Ideas and Suggestions

Bay Leaf seems to work, boiling to clear the house.  Place one in each corner of
a cabinet or room.  Make a stew and pour on ant hills.  Works against all insects
and the boiling clears moths.  Replace every few years. 
Place them where you see ants or places with small cracks or opening may allow 
them in.  If it crawl, try it.
Baking Powder Test by dropping some into hot water, should foam immediately.  
Baking Soda Test by dropping some into vinegar, should rapid foam immediately.  
Try Panko, used for sushi and Japanese cooking.  These can be white, if from
the center or slightly browned if crust is used.  The pure form is made by cooking
in a pan and scraping the pan sides, the newer are cooked in a static electric field, 
think of the effect hair and static have, then add heat to cook.
Panko is crisp and fluffy. 
Buttermilk  Powder
1 Tbl to each 1/4 water
Cabbage Add a bay leaf while cooking, takes care of some of the odor.

You can also boil cinnamon sticks in their own pan while cooking cabbage 

Cast Iron Pans
To season cast iron, Preheat oven to 325F.  Apply a light grease coat to
the inside and outside of a cast iron pan, set on an aluminum pan or rack.
Bake 30 minutes.  Remove, cool slightly then degrease and back another 30 minutes.
Do not over clean the pan, and repeat if it rusts or does not coat evenly.
Best done with windows open or on a BBQ grill.
Natural Cocoa requires baking soda in the recipe, Dutch Process Cocoa
requires baking powder.  If the recipe has both, then it can use either, but if
using Dutch Process for Natural Cocoa you may skip baking soda.  
If recipe calls for Natural Cocoa and you are using Dutch, add 1/8 tsp baking soda.
The Dutch type has Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa which has a neutral PH.
** If Natural Cocoa is listed with 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda, 
the Dutch Cocoa would use 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and no baking soda.
Cocoa has several levels of cocoa butter, 10-12% is common in most stores,
but the 20-25% is richer and better for most cooking.  
Do not tap the measuring cup or the cocoa may appear correct, 
but is likely a short term over measure.
Cocoa powder is light and can compress when tapped down or pushed. 
Getting deer out of the Garden .
Rosemary shrubs are the current best, but if the deer is looking for water or
desperate for food, it may not help.  If a small garden, place a bucket of water
away from the garden and grow something they will eat in that area.
Eggs are often boiled, this can cause green rings and tough eggs.
Place them in a steamer for 12 minutes for perfect hard "boiled" eggs.
When cooked, drop them into ice water for 2 minutes to make removing
the shell easy.
For pickled eggs, use cider vinegar, any pickling spice, and cayenne pepper.
Let set for a week or more in the frig.  Some people like used pickle juice,
just mix 50-50 with new vinegar to retain the flavor.  Pickled beet juice can be used
for purple eggs.

Check eggs by placing in water, if they float, very bad, gases cause eggs to rise as the decay.

Hot Oil Safety
If you are planning on whole turkey deep fry, invest in WWII hazmat gloves,
available on Ebay and in Surplus stores.  The gloves have a cotton insert and
are thick rubber, most reach the elbows and above, I bought them for $3 a pair.
Newer product, silicone gloves, bulky and hard to work in, but easy to clean
with hot water and last for years.  We tested these in a commercial deep fryer,
no problem reaching in and moving foods, not recommended, but for splatters
and spills, work just fine.  Also good for pizza, if you get a sauce thumb, run 
under hot water and all clean.  Dishwasher safe.
Instant Rice
Replace water with lemonade, apple , or orange juice for a nice change in taste.
Lemon rice is good for chicken, orange with duck, and apple with pork.
Meringue Because of possible issues with raw egg whites, the rules have changed,
no longer is it whip egg whites and add sugar, you should use a double
boiler - mix whites and sugar, heat until all sugar is dissolved (148F),
then whip.  Or use egg white/meringue powder.
Fresh pasta should be boiled with salt, but Prince or other dried pastas will
cook just as well in water taken to a boil, add pasta alone, then reduce the heat to
medium, takes about the same time, but has less damage or boil over.  Use a spatula to stir,
the shape reaches the bottom and corners, so less stuck on or burned pasta.
Iron Chef had the idea on spaghetti, water to a boil, hold a bunch in the center of the pot,
then push down with the other hand and turn at the same time, should spring apart 
with the ends all fanned and stops the ends from sticking together. If you do not
plan on using immediately, rinse well and cool without any additions, you have
about 3 days to reheat in a microwave without loss of taste or texture.
Lasagna noodles work just as well if rinsed in cold water after water cooking,
easier to layer if cold and will cook in the same time as usual.
Peanuts - Raw 350F for 15-20 minutes unshelled Spanish, Add another 5 minutes if in the shell.  
Peppercorns  follow to the peppercorn page  
Store peeled potatoes in water with a slice of bread on top, 
slows down graying.
bottles falling
The shape of the current soda bottles make tip over common, so head for Walmart or
a craft shop and buy plastic canvas for yarn projects.  Cut to fit, use a few pieces, or just
use under the bottles.  Easy to clean and cheap, under $2 for the project in most cases.
---Prepare Tomatoes---Cut an "X" into the bottom skin of the tomato.
Drop in Boiling water for a minute or so, then drop in ice cold water.  
The skin should peel off by pulling the pieces at the "X".
Cut off the tops and core the white section.  Remove seeds-optional
-- or for long term, freeze whole tomatoes, "X" the bottom and dip in
hot water when ready to use. Good for sauces and cooked dishes.
Remember that tomatoes will not ripen any further, so make sure they
are solid red and process as soon as removing from the freezer.

---stems up will ripen faster than stems down, also avoid apples/pears unless ripening.

1 small tomato =

3 to 4 ounces

1 medium tomato = 5 to 6 ounces
1 large tomato = 7 or more ounces
1 pound of tomatoes = 2 1/2 cups chopped or 1 1/2 cups pulp



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