Fresh­ness the se­cret to great cab­bage rolls

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

QUES­TION: I have blanched cab­bage leaves that have been frozen; and now want to make cab­bage rolls with them. Can I make cab­bage rolls with­out cook­ing them first and re­freeze them to cook at a later date? Emily, Win­nipeg AN­SWER: There is a risk that thawed cab­bage leaves will be a lit­tle soggy. Frozen cab­bage leaves are gen­er­ally best used for stir-fry dishes and soups. When making cab­bage rolls your best bet is to use fresh pro­duce. When freez­ing cab­bage rolls, it is wise to pre­cook them; and then cool them slowly as not to dam­age the walls of the leaves. Af­ter preparing cab­bage rolls, cool them on a pa­per towel (seam down) in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Chill un­cov­ered, overnight. In­di­vid­u­ally wrap each cab­bage roll in plas­tic and place them in a big seal­able bag and freeze. To de­frost, re­move rolls from freezer, un­wrap and leave in fridge overnight on pa­per tow­els. Bake as nor­mal. QUES­TION: Can you pro­vide me with an in­ex­pen­sive non-toxic toi­let­bowl cleaner? I am look­ing for some­thing that I can use ev­ery day, with­out strip­ping the paint. I am also won­der­ing if the toi­let tank should ever be cleaned? If so, how of­ten do you rec­om­mend? Mau­reen, Ile Des Chenes AN­SWER: Here is a non-toxic cleaner that will not strip the paint. Sprin­kle ½ cup of bak­ing soda into the toi­let. Fol­low with one cup white vine­gar. As it fizzes, scrub the bowl with your toi­let-brush. It is rec­om­mended that home­own­ers clean their toi­let tank twice per year. Fill the tank with white vine­gar un­til one inch be­low the rim. Let sit for one hour. Flush the toi­let twice. Turn off the wa­ter sup­ply to the toi­let tank. Flush the toi­let again to empty the tank. Ap­ply your favourite all-pur­pose cleaner and while wear­ing gloves, scrub the in­side of the tank. Turn the wa­ter on. Flush the toi­let one more time. QUES­TION: Ev­ery few months our bath­room sink be­comes clogged. Do you know of any al­ter­na­tives to drain clean­ers? Doug, Win­nipeg AN­SWER: Be­fore reach­ing for drain clean­ers, use the toi­let plunger to force out sink clogs. Put the plunger over the sink hole; push the plunger back and forth. An­other op­tion is to pur­chase a plumber’s snake (about $10). Re­move the sink plug. Feed the snake into the drain and use ac­cord­ing to di­rec­tions. EX­TRA TIP: Keep hair from clog­ging up drains by in­sert­ing a hair catcher. This lit­tle gad­get is in­ex­pen­sive and easy to pop into drains. in­side is sil­ver and makes a per­fect foil bag for a small gift. Close with rib­bon. I have se­vere al­ler­gies to Christ­mas trees, how­ever, I love the pine smell. Ev­ery year my fa­ther fills the house with real Christ­mas tree fra­grance by pour­ing a few drops of pine es­sen­tial oils onto the air fil­ter from the fur­nace. When heat blows through the vents, the house smells like Christ­mas. I use snow to clean win­dow screens, win­dow blinds, wo­ven floor mats and items with com­plex sur­faces. This works well when it is well be­low freez­ing, and snow is clean, dry and loose. Leave the ob­ject out­side long enough so that it is com­pletely chilled. Move it around in/on the snow, or use a cold broom to brush snow over it. The snow picks up even the very finest dust, cob­webs and dirt then shakes off eas­ily car­ry­ing all the grit. An ad­van­tage to our cold, dry win­ters.

DE­BRA BRASH / TIMES COLONIST

When making cab­bage rolls, your best bet is to use fresh cab­bage.

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