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Household Hints

   Yottyhere  How true.
   6 hours ago .

   Bettijo  How To Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds

   April 14 at 10:29 EST .

   1 person like this.

   Rakasha  Does anyone here make their own liquid dish soap? The recipes I have found on line use various ingredients to 'dress up' liquid castile soap.

Since my reason for making my own is that I have been paying higher prices for more watered down goods over the past two years, I don't have a problem with using another ready made soap - as long as it works. But the castile mixes leave a streaky film on my dishes. I think I am rinsing them thoroughly, but maybe not.

Anyhow, I would appreciate hearing about other peoples' adventures - especially if you've found something you like!
   April 13 at 19:14 EST .

   Wrightwinger  Soap tends to leave residue... Detergent is a more recent product and tends to rinse cleaner. That said, I wonder if some of the fragrance free low irritation laundry detergent in the huge dispensers might work? That would last for a really long time as a dish detergent, and serve double duty... Might try a bit and see if it suits you.
April 13 at 22:37 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Rakasha  Now you've got me thinking, since I make my own laundry detergent (got tired of not having clean clothes and my homemade works great )I might try using it.

Most of the 'experts' offering information on the internet use the terms 'detergent' and 'soap' interchangeably and I didn't realize there was a difference. Thank you. It's nice having a chemistry teacher 'in the house'.
April 16 at 06:28 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Wrightwinger  A lot of detergents have some additives that prevent a lot of sudsing to keep rivers and lakes from looking frothy from the excess in the gray water leftovers. Homemade detergent might be better in that regard, but it don't know your recipe.
April 16 at 20:14 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Hollyhock  Wrightwinger and Rakasha, would adding a tad of shampoo to the mix work? Shampoo is supposed to rinse clean. I have used a capfull of cheap shampoo in a pail of warm water to wash outside windows. By using a very soft long handled window brush and rinsing with the garden hose no squeegee is needed. I only do this when sun is not shining on the windows.
Friday at 09:03 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Wrightwinger  Shampoo is a detergent. But the problem will be that most of these will be hard on the skin. The detergent isn't particular which oil/grease gets removed. It will remove it from hands also.
21 hours ago .

  2 people like this.

   Attercliffe  As if you hadn't noticed--saving money is more necessary than ever these days. Lucky for us, a Daily Mail reporter has tested some "dry clean only" clothes. You'll like the conclusions here--unless you have a wardrobe full of cashmere and viscose. (I had to look up viscose: "Viscose rayon is a fiber made from regenerated wood cellulose." O-kay. ) I actually quit buying just about anything with a dry clean label years ago.

Oh--if it doesn't say no-iron, I don't buy it! I HATE ironing.

"Is this proof dry cleaning is a waste of money? Ignore the label. We show you CAN wash 'dry clean only' clothes at home - and save a fortune"

Read more: target=_Blank>

I'll share one of my new savings on laundry. My washer seems to have enough settings for everything you might have in your house, except leather. I used to use "jeans," "normal," "casual," "delicate," "ultra-handwash," etc., with great care On a whim, I began using "delicate" for all our stuff, except very delicate things like lace. It works! The cycle is much shorter than other choices and everything comes clean. If the items need a little more laundering (after I've been crawling around on the yard, for instance ), then I'll use the soak feature as well.

I use the same cycle on the dryer--"delicate." If a towel went in that dryer load accidentally, it'll come out only half dry but almost everything else is dry. Oh, and I have a line in the little utility space--it takes anything that doesn't really need to be dried (lingerie, some shirts, swim things, etc. ).

Savings--most/all are obvious;

Wear and tear on washer and dryer
Wear and tear on washable items
Wear on elastic, either in the fabric itself or to hold things up

When I hang things on the line, besides using plastic coat hangers I also use plastic pants hangers. The latter are VERY useful for some cat pillows and crate liners, those microfiber dish dryer thingies and, of course, pants and shorts.
March 20 at 11:52 EST .

   7 people like this.

