ways with food

Ask not what you can do with food, but what your food can (or can’t) do for you.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - T PEOPLE - By JAMES A. FUS­SELL

Ask not what you can do with food, but what your food can (or can’t) do for you.

YES, I have peanut but­ter all over my face. No, it wasn’t any fun. But let’s put that aside for a moment. Mum prob­a­bly told you that peanut but­ter sticks to the roof of your mouth. But did she also tell you it could be used to re­move stick­i­ness, like stub­born price tags or paper la­bels?

And did she tell you that ba­nana peels could shine your shoes and re­lieve the itch of bug bites, that cof­fee grounds could add soft­ness and shine to your hair, and Coke could clean your toi­let and re­move oil spots from your drive­way? No? But we will. From crushed grapes that help ex­fo­li­ate your face to burnt ba­nana leaves that can halt hiccups, food can be far more than just ... food. At least that’s what the In­ter­net tells us. And we be­lieve ev­ery­thing we read on the In­ter­net.

OK, so we were scep­ti­cal. But in the name of wav­ing good­bye to my last shred of dig­nity, we thought we’d try out a few of the more “in­ter­est­ing” claims.

Close shave

First up: shav­ing with peanut but­ter. That’s right. I ac­tu­ally slathered my face with Skippy. If you must know, it was the smooth va­ri­ety. I wasn’t up for the ex­tra-chunky face mas­sage that one site claimed would “ten­derise” my whiskers. What do they think I am, stupid? Wait. I’m shav­ing with peanut but­ter. Jab­bing two fin­gers into the jar, I scooped the golden goop onto my cheeks and “lathered up”.

This was just wrong. I looked like a two-year-old who had got­ten into the pantry af­ter Mummy fell asleep on the couch.

On the other hand, I smelled like a pic­nic, which just made me hun­gry. For a moment I con­sid­ered stick­ing raisins to my face and shav­ing with a sharp­ened cel­ery stalk.

But, no. I had to be “pro­fes­sional” about this, or at least as pro­fes­sional as you get with a face full of peanut but­ter. I had to get in the right frame of mind. Maybe this wasn’t a stupid idea af­ter all. Maybe it was a rev­e­la­tion. Yeah, that was it. Maybe it would change the way we all think about shav­ing – for­ever! Nope. It was a bad idea. Not only didn’t it work, I’m pretty sure I need a new ra­zor.

But it wasn’t a to­tal loss. I cleaned the rest of my face with a bagel and had break­fast.

While I was at it, I tried other non-food food sug­ges­tions from the In­ter­net, such as re­duc­ing the puffi­ness around your eyes with cu­cum­ber slices, and see­ing if I could make my hair soft and shiny with cof­fee grounds. My con­clu­sion? They don’t pay me enough! Se­ri­ously, I’ve got cof­fee grounds in my skivvies!

But, in case you’re won­der­ing, the cu­cum­ber did re­duce my eye puffi­ness, and the grounds (which you usu­ally mas­sage in dur­ing a shower) left my locks soft and smelling like Star­bucks.

OK, those worked. But could the in­sides of a ba­nana peel re­ally re­duce the itch of a mos­quito bite?

My 17-year-old daugh­ter, Al­li­son, gave that one a try. She com­plained about the slim­i­ness and walked away. But five min­utes later, she was back.

“It worked!” she said.

Sticky sub­ject

Next test: whether peanut but­ter could re­move stuck- HERE are some other in­ter­est­ing uses for food other than eat­ing it that you can try. 1. Clean shower tiles: Spray undis­tilled white vine­gar on shower tiles to clean gunk and mould out of grout lines. 2. Elim­i­nate cook­ing odours: Boil one ta­ble­spoon of white vine­gar with one cup of wa­ter. 3. Pol­ish brass: Use le­mon juice and salt to pol­ish brass and stain­less steel. Re­mem­ber to toss the used le­mon rind down the dis­posal to keep it smelling fresh. 4. Pol­ish fur­ni­ture: Mix two parts olive oil with one part le­mon juice and gen­tly rub in us­ing a cloth. 5. Un-squeak door hinges: Don’t have any of the com­mer­cial prod­ucts handy? Just take an eye­drop-

Writer Jim Fus­sell ex­per­i­ment­ing with al­ter­na­tive uses for food read about on the In­ter­net: shav­ing with peanut but­ter, cu­cum­ber slices for swollen eyes, and grounds for softer, shinier hair. on la­bels and price tags as well as a com­mer­cial

To find out I bought two ce­ramic can­dles with la­bels stuck firmly to the bot­tom. First up: the com­mer­cial sol­vent (cost: US$4).

to re­move the la­bel and left some glue residue af­ter sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions.

Then I tried the peanut but­ter. I wouldn’t have be­lieved it if I hadn’t seen it my­self. The peanut

and dis­solved the la­bel like magic. It even on the gunk that the name-brand sol­vent left be­hind. Cool! What else could I do? I checked the In­ter­net. Let’s see, peanut but­ter, peels ... ah, here’s some­thing. Vodka!

What can you do with vodka be­sides make a Oh ye of lit­tle faith.

And I quote, from www.nu­tri­tion­won­der­land. “Vodka, while more of­ten used to kill brain cells, be used to kill odour-caus­ing bac­te­ria while leav­ing scent­less fin­ish.”

(But here’s my favourite part.) “Try spritz­ing your smelly sneak­ers, or on clothes you want to more than once to keep them smelling fresh day day.”

Se­ri­ously? I can just imag­ine that con­ver­sa­tion my wife. “Sweetie, did you wash my black shirt?” “No. Try spray­ing it with the booze I keep in ham­per.”

Don’t try this at home:

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