Georgina Bitcon gives clever tips on keeping flower arrangements fresh, getting squeaks out of floorboards, drying woollens and more.
THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY
QDo baking soda and baking powder last indefinitely? How can I tell if mine are still okay to use? A. Russell No, they don’t, although baking soda lasts much longer than baking powder. Add lemon juice or vinegar to a little of your baking soda: if it fizzes strongly, it’s good. Add boiling water to baking powder: if it doesn’t bubble up immediately, get a new packet.
A great yarn
If you find it difficult to join without twisting when casting on with circular needles, cast on and knit the first few rows on straight needles, then transfer to circulars. Use the yarn tail to sew up the tiny seam at the start.
Need to poach eggs for a crowd? Do it in the oven: preheat oven to 180°C, add 1 tablespoon water to each cup of a muffin tin, crack an egg into each cup and bake for 11–13 minutes, when the whites should be set and the yolks runny.
Oh sew easy
Hang a cork bulletin board on the wall behind your sewing machine – it’s the ideal place to pin small cut-out pieces and semi-constructed quilt blocks, plus instructions and pattern envelopes.
Prevent mould from forming inside kids’ bath toys by plugging the hole with hot glue.
To keep cut flowers fresher for longer, put them in a solution of 1 litre warm (not hot) water, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon bleach. Re-cut stems and change the solution every other day.
Don’t squeak of it
Fix perennial squeaks in wooden floorboards by dusting baby powder liberally over the floor, brushing it into the cracks, then sweeping up the excess.
If your kids dispense too much liquid soap from a pump dispenser, wrap a rubber band around the shaft below the nozzle, to limit how far it can be depressed with each push.
Magnetic herb containers with transparent lids (from homewares stores) are the perfect size to store charger cords, ear buds and so on, to keep them handy.
The caddy’s cactus
Line a hanging metal shower caddy with felt, weed cloth or coconut fibre and use it to grow a small vertical display of succulents.
Use your noodle
To prevent line marks when drying a jumper, cut and slit a pool noodle and slip it over the bar of your drying rack, drape the jumper over noodle.
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