Renovation & Design

Heard of cola for cooking?

QUESTION: I was asking a clerk in our local store about cola for cooking and he had never heard of it. Where can I find it? Secondly, what I have found most excellent for mosquito bites is to put a teeny dab of toothpaste on the bite and you can forget all about it. It works like a charm, believe me. And, when I burn a finger working around the kitchen, I always put it under cold water for a minute, then dab it with a towel to get most of the water off. Then I put on some lavender oil (available in health stores). Years ago, two men were working in a lab when one of them burnt his hand. He automatically pulled his hand away and inadvertently put it into a bowl of lavender oil. It healed right away, with no scarring or anything. I am loving your books! Sincerely, Gordon (Winnipeg)

ANSWER: Thank you for the great solutions. With regards to cola, this refers to cola products such as Pepsi, Coca Cola, etc. The combination of carbonic, citric and phosphoric acids can be used for making chili, BBQ sauce and brownies, and cooking/marinating meat.

QUESTION: I heard you on the radio but I could not get through before the show ended. Root weevil (strawberry I think) have gotten worse inside our house over the years. I kill about 50 to 100 a day. We are trying to reduce outside foliage and plan to replace flooring (mostly carpet) in future. We have kids and the weevils are in all rooms. I would like some suggestions if possible. The house is well-sealed; the attached garage not too bad. I am looking for a solution for inside if possible as now that they (weevils) are inside, it seems they are here to stay. Thanks in advance. David (West St. Paul)

ANSWER: Strawberry root weevils look like large wood ticks. A single female can lay up to 400 eggs, and this challenge needs immediate attention as they sometimes wander into houses by mistake as accidental invaders. Household aerosol insecticides are not very effective for controlling weevils. Your best bet is to vacuum them up as soon as you see them. Secure a plastic bag over the vacuum nozzle when not in use so the weevils do not escape. If the problem persists, contact an exterminator.

Fabulous tips of the week

-- Secure a button permanently with dental floss; it is much stronger than thread and perfect for repairs to outdoor items. Because dental floss is resilient but fine, it is an ideal replacement for thread when you are repairing an umbrella, tent or rucksack.

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 videos/blog/website:


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