Renovation & Design

Batter up! Tackling split surfaces on cakes

Bigger pan, or less batter, may be the key

QUESTION: When I bake marble cake, I use a loaf pan and the middle of the cake rises high and then splits. How can I avoid this? Rose

ANSWER: To prevent any cake from splitting while baking, make sure that the pan you are using is large enough; you may need to use a larger pan, or reduce the amount of batter. Reduce the oven temperature, overly high heat will cause any cake to crack; use an oven thermometer to ensure that your temperature is accurate. Avoid opening the oven door while baking.


QUESTION: I have a plate that has a chip on it. What can I use to glue it back on? Thank you, Rose

ANSWER: Krazy glue is a good option for this challenge. This product is strong and transparent, which will help to hide the damage.


QUESTION: How can I get black grease off a yellow working jacket? Rose

ANSWER: Consider using one of the following options: waterless hand cleaner or scrub the area with Sunlight laundry soap. Another option is to scrub the stain with an old toothbrush, baking soda and dish soap. Wash as usual.


QUESTION: My bedroom smells musty, I think it’s the bed, pillows or mattress. I leave the windows open and wash the bedding weekly. I spray with Febreze, but other than that, I don’t know what to do. Can you help? Thank you, Elizabeth

ANSWER: It sounds like the humidity in the room is too high. Consider purchasing a hygrometer to measure the moisture in the room. If the level is too high, consider buying a dehumidifier. Installing a fan may also help to reduce moisture in the room.


QUESTION: I have a screen door and between the panes, I cannot get anything but liquid, as it is so narrow. I cannot remove the inner pane. What can I pour in there that would clean the inside glass? It looks terrible.

ANSWER: This challenge sounds like a real pane! Drape a soft, high-quality microfiber cloth over a fly swatter, and use an elastic band to secure the cloth onto the fly swatter. Soak the cloth with plain water. Wipe the window with the fly swatter. Next, fasten a dry microfiber cloth onto the fly swatter and dry between the panes.


QUESTION: I have an upright freezer. Being a senior, I can access all my frozen goods; however, bread gets dry, and frozen vegetables get freezer burnt when I place food on the shelves of the door. What is the best type of food to place on the freezer door shelf? Minna

ANSWER: Since many freezers today come with an auto defrost mechanism, the freezer temperature fluctuates, drawing moisture from food. Begin by checking the seal of your freezer. A trick that I use is to open the door and position a piece of paper on the seal at the top of the door. Close the door and pull the paper, the paper should not easily slide out, if it does, the seal may need replacing. Secondly, make sure the freezer is cold enough. Freezer burn is caused by air becoming trapped between the food and the packaging. There are a few companies who have come up with freezer bags that have inner linings which form to food and then excess air is squeezed out. Or if you’re cheap like me, save old cereal liners and store food such as bread inside of each bag, or store food in a good quality freezer bag and suck out excess air with a straw.

While there are no set rules for how to store freezer foods, here are a few tips. Store