   Balogreene  I had a friend who majored in, of all things, textile design, at UNC. She always told me, you never quite know why the dry clean label is on clothes. They may be worried about colors running (I had a white silk blouse, with navy blue accents, that ran in the rain and was totally ruined ). Or, they may have put incompatible fabrics onto the same item (something that needs dry-cleaning, and something that doesn't really ), or, they just don't want liability if it wrinkles or shrinks or whatever. She always told me, hand-washing, or gentle machine-washing in cold water with Woolite, would do 90% of your garments.

Of course, a fully-lined, wool suit, would probably shrink and just suck when washed. But, dresses, blouses, etc. could be washed in Woolite. Either by hand or on gentle, always in cold water, and laid out to dry. You might also have to iron with a cool iron.
March 21 at 19:08 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Carmen  Ha, if it said 'dry clean only', eventually it went in the washer! If it made it, fine. Years ago I got some great looking nutcracker place mats at Christmas time. Yes, placemats for eating on said 'dry clean only'. Well how ridiculous is that??? So I washed them. And washed them. For years. Still do.
March 30 at 16:08 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Carmen  Ha, if it said 'dry clean only', eventually it went in the washer! If it made it, fine. Years ago I got some great looking nutcracker place mats at Christmas time. Yes, placemats for eating on said 'dry clean only'. Well how ridiculous is that??? So I washed them. And washed them. For years. Still do.
March 30 at 16:09 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Bettijo  Fooducate Pro Tip: Veggies

Vegetables - Fresh, Frozen, or Canned?

Adding vegetables to your daily diet decreases your chance of disease, improves vital body functions, and helps to lose weight.

There are 3 places at the grocery store where you will find vegetables - the produce section, the freezer, and the canned foods aisle. While fresh vegetables are the prom queen of the grocery store, let's not forget the other two options.

Let's talk about frozen vegetables first. Flash freezing is a technique by which a food is exposed to extremely cold temperatures and freezes almost instantly. Vegetables retain almost all their original nutritional values. Flash freezing has no effect on the calorie count, protein and carb levels, mineral levels, or amount of fiber. There is a very slight loss of vitamins, usually vitamin C, but it is negligible.

Almost all frozen vegetables sold these days are flash frozen, which is great from a nutrition perspective. Unfortunately, not all frozen vegetables retain their texture through the process. This should not be a problem though, if they are thrown into a stew or soup.

In some cases, a frozen product may be even more nutritious and tasty than a fresh one. Wintertime is a perfect example. Fresh produce is shipped from halfway around the world, after being picked prematurely to slowly ripen while on a plane and then a truck.

Alternatively, apples may be picked when ripe, months in advance, then stored in special warehouses until distributed to supermarkets in January and February. These "fresh" products are not as tasty and not as nutritious as fresh picked, not to mention that the frozen alternative is usually much cheaper.

Canned produce is another option to consider, but for many vegetables, high levels of sodium are a big issue. Salt is used both as preservative and flavor retainer. before use, it's a good idea to wash canned produce in water to help reduce the sodium levels.

Bottom Line

Frozen produce is just as nutritious as fresh.

Supermarket Tips

Buy fresh when a product is in season. You canâ??t match the flavor and the nutrients are at their peak. Otherwise, opt for frozen, a near perfect alternative. If you donâ??t have a large freezer, a few cans of carrots peas and corn in the pantry canâ??t hurt.

When buying frozen look for one ingredient only â?? the veggie.
March 17 at 13:22 EST .

   7 people like this.

   Balogreene  I love spinach salad, and frozen spinach, creamed or in something like lasagna, but, to just eat, hot, I want good old canned. It's kind of a comfort thing.
March 18 at 17:03 EST .

  5 people like this.

   Attercliffe  Freeze-dried stuff can be very tasty and nutritious too. You could check
for further info.

If you do check, you'll find a mention of Emergency Essentials ( ). Everything we've tasted from that source has been good (especially the chowder ), although Mr A didn't like the raspberries. (Maybe because I used them straight from the can in his cereal, although he really liked the strawberries that way. ) You can buy freeze-dried just-about-anything these days, including cheese, salmon, pork chops, spinach to cream for Balogreene (or just sprinkle in soup or over salad ), and many other items you would never have imagined could be FD.

