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Old 09-03-2014, 06:03 AM   #541
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Thanks for that. There were quite a few things I didn't know. Will be printing it of to stick on the side of the 'fridge.

Incidentally, I accidentally broke a stem of basil off my giant plant a couple of weeks ago. I felt sorry for it so put it in a jar of water on the window sill and forgot about it until I was having a cleaning blitz yesterday and found it again. It had rooted so I'm thinking of talking some cuttings off the parent plant and seeing if they will thrive and grow into plants. I'm useless with basil seeds and until this year have thrown away more pots bought in the s/market or garden centre so I'll be interested to see if I'm any luckier with cuttings.
Sounds like you found the solution to your problem. Some folks have really green thumbs. My green thumb is all green mold.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:01 PM   #542
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It's been suggested I should re-post this here so erwigo.

If you like making your own cleaning products you may find the following interesting.

For stains on metal (not silver or anything valuable) you really can't beat horsetail (Equisetum arvense). It's a pernicious, invasive weed in gardens so get your own back and make it work for you.

It's full of silica and was used traditionally to scour pans to a high shine and as a fine Ďsand paperí for polishing wood. After gathering it leave it in the sun for an hour or so before tying together and using. Wear gloves when scouring because the silica can make the horsetail sharp.

You can also make a spray to kill mildew by simmering half and half fresh horsetail to water (or 25/75 dried plant) for 5 minutes then leave to cool and "stew" for at least 6 hours before straining and using in a spray bottle.

If you have leather with mildew on it (eg horse equipment or badly stored shoes) the following will be useful. I renovate old leather side saddles and these sometimes come to me white with mildew. I use a very old method of dealing with this and it really does work.

Buy some pine oil (find it in the health food shop). Mix 1 teaspoon of oil to 1 pint of comfortably warm water (ie 5ml oil to 1/2 a litre of warm water). Use a sponge squeezed out in this solution and use to remove the mildew/mould. When the nasties are removed wipe over with a clean damp cloth and allow to dry. When the leather is perfectly dry, oil with a leather lubricator made for saddles or neatsfoot oil and allow it to soak in well. Repeat if really necessary but don't let the leather get slimey and sodden with oil. Never use saddle soap or shoe polish directly on mildew on leather as you will "feed" it and seal it in making matters worse.

Be careful in handling the oil as pine oil is a very strong disinfectant and can cause skin irritation and is poisonous if swallowed. Keep it in a safe place away from children and animals

(Having given the above advice for dealing with mildew let me give you advice on keeping it at bay in the future. When routinely cleaning your tack spit in the saddle soap to damp it rather than using water. This sounds crazy and disgusting but saliva has an enzyme in it which deters mildew. Generations of horsemen and grooms have done this and I promise you it DOES work!)

If you have brass or copper which is badly discoloured through lack of cleaning use half a lemon dipped in coarse salt to clean off the discolouration and rinse and dry item. When dry polish with your usual brass or copper polish and you'll have lovely shine. My Victorian copper kettle was black with age when I rescued it from my grandmother's attic. It's lovely now
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:05 PM   #543
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Addie and MC, we still had dairy home delivery around us when we first moved to MA in 2000. There are just a very few dairies that do that anymore. Up until Whittier Farms had a listeria scare a few years back we would by milk from their dairy store - getting it in glass bottles. When one very old person died as a result of listeria, and the source was found to be in that lady's milk bottle, Whittier found it prohibitive to rebuild their processing facility per the state's orders. Oddly enough, no listeria was found to be in their equipment. their bottles in the dairy store, or any other dairy product other than in that one bottle. Hmm, methinks a family member wanted to knock the lady out. Just me and my suspicions though.

I still use those glass bottles. We buy our milk in a gallon jug. Sometimes there is still some milk left when I do a grocery run. It's then that I transfer our remaining milk to a glass bottle to make room for the new plastic gallon jug.



Don't get too excited MC. That "cash back" is exactly that: your OWN cash back after you are charged a 5 cent deposit on every one of those items when you buy it. The state isn't giving you anything that wasn't yours to begin with.
Oh yes, I realise that. I just meant the idea was a good one because it encouraged people to hand in the bottles. It did in the days when we had the same scheme for glass bottles (only then it was the manufacturers of the contents that used the idea, not the govt.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:04 PM   #544
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For a more crispy skin on duck breast and pork belly.....when I get it home I take off the plastic casing, pat the skin dry (with paper towel) and leave it exposed in the fridge overnight. This helps dry out the moist skin, producing favourable conditions for a crispy skin.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:16 PM   #545
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For a more crispy skin on duck breast and pork belly.....when I get it home I take off the plastic casing, pat the skin dry (with paper towel) and leave it exposed in the fridge overnight. This helps dry out the moist skin, producing favourable conditions for a crispy skin.
Hang the duck, spray it with a solution of honey and water. Let dry. Spray it again. Let it dry. Repeat about 5 times. Season with granulated garlic. Roast at 525 until thermometer reads 150'. Remove and let rest. Crispy skin guaranteed.his is similar to Peking Duck.

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Old 09-14-2014, 03:52 PM   #546
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I am sure your tip will be taken up by others here but I prefer a savoury tasting skin. (Also I find that honey makes it more prone to burning). I do love a good peking duck though - rubbed with 5 spice powder?

