Freshness the secret to great cabbage rolls
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.
When making cabbage rolls, your best bet is to use fresh cabbage.