil, first lay a coffee filter on the bottom inside of the pot and then add the soil on top. This will keep the soil from draining out the pot’s drainage holes when you water the plant.
If a recipe calls for cooking spray I use parchment paper instead. I just double the paper so the sides are high and the food does not burn or stick to the paper. As well, I reheat food in a pie plate in the oven with parchment paper — tastes freshly made.
Submitted by Val, Blumenort, Man.
I enjoy your questions and tips. Keep them coming.