Dear Reena: The other day I cooked wild rice and was embarrassed when I ran out before everyone at the table had a helping. What is the best measuring tool for wild rice? In other words, how much rice will one cup make?
Dear Mata: Wild rice is a great choice for cooking because it is loaded with vitamins B and E, calcium and iron. It has about twice the amount of fibre and protein as brown rice.
One cup of uncooked wild rice makes about three cups of cooked rice. Figure on about a quarter cup of uncooked rice per person. So to serve four, use a cup of rice, three cups of water and maybe a teaspoon of salt.
After the water comes to a boil, drop in the rice and turn heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes. Not all the water will be absorbed. Let the rice sit for five minutes, drain and serve.
Did you know wild rice is actually not rice? It is the seed of an aquatic grass found in North America.
Dear Reena: We have just moved into an apartment. They put down new carpet. The smell of the new carpet is very strong. We have had patio doors and windows open and we still have the smell. Please send me any suggestions.
Dear Carol: The mass number of chemicals often used in carpet manufacturing can leave your home with an unpleasant odour and you with buyer’s remorse. But the good news is, this odor will fade with time and the more you vacuum, the quicker the smell disappears.
Reach for your baking soda and sprinkle a very generous amount over the entire carpet. Leave for an hour and vacuum. Or steam clean your new carpet with vinegar and water. This challenge will soon become a distant memory.
Dear Reena: I have a build-up on the outside of the metal trim around my shower stall. I think it is mineral deposits from water. It is along the bottom where the caulking is. What will take it off? I would like to remove the old caulking and clean it up to get ready to re-caulk.
Dear Murray: Make a paste by combining; baking soda together with vinegar. Apply the paste and scrub. Next into a spray bottle; combine 1 part tea tree oil to 4 parts water and spray the mildew, scrub gently.
If the mildew remains, you will need to acquire a special tool to remove the caulk (available at hardware stores). After the caulk is gone, clean the area once again. Dry and re-caulk.
Wipe the area once a week with the baking soda and vinegar paste to avoid ever having to deal with mould growth around your shower.
Also drying your shower is another easy tip for deterring mildew growth because mildew or mould needs moisture to grow.
Dear Reena: Can you tell me how to remove watermarks from wood?
Dear Rita: The first and easiest solution is to apply mayonnaise or non-gel, non-bleach toothpaste to the wood. Leave for 30 minutes and wipe.
If the stain remains, cover the mark with a white cloth. Using the steam setting on your fabric iron, wave the iron above the cloth, making sure that you do not set the iron on one area. With a little patience, the mark will disappear.
Dear Reena: I read in one of your previous columns about a lady who was having trouble cleaning her grater after grating lemon and orange peel. I keep a toothbrush in the kitchen for the express purpose of cleaning my grater. It is easy and efficient and seems to get all the little holes clean.
When pets are free fed and their canned foods are left out for periods of time, it can dry out a bit and become less appealing. Try placing an ice cube in the dish. As it melts, it’ll keep the food moisturized.
If you’re wanting to entice a pet that is not eating enough, you can use a tuna cube: Freeze some of the liquid from a can of tuna in an ice cube tray. But be careful as they may get addicted and “tuna water” too frequently will be unhealthy.
Here’s how to discourage dogs from digging in your garden. Bury a balloon underneath the soil where dogs like to dig. When the dog’s claw catches the balloon, it will pop and surprise the dog. I did this once and my dog never dug again.
My mother, now long gone, who was a professional seamstress with the London stage always cleaned the bottom of her iron by putting a small bit of dried soap (any kind) in a brown paper bag and ironing the bag with the iron turned on until the stain or whatever disappeared. It has worked for me, all my life.
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