Helpful Hints

Hosted by gaynel mohler
Group active since Tue, May 22, 2012

A place to share any helpful hint, from cooking in the kitchen to getting gum out of hair. A place to pass on our fore-mothers ideas on things and solutions. Will be fun to see what type of different problem solving solutions get posted here, and are tested.

Sharon Colyer
Apr 12, 2015

How to make (aluminum-free!) baking powder from scratch

A lot of people are nervous about a possible connection between aluminum / aluminium and Alzheimer's disease. While nothing about the connection has been conclusively proven as yet, there seems to be no harm in eliminating aluminum from places where it doesn't really need to be... like baking. (Except maybe in the baking pan or tin on the outside: and again, that should be your call.)

Many commercial double-acting baking powders in the US contain small amounts of aluminum. (The "double action" comes from the addition of sodium aluminum sulfate, which causes the powder to react more slowly to heat, as in the oven.) With this in mind, why not try making your own baking powder at home, from scratch? This home-made single-acting baking powder won't behave much differently in your baking than the double-acting type does. Additionally, homemade baking powder gets around one of the main problems with the storebought stuff: it stops working over time. When you make your own from scratch, in small batches, you know it's going to work right every time.

The method is simple. To make the one teaspoon of commercial baking powder, mix together:

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch (cornflour, for UK bakers)

That's all there is to it. To make larger quantities, just increase the amounts in proportion.

Please note that there are also aluminum-free commercial baking powders on the market: one of them (in North America) is Rumford. Check the labels of your local brands to see what secondary raising agents they add.

(By the way, here's a way to test whether your baking powder is still good: Boil half a cup of water and add half a teaspoon of the baking powder to it. If it fizzes and froths up energetically, it's fine. If it doesn't react, or reacts weakly, get rid of it: it's no good and your baking will come out flat.)

From: "European Cuisines"

Sharon Colyer
Dec 6, 2014

Whole Flaxseeds VS Flaxseed Meal or Pre-ground Flaxseed Powder – For Your Info

I am so glad I came across this! I didn't previously know this, and I am glad I read this article.

Whole Flaxseeds VS Flaxseed Meal or Pre-ground Flaxseed Powder

This is one of the most frequently asked questions that we get: "Why buy whole flaxseeds instead of flaxseed powder or meal?"

"Flaxseed meal" refers to the by-product of the oil pressing process. During this industrial process, the oil is pressed out of the seed and sold as flaxseed oil. The remaining pulp, dietary fiber, and protein is sold as "flaxseed meal". Unfortunately, what most consumers don't understand is that much of the heart healthy properties of flaxseed, such as the omega-3 fatty acids, have been extracted into the oil.

Consumers also don't realize that many of these companies that sell flaxseed meal or oil perform this process in an industrial setting.

Immediately after flaxseed has been processed or pressed the interior of the seed is exposed to air and the process of oxidation begins. Oxidation quickly destroys the medically beneficial compounds such as omega-3 fatty acid that are found in flax seeds.

As is so often the case, mother nature knows best and the heart healthy benefits of "whole flaxseed" that are ground just prior to use is significantly more beneficial than trying to recombine the parts of flaxseed meal and flaxseed oil processed in a warehouse. Research has shown that important medical properities are found in all parts of the flaxseed and the entire seed will provide the maximum benefit.

Our (Great Plains Flax) whole flaxseeds are 100% natural, gluten-free and straight from the farm with no secondary processing performed on them. They grown right here in the USA and are also some of the highest purity available to the public.

When comparing products always be sure to read the product label carefully to determine how natural the product is and whether any post-processing has been done to the seeds.

Dee Tourville
Nov 25, 2013

cake pan conversions

HELPFUL CAKE PAN CONVERSIONS I just joined this group...loving it! So, I added a post converting the size the recipe calls for to fit pans you have on hand. I hope you enjoy it!

Tana DiRaimo
Oct 21, 2013

ANTS (Indoors)--Home Remedy

I printed this out (posted months ago by a fellow JAP member and want to re-share it with all of you. I tried it and it works!

Ants have a strong sense of smell. Place cinnamon sticks and peeled sliced garlic cloves around window tracks or holes. Replace the cloves every 3 days until ants are gone. PLANT MINT AROUND THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR HOUSE.

Ants leave a scented trail so they can easily find their way back to the food source in your home. WASH AWAY THE TRAILS with equal parts water & white distilled vinegar to confuse them.

Judy Kaye
Sep 22, 2013

Window Scratches

Te remove lite scratches from your windows us a mild abrasive toothpaste. Works wonders.

Lori Smith
Sep 8, 2013

Convection Oven newbie

I just got a new stove with a convection oven. I really don't know a lot about them.

Do you have any helpful hints, techniques, etc that can help me use this new thing to the fullest?

I wasn't sure where to post this - if it needs to be somewhere else or if there is a forum for convection ovens can you point me in the right direction? Thanks.

manhal rashdan
Aug 22, 2013

Don’t fill up if you see the tanker

If you happen to see a gasoline tanker filling the tanks at your local gas station, come back another day or go to a different station. As the station’s underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up sediment. Sediment in your gas can clog fuel filters and fuel injectors, causing poor performance and possibly necessitating repairs.

Read more:

Lori Smith
Aug 15, 2013

Butter Boat - best invention ever!

I prefer to use butter, but dislike having it be so hard to spread from the fridge and worry about it sitting on the counter going rancid. My mother in law lives with us and she was always microwaving the butter to thaw it. She'd make a huge mess, cause she's so short she'd over do it and spill it all over the microwave and counter. I remember seeing something on a shopping channel so I did a search and found several types. Amazon had one called Trudeau Butter Boat, $16.00. So worth it. Fresh butter that's spreadable. Now I need to keep her from poking her fingers in it to make sure it's soft.