Surveys have shown Mountain House to be rated the best. I suspect the Emergency Essentials house brand is MH.
March 20 at 12:01 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Carmen  Actually, I feel that grocery store frozen veggies are probably more nutritious than fresh produce unless you picked it yourself and cooked and ate it within the day. The frozen veggies you buy in the store are flash-frozen within hours of being picked. Even produce bought at your local farmer's market probably doesn't have the equivalent nutrients.

However, for those of us who grow our own stuff -- we can compete!
March 30 at 16:12 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Gerty  Got a stack of k-cups and your machine is not working?
Your k-machine is working, but not fast enough for your morning coffee addiction?
You don't own a k-machine but someone gave you a bunch of k-cups?
You're thinking of buy a k-machine but don't know if you will like the coffee, etc.?

No problem!

Open a k-cup; fill your mug with near boiling water (hot water dispenser by your sink ); pour contents of k-cup into mug; stir; enjoy!

The contents of k-cups are super soluble. They liquefy immediately. No need for the expensive machine.
March 3 at 22:24 EST .

   10 people like this.

   Gerty  That would be "...buying a k-..."
March 3 at 22:28 EST .

  11 people like this.

   Balogreene  My company switched to all Keurig's recently, away from the Bundt coffee maker. But, we have to supply our own K-cups. My initial reaction was how expensive. I have a huge Pampered Chef Batter Bowl, I put water in, walk over to the kitchen, nuke water for 10 minutes, go back to the kitchen (it's not a short walk ) to get the hot water. Pour it into my French Bistro Coffee pot, go back to the kitchen to dump the excess, back to my desk to wait for the coffee to brew. Four cups later, back to the kitchen to dump the grounds and clean out the pot. It's a waste of time. So, I bought a bunch of k-cups.

Now, I know what to do if I lose my job. But, I hate those things, they are expensive, and totally non-green.
March 8 at 00:15 EST .

  12 people like this.

   Gerty  Convenience is the name of the game here!

Two tips, Miss Balogreene: go on line for the k-cups or look for sales in the large food stores---never pay more than 50 cents a cup. There are environmentally friendly cups available at BJ's and Costco for less than 50 cents a cup---but you have to buy a gazillion of them!
March 9 at 08:42 EST .

  11 people like this.

   Balogreene  So far, I've been getting them online. Sam's Club has medium roast, which makes sense, just a nice middle-of-the-road coffee. I like Dark Roast, so I go online. But, face it, $.50 a cup is expensive. Even at Trader Joe's, 12 oz o beans is $6.99, you know how many cups you can get out of that? But, like I said, sometimes you go with what is easier, and less time-consuming.

To be honest, I got a Tassimo from my mom, and use that 5-days a week, drink a couple of cups before I go to work. But, weekends, I use my Mr. Coffee, grind my own beans from, make a full pot, put it in my carafe, and drink all day.
March 10 at 20:49 EST .

  10 people like this.

   Straitpath  I pat my uncooked meatloaf into a loaf and put it on an oven broiler pan. The fat drips through the slots into the bottom pan. I put water in the broiler pan so I don't have to scrub the burned fat off. The water's steam seems to tenderize the loaf.
February 18 at 21:35 EST .

   14 people like this.

 View all 13 comments.

   Balogreene  That is a good hint. I think even if we do meatloaf in the crockpot, a rack and pan would help with the grease.
February 21 at 23:07 EST .

  15 people like this.

   BirdsNest  We had meatloaf tonight for dinner. I made it very plain, not a lot of stuff in it and it was delicious. It was a last minute decision to make it and I am glad I did.
February 22 at 00:06 EST .

  13 people like this.

   Gerty  I have stated several times here on the Connection--Never made a meat loaf I liked and would make again! I once ordered meat loaf in a restaurant--just to see what it would taste like. It was wonderful! I like meat loaf so why can't I make one to enjoy here at home?
Maybe I'll just stick to making a giant Italian meat ball and calling it 'meat loaf'.
February 26 at 09:09 EST .

  16 people like this.

