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Add a little spice to your kitchen

Dear Reena: I want to impress my East Indian fiancé and his family by having East Indian spices on hand in my cupboards.

Dear Reena: I want to impress my East Indian fiancé and his family by having East Indian spices on hand in my cupboards. What are traditional spices that you would find in kitchens in India?


Dear Candace: Indian food does have its own distinctive flavours and aromas. Next time you are in the grocery store pick up four new spices: Turmeric, cumin, fennel seeds and coriander. Many Indian recipes also call for cloves, ginger and cinnamon but you may already have those in your cupboards.

Extra Tidbit: The word "masala" refers to a mixture of various spice powders. Most families in India have their own masala recipe. Ask your future mother-in-law to share her recipe.

Dear Reena: I have plenty of pumpkin seeds and don't know what to do with them. Should I throw them in the garbage?


Dear Manfred: Roasted pumpkin seeds are so yummy and easy to bake.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Combine 1 1 /2 cups of thoroughly cleaned pumpkin seeds with 2 Tbsp melted butter or margarine. Sprinkle with 1 /2 tsp salt.

Bake pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet in the oven until brown, about 45 minutes. It makes a delicious snack.

Dear Reena: I read your column faithfully.

I wonder if you have received any queries about this type of odour. We have a door-enclosed towel tower in our bathroom.

There's a smell in the towels as if they have been stored damp, especially if the towels don't get used often.

I tried fabric softener sheets to no avail (on freshly laundered towels). Can you help me with this problem? Some towels don't smell as nice even though they are clean.


Dear Rose: Moist air gets trapped inside fibres when the air has nowhere else to go. While the towels are clean following laundering, they will stink due to bacterial growth. Either install a dehumidifier or move the linens to another location.

Air freshener techniques are not a long-term solution for this challenge.

Terrific tips of the week

? Wash unpeeled lemons

and freeze. Grate the peel and sprinkle onto salads.

The flavour is fresh and delicious.

? Freshen your garbage

disposal by tossing lemon peels inside and grinding them up.

? Polish leather shoes with

lemon juice. Simply apply and buff with a soft cloth.

? Add the juice of a lemon

to a cup of water for the final rinse after shampooing. It makes hair shine.

? Add a chilled elegance to

your next dinner party. Freeze grapes and add a few to each glass when you serve wine or wine spritzers.

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