Last bits of soap still have use
MANY years ago the Christmas gift catalogues with small gimmicks had a device for reusing all your soap fragments. You collected them up into the container and pressed a cake of soap from them. Where can I get such a thing? – RL, Grahamstown. Perhaps a reader will be able to suggest a source for the device you describe. Meanwhile, here is a way of turning your scraps of toilet soap into a usable tablet:
Place the pieces in a container and add a few drops of glycerine. Then steam over boiling water until the mixture is soft. The best way to do this is to put the container in a colander over the boiling water, with a lid on top. Allow to cool so that you can handle it, and press it into a ball. From this you can shape it into whatever size tablets you want. Other ideas: ý Grate 230g soap into two cups of boiling water. Simmer until dissolved. This gives a nice soapy mixture with to wash delicate garments. Store in a jar.
ý Collect the small pieces and tie into a gauze bag. This is very useful for cleaning off the "tide marks" in baths or basins.
I have a set of pottery coffee cups that have developed a waxy smell due to storage in a sideboard. I've already tried bicarb powder, vinegar and bleach with no results. Have you any idea what else I could try to get rid of the smell. – JM, Port Elizabeth. You have tried some of the things I would have recommended. Here's another idea:
Fill the sink with sufficient water to cover the cups. Add dish-washing liquid and plenty of lemon rinds and leave the cups soaking in this solution. Lemon rinds are said to eliminate the smell of fish and onions from china and cutlery. You could also leave lemon juice in the cups.
Thank you for the suggestion that we sponge my husband's dark grey pants with benzine to remove an oily mark left by bubblegum. The white mark I referred to did disappear but we still have the oily looking stain. Do we persist with the benzine treatment? – MD, Port Elizabeth. Have another try with the benzine, if you are happy it is not affecting the colour of the fabric. If the stain persists, you can try Plan B! Cover the area in liquid laundry detergent, and use an old toothbrush or something similar to work the soap into the mark. Rinse out and then launder the trousers, as per the care label instructions.
I have a recipe that refers to “Fava” beans. Is there another name for this type of bean, and where can I get it? – KW, Port Elizabeth. Fava beans are known locally as broad beans (Vicia sabia) and should be available in most vegetable shops. This is a bean with an ancient history, and originated in the East.
From a cooking point of view, broad beans are at their best when very young. They are unlikely to be available like this, so it is best to grow your own.
Broad beans will grow in all types of soil, which should be well composted a month before planting. Plant in early spring in well dug, finely raked soil. Don't sow in very cold or damp conditions. Sow in staggered rows by CLAW PROBLEM: A scratching post will avoid catastrophes at home
making holes with a small stick and dropping the seeds in snuggly.
We have acquired a cat, which we love, but it is starting to scratch things, and the upholstery in the
lounge is already a target. How can we discourage this scratching? – JK, East London. Create a scratching post. A piece of wood covered with a remnant of carpet should suffice.