   Balogreene  Gerty, I basically make the recipe on the Quaker Oats box. I use French or Russian Salad dressing instead of catsup. I don't like the taste of meat, but do like Meat Loaf, go figure. My sister also makes a good one, rolls the meat out (just plain meat, a little garlic powder and dried minced onions ) then lays diced tomatoes, canned mushroom caps, cheddar cheese, and cooked bacon on it, and rolls it up. She puts it in a loaf pan, puts catsup or something on top, and cooks it at 350 for an hour. It's almost like a cheeseburger. Mashed potatoes, and canned spinach make a comfort food dinner I love.
February 26 at 22:17 EST .

  11 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Gerty, maybe you should try meatloaf mix-veal,beef,pork for the base. The veal gives it a better flavor. I just use 1/2 onion, chopped, 1/2 c quick oats, 2 eggs, garlic powder, S&P, put on food service gloves and squish it all til it's mixed. It is tasty. No catsup-Hagar hates it.
February 26 at 23:13 EST .

  15 people like this.

   Charactercounts  BirdsNest, the recipe you use is very similar to the one my grandmother used to make, except she did add ketchup, and she made a little slice along the top and put a little dab of Gulden's mustard in it.

I use a similar recipe, but I usually use breadcrumbs (I will try oatmeal! ). I also make two slightly smaller loaves and cook both at the same time. One for dinner that night, the other for leftovers for sandwiches, or to have another night.
February 27 at 03:07 EST .

  14 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Charactercounts, this recipe is almost exactly like what my mother made. She used plain hamburger, way back last century when burger actually had flavor,and she covered the entire thing in catsup. Hagar has never liked meatloaf, hates catsup, so I left it off for him. He does like this more plain version better than the ones with all kinds of herbs and things like diced peppers in them. I especially love a cold meatloaf sandwich on plain white bread with a smear of mustard.
February 27 at 07:54 EST .

  13 people like this.

   Balogreene  Ladies, the recipes from Bird's first post down are basically the recipe on the Quaker Oats box. I grew up using "Meat Loaf Blend", Pork, Veal, and beef, in equal measures. I think you can still ask for it at the Butcher section of the supermarket. Since I do everything I can to hide the taste of the meat, I just use ground beef.
February 27 at 21:20 EST .

  14 people like this.

   Balogreene  Oh, and go to the Recipe page, I'll post my butter barbecue beef loaves recipe. That is good eats.
February 27 at 21:21 EST .

  17 people like this.

   BirdsNest  I could have saved myself a lot of trouble, but the oatmeal we use is store brand, so no recipe. My mother used the one on the Quaker Oats box, back then it was probably the only oatmeal on the market.
February 28 at 07:34 EST .

  14 people like this.

 View all 13 comments.

   Bettijo  I wash all washable fabrics before I sew them or even cut them out. I had a few pieces of quilt fabric that I was getting ready to wash and noticed one of them had a good bit of red in the design. I put one of these sheets in with the wash:


The Color Catcher came out a deep pink, but the fabrics were fine. I really did not expect quilting fabric to fade, but apparently it does.
February 16 at 10:31 EST .

   15 people like this.

   Balogreene  I took Home Economics in Jr. High in the '60s, they never told us to pre-wash. But my Grandmother (who would be 107 if she was still alive ) always said to do that. She was the lady who would lay the fabric out and cut, without a pattern. I always figured she knew what she was talking about.
February 21 at 23:10 EST .

  12 people like this.

   Gerty  For those who may have alarm/security devices or safes which are secured and opened with a touch pad:

Check out the touch pad numbers. If you have had the device for any length of time, you will notice tiny indications around/over/under the numbers you use for your security code. The chance that someone will 'guess' your code is relatively slim for a one-time stab at it. But having as many as four numbers of your code still increases their chances of getting your code over a period of time.

Solution: clean the touch pad as often as possible.(or, scratch-up and dirty ALL the numbers on the touch pad ) :- )
January 30 at 15:54 EST .

   16 people like this.

   Escaped commieny  

PREVENT HOUSE FIRES, how ironic that a smoke detector was involved.
January 8 at 09:35 EST .

   22 people like this.

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