Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Make sure your cookware is safe

Damaged or worn items could pose a risk for you and your family

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QUESTION: I have a small Wear-Ever aluminum frying pan and the finish has been taken off on the inside. Therefore everything sticks like the dickens now! Is there any way I can re-season or coat it again so food won't stick so badly?

-- Bev, Winnipeg

ANSWER: If you head to the Wear-Ever website, you will notice that they carry a great warranty for their products. Replacement is the best bet for your pan because you want to make sure that the cookware you are using is very safe for you and your family.

QUESTION: What is the best way to clean a twisty straw without putting it into the dishwasher?

--Francis, Sperling,

ANSWER: If you happen to have a spray attachment with a hose on your kitchen sink. Cover up all of the holes except for one. Position the uncovered hole over the straw opening and turn the water on. After the inside of the straw is clean. Wash the outside of the straw with dish soap and water.

QUESTION: Can you please give me a recipe for making my own homemade pancakes so I can cross expensive boxed pancake mix off of my grocery list?

-- Samantha, Otterburne

ANSWER: In a bowl, combine four cups flour, two-thirds cup sugar, six tsp. baking powder, one tsp. baking soda, one tsp. salt, two-thirds cup cooking oil, half tsp. vanilla, six eggs and four cups milk. Stir well and fry. For a flavour twist, you can also add a dash of cinnamon to the mixture.

Feedback from Manitoban Who Cares

Dear Reena,

Last year I heard of a new idea to get rid of wasps, I tweaked it quite a bit. I don't recall if I caught any wasps, however each week I had at least 100 flies per trap to dispose of. With traps at the front and back doors as well as a few set out in the yard and garden that amounted to 500-600 flies a week.

This year, I had my supplies ready to again catch flies. However, up until a day ago I had only seen three flies inside and out. That is when I thought, "Is it possible that the flies I killed last year hadn't laid any eggs so... no flies this year?" Anyway I did set another trap and 24 hours later there is nothing in it and no flies around here. I am 70 years old and can't remember this happening before.

So here is my trap idea: Use a two-litre plastic bottle, preferably with a cap. Cut a hole slightly larger than an egg on the side close to the top. Wrap a thumb-sized piece of raw fish in a small square of vegetable-bag mesh. Secure this with a piece of string and hang it through the mouth of the bottle almost halfway down. Fill the bottle to just below the fish with soapy water. Attach the cap and place it in an inconspicuous spot wherever flies are a problem outside. Check periodically, empty and reset with fresh fish and water.

--Gwen, Winnipeg

Fabulous Tips of the Week

* I wash and save broccoli rubber bands. When necessary I use them to hang up a nightgown or something that could slip off the hanger. I slide an inside-out (so printing isn't seen) rubber band over the ends of the hanger. No slip offs!

* Here is an easy way to clean horizontal metal blinds: Combine one cup household ammonia in the bathtub with one teaspoon dish soap and six inches of warm water. While wearing rubber gloves, move the blinds back and forth to clean. Hang to dry. Extra Tip: Line the bottom of the bathtub with towels so that the metal does not scratch the tub.

-- Gwen

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Missed a column? Can't remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Check out my brand new videos/blog/website: reena.ca!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 5, 2013 F17

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