Reena Nerbas: Cooking up confusion between stock and broth

Dear Reena: I’ve been reading new recipes and have come across some words that I can’t wrap my brain around. What is the difference between broth, bouillon and stock?


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Good question, Harold! Broth and bouillon are words that can be used interchangeably. Traditional stock is made with vegetables, bones and liquid, with no seasonings. Stock is not a finished product and is typically added to soup and/or sauces. Broth is the liquid in which the bones have been cooked and it is typically seasoned. Broth can be served “as is,” i.e. consommé soup. Vegetable broth is the same as vegetable stock.

Dear Reena: Is it possible to renew the look of my cutlery? Either the dishwasher or our water, which has a high rust content, or both, have left it looking pretty bad.


In commercial kitchens, it is very common to toss cutlery into a sink of plain old white vinegar, let it soak and polish it with a cloth. Or cut a potato in half and sprinkle it with powdered laundry detergent, rub onto spots, rinse and dry. Doing this gets rid of water and rust spots. Bar Keepers Friend is another effective option. To make your own silver or stainless-steel cleaner, place crumpled aluminum foil in a pan or plastic bucket. Dissolve 1Ú4 cup washing soda in enough hot water to cover the cutlery. Place cutlery on foil and let stand for five minutes, until the stains are gone. Rinse and polish dry.

Reader tips

I was invited to attend a destination wedding last year. I packed my suit and got on the plane. When I arrived at the groom’s house, in Mexico, I unpacked my suit and noticed that it was completely wrinkled. My friend (the groom) turned the suit inside out and placed it into a garment bag and into the washing machine (without me knowing). He used the cold delicate cycle and, when the suit was washed, he turned it right side-out again and hung it to dry. The suit was wrinkle-free and perfect.


Every winter I struggled with cracks around my fingernails, boy that smarts. Then my mom told me about melt paraffin wax. Here is the technique I used: Melt the wax and when you can handle the temperature, dip your hands into it three or four times. Let the wax dry and, after 15 minutes. peel the wax off your skin. No more cracked, sore hands.


For people with small children, save the orange, plastic container that is included with Kinder Surprise Eggs. When your child has enjoyed a sucker for a while, poke the leftover sucker into the hole of the plastic container and close the lid. The lollipop can be eaten later.


I used to bake breaded chicken, and, although it tasted good, the bottom was always wet. It took me a long time to realize that if I place a greased wire rack under the chicken (on the rack), the chicken becomes crispy on both the top and bottom.


I run a bakery and have a tip to share. Nowadays, there is a huge selection of beautiful cupcake liners. The problem is that, when you bake cupcakes, the bottom of the liner becomes wet and greasy, which ruins the professional look of your baking. To avoid this, drop 1 tsp raw rice into the bottom of each muffin cup on the baking sheet (not in the liner, but underneath). Put cupcake liners over the top of the rice before adding the batter. The rice absorbs liquids, which keeps the liner dry.


Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first. Ask a question or share a tip at

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