Another method of drying the skin out (not tried) is to subject it to the cool setting of a hand hair dryer.
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:34 PM   #547
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Up until Whittier Farms had a listeria scare a few years back we would by milk from their dairy store - getting it in glass bottles. Whittier found it prohibitive to rebuild their processing facility per the state's orders. Oddly enough, no listeria was found to be in their equipment. their bottles in the dairy store, or any other dairy product other than in that one bottle. Hmm, methinks a family member wanted to knock the lady out. Just me and my suspicions though.

I still use those glass bottles. We buy our milk in a gallon jug. Sometimes there is still some milk left when I do a grocery run. It's then that I transfer our remaining milk to a glass bottle to make room for the new plastic gallon jug.
CG, I was going back rereading this thread. I too have glass milk bottles. Two of them. A coworker and I a number of years ago were talking about milk delivery in glass bottles and how milk in them seemed so much colder. So the next day as a gift, she brought me these two bottles. I still have them. One is for the pennies and one is for the silver. They are from the Whittier Farms in Sutton, MA. I treasure those bottles. First because they were a gift and second as a reminder of days gone by.

And I agreed with you about the old lady. Someone got rid of her for the family money and jewels.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:30 AM   #548
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I am sure your tip will be taken up by others here but I prefer a savoury tasting skin. (Also I find that honey makes it more prone to burning). I do love a good peking duck though - rubbed with 5 spice powder?

Another method of drying the skin out (not tried) is to subject it to the cool setting of a hand hair dryer.
Honey promotes browning, which I think is why the Chief suggested it. Cooks Illustrated magazine recommends that, too, for pork rubs and other applications. I think using the solution of water and honey and then adding garlic will create a more complex savory flavor.

I think it would take days and days to dry out fatty duck skin with a hair dryer
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:12 AM   #549
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I’m dropping a post here to help remind me to come back and read all 51 pages of this thread.

First tip that popped in my mind is celery storage (forgive me if someone hit this already…I have yet to read this whole thing like I said).

I don’t remember where we got this tip, but for years now we have been storing our celery in aluminum foil. That’s right, no paper towels, just a full and complete wrap of aluminum foil.

Shortly after bringing home a bunch of celery (a bunch as in the units they grow in) they come out of the plastic bag, no washing, and right in to the foil. I have celery now that stays salvageable for a good month. Granted, after that month it’s better for cooking than raw but it takes weeks and weeks to get spoilage. If you see some when you go in there for a couple stalks, just cut it away like mold on cheese.

I don’t know the science behind this…maybe some sort of electrolysis, but it works better than anything else I have tried.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:26 AM   #550
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I think it would take days and days to dry out fatty duck skin with a hair dryer
Whilst I have not tried that method, I HAVE found that the method I originally described above (# 544) works very well. Drying it out like that, without a cover, in the fridge affords a dry enough surface for the skin to crisp up.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:37 AM   #551
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I donít know the science behind thisÖmaybe some sort of electrolysis, but it works better than anything else I have tried.
Electrolysis? Where would the electric current come from?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:03 PM   #552
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An electrolytic reaction is actually possible if foil, in contact with a different metal is in the presence of an acidic food. e.g. a stainless bowl of tomato sauce covered in foil. The dissimilar metals and the acidic food together create an electrolytic reaction. Food Safety Education | For Consumers | FAQ

I realize that's not the case with the OP's situation.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:17 PM   #553
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Interesting, thanks, Andy.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:31 PM   #554
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Iím dropping a post here to help remind me to come back and read all 51 pages of this thread.

First tip that popped in my mind is celery storage (forgive me if someone hit this alreadyÖI have yet to read this whole thing like I said).

I donít remember where we got this tip, but for years now we have been storing our celery in aluminum foil. Thatís right, no paper towels, just a full and complete wrap of aluminum foil.

Shortly after bringing home a bunch of celery #1(a bunch as in the units they grow in) they come out of the plastic bag, no washing, and right in to the foil. I have celery now that stays salvageable for a good month. Granted, after that month itís better for cooking than raw but it takes weeks and weeks to get spoilage. If you see some when you go in there for a couple stalks, just cut it away like mold on cheese.

I donít know the science behind thisÖmaybe some sort of electrolysis, but it works better than anything else I have tried.
#1 is called the "Stalk" of celery. Break off (#2) one piece and that becomes a "Rib."
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:34 PM   #555
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#1 is called the "Stalk" of celery. Break off (#2) one piece and that becomes a "Rib."
No, the entire thing is a bunch. A single piece is a stalk or a rib.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:37 PM   #556
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Btw, I keep celery in a Tupperware celery container. I've had it since around the time I got married 32 years ago. Celery keeps for at least a month in it.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:56 PM   #557
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Btw, I keep celery in a Tupperware celery container. I've had it since around the time I got married 32 years ago. Celery keeps for at least a month in it.
I knew that so well. I still have a plastic spatula that I won as a door prize. What woman of our generation didn't attend a Tupperware party.
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:42 PM   #558
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Since celery is being discussed, I did share my successful storage tip on them about a year ago on this thread. Here it is again...

Celery keeps longer if the brown base is lightly sliced off (a fraction) and the celery head placed in a strong/wide jar with some water in its base (about 1 -2 inches), covering the top of them with their wrapper.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:11 PM   #559
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Longer than what?
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:56 PM   #560
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I buy the old dark green, stringy, "mature" celery with mud on it, because I prefer the celery flavor and it keeps for a month or six weeks in the crisper without any special handling. The younger pale green celery often goes bad in a couple of weeks.

I have always liked the Victorian idea of keeping it on the counter at room temperature in a celery vase and changing the water every few days.
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