Ro­tate freezer items for max­i­mum fresh­ness

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

QUES­TION: I have an up­right freezer. Be­ing a se­nior, I can ac­cess all my frozen goods. How­ever, bread gets dry, frozen veg­eta­bles get freezer burnt, etc., when I place food on the shelves of the door. What is the best type of food to place on the freezer door shelf? Thank you for your help. Nancy (Winnipeg)

AN­SWER: Since many freez­ers to­day come with an auto de­frost mech­a­nism, the freezer tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­ates, draw­ing mois­ture from food. Be­gin by check­ing the seal of your freezer. A trick that I use is to open the door and po­si­tion a piece of pa­per on the seal at the top of the door. Close the door and pull the pa­per; the pa­per should not eas­ily slide out. If it does, the seal may need re­plac­ing. Se­condly, make sure the freezer is cold enough. Freezer burn is caused by air be­com­ing trapped be­tween the food and your pack­ag­ing. There are a few com­pa­nies who have come up with freezer bags with in­ner lin­ings that form to food and then ex­cess air is squeezed out. Or if you’re cheap like me, save old ce­real liners and store food such as bread in­side of each bag or store food in a qual­ity freezer bag and suck out ex­cess air with a straw.

While there are no set rules for how to store freezer foods, here are a few tips. Store meat prod­ucts in the bot­tom sec­tion of the freezer. That way if the freezer breaks the juices from the meats won’t con­tam­i­nate any other food. Use the door shelves to store items that are pack­aged and small enough to fit, such as juice, cook­ies and shred­ded cheese. Frozen veg­gies can be stacked and stored in the higher part of the freezer. Ro­tate and date items for max­i­mum fresh­ness.

QUES­TION: I re­ally en­joy your weekly col­umn in the Winnipeg Free Press. Re­cently I have started us­ing vine­gar in­stead of liq­uid fab­ric soft­ener. I love it. Then I heard us­ing alu­minum foil bunched up as a ball is great to use in the dryer to elim­i­nate static and to soften clothes. I have tried this method but there is still static, the clothes are not re­ally soft when they are dry and the alu­minum foil breaks into small pieces. Can you sug­gest an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­uct that I can use? Linda (Winnipeg)

AN­SWER: Re­duce static in cloth­ing by mak­ing a wool static ball. Us­ing wool yarn, wind it into a wool ball about the size of a golf ball. Put the wool ball in­side of a sock and tie a knot to close the sock. Put the sock through a hot-wa­ter cy­cle of the washer and dryer. Re­move the wool ball and wrap ad­di­tional wool around the ball un­til it is the size of a ten­nis ball. Put the ball back into the sock and add it to another wash and dry cy­cle. Re­move and now your home­made dryer ball is ready to use. Add this ball to all dryer cy­cles to re­place the foil balls that you pre­vi­ously used. Other op­tions for re­mov­ing static from fab­ric: wipe clothes with a dryer sheet; spray with vine­gar; brush clothes with a wire hanger; wipe fab­rics with hair con­di­tioner or hand lo­tion.

QUES­TION: I use vine­gar for most clean­ing around the house. Just won­der­ing if it is safe to use on the out­side of stain­less steel ap­pli­ances, like my fridge, stove and dish­washer. Mine show ev­ery lit­tle mark, smudge, fin­ger­print and I find it dif­fi­cult to keep them look­ing clean for any length of time. Your ad­vice and ex­per­tise is most ap­pre­ci­ated. Shirley (Winnipeg)

AN­SWER: Vine­gar is not only safe for stain­less steel ap­pli­ances, it is also the prod­uct many restau­rants use to make stain­less steel cutlery shine be­fore serv­ing cus­tomers. Also, many peo­ple strug­gle with white hard-wa­ter de­posits on fridge wa­ter-dis­penser trays. Vine­gar cleans it up in a snap.

QUES­TION: I have a small wooden ta­ble that I have waxed with a spray over the years and it now has a stick­i­ness to the fin­ish. Can this be fixed as I love this lit­tle ta­ble? Thanks, Gail

AN­SWER: Be­gin with the eas­i­est so­lu­tion first — clean the ta­ble with Mur­phy’s oil soap. Wash well and wipe dry. Ob­serve if stick­i­ness is gone. If stick­i­ness re­mains, the next step is to wipe the ta­ble with baby oil. Re­move ex­cess and leave to dry. If stick­i­ness re­mains, try us­ing ox­alic acid to clean ta­ble. Test on an in­con­spic­u­ous area first. What can you do with an old shoe? Do­nate to Good­will. Fill the shoes with sand and make doorstop­pers.

Cut a hole in the toe and use the shoelaces to hang them on the tree out­side for a bird­house or fill the shoe with food for a bird­feeder.

Fill them with plas­ter of paris and make bookends.

Fill with dirt and make planters. Easy 2014 valen­tine con­test: Sub­mit one sen­tence that af­fected your life, ei­ther pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively. All en­tries will be en­tered into a draw to win the com­plete best­selling book se­ries, 1, 2 and 3 House­hold So­lu­tions. Dead­line: Feb. 28, 2014. Mail­ing ad­dress: Reena Nerbas, Box 429, Blu­menort, MB R0A 0C0 Email: house­hold­so­lu­tions@mts.net

I en­joy your ques­tions and tips, keep them com­ing. Missed a col­umn? Can’t re­mem­ber a so­lu­tion? Need a mo­ti­va­tional speaker for an up­com­ing event? Check

out my web­site at Reena.ca.

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