Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Handy Hints

Cacti - Add crushed egg shell to the soil to give them extra calcium.

Ferns - Feed them with weak tea or bury a used teabag in the soil beside Ihe roots or give them a teaspoon of olive oil every three months Ferns and other plants that like humid conditions will flourish close to a washing machine or spin drier.

Heather Display - Wash a large raw potato and make holes in one side of it with a knitting needle. Insert the stems of heather in these to make a pretty display which will stay fresh lor months.

Cake storage - Use tins not plastic Plastic is porous and less airtight, It also harbours smells.
Do not store fruit cake in silver foil as the acid in the fruit may corrode the foil and form a mould.

Cheese - Lightly smear the cut edge of cheese with butter before you put it away to help it to keep fresh.

Melons - If storing in the fridge keep them in plastic bags as they absorb smells frum other foods. Put at room temperature for an hour before serving as it enhances Ihe flavour. When serving melon in
slices cut a little bit off the bottom of each slice so that it sits more easily on the plate.

Mushrooms - Store in ihe dark - i,e make use of those paper bags in the supermarket if it has them.
They should be kept cool but not refrigerated.

Asparagus - Open Asparagus tins at the bottom to reduce risk of damage to the tips when emptying. (Better still use fresh asparagus!)

Pill Bottles - Save empty pill bottles (after removing labels) For sauces and dressings on picnics.

Weighing Syrup - Put the jar on the scales and takeout spoonfuls until the weight has gone down by the amount you need.

Flies - Hang bunches of lavender at your window to keep flies out.

For more handy hints around the kitchen see Salamagundi.


  1. thanks for these handy, dandy hints!

  2. Whilst I was able, when asked, to say how to weigh syrup I can't ever recall a recipe which required syrup by weight. In my experience honey and syrup are usually measures in tablespoons. So what is the weight of a tablespoon of syrup? Answer 1oz or 25grams. I assume honey is similar.

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  4. Thanks for the tips - I'll definitely give my cactus some eggshell.

    I've never had asparagus - must put it on my to try list (not that I have one, but I shall have to start one, though I suspect it could get quite long).

  5. Oh and regarding flies our house is full of little ones at the moment. Considering getting some carnivorous plants as a more drastic measure than lavender. The flies insist on dying all over the place anyway (keep finding loads drowned in the sink and in pots and pans of water) so they might as well feed something!

    The question is what do carnivorous plants do over the winter when all the flies have gone?

  6. The tiny flies are probably fruit flies - the ones that they experiment on for genetics (a fascinating topic). We have the occasionaqlo plague of them - the answer seems to be to ensure no fruit goes off and bins are emptied very frequently until they go. Since most carnivorous plants look like succulents I suspect they live quite happily off their own internal juices over the winter.


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