Herbs, stains and keeping deserted pot plants alive
I am a young housewife and was interested in your item about the herb, basil.
I plan to use herbs in my cooking, but don’t know much about them.
I would appreciate some information about easy to obtain herbs that could enhance the flavour of my dishes. – Jenny, Port Elizabeth.
Good luck with your cooking! It’s not too difficult, really, and herbs will certainly add to the enjoyment of the meals.
Here are some herbs you can use in your cooking, with descriptions from a book produced by the National Council of Women in 1972:
Bay leaf: Add a leaf to marinades and stews, and to vegetable soup to give it an unusual taste. (Remove the leaf before serving!)
Chives: A member of the onion family. They are good in any food where a mild onion taste is required.
Mint: Apart from mint sauce, it can be added to the water when cooking peas or potatoes.
Parsley: Most of the taste is in the stalks. Use them in soup stocks, or finely chopped in sauces, omelettes and egg dishes.
Sage: With onions, makes the best poultry stuffing. Also try it with butter sauce for vegetables, and in gravy.
Thyme: Good in soups, stews and casseroles.
Tumeric: Also known as “borrie”, is the spice used when making yellow rice and is an ingredient in curry powder.
We are going away for a few weeks and I’m worried my pot plants will dry out. What is the best way to sustain them? – KW, East London. The plants should be fine if you water them well, and then seal the pots below the plant growth in plastic bags.
Place them in the bath on a well-soaked rubber mat, which will also reduce the plants’ water consumption.
You can supply additional water in your absence if you place the plants in a few centimetres of water in the sink, and put a bowl of water above them on the counter.
Then trail lengths of wool between the bowl and the soil in the pots.
This is said to convey water to the pots if the water in the sink is used up.
I inherited some ladies’ hankies years ago, still in their original box.
They are quite yellow with age and not really usable in their current state. Would it be safe to soak them in a bleach solution? – IJ, Jeffreys Bay.
The hankies are almost certain to be 100% cotton, so they should take bleach.
But it might be best to err on the side of caution and soak one of them in a strong deter- gent first, with a dash of bleach added. Soak for a few hours, and then rinse in clean water.
I have a small Christmas tree made from galvanised wire. It is a bit drab, and I would like to paint it this year.
Should I treat the wire with something, before painting? I fancy a gold spray paint. – FH, Port Elizabeth.
Rub the wire well with vinegar and allow to dry before spraying. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surface. I have what looks like an orange juice stain on a white woollen jersey, and am unsure of how to tackle this. I don’t suppose I should use bleach on wool? – SR, Port Elizabeth.
No, on no account should bleach be used on wool, but it is possible to use diluted 20volume hydrogen peroxide instead (available at a pharmacy).
Add 125ml of the peroxide to 2l of water and one teaspoon of either ammonia or vinegar.
Soak the garment in this for no longer than 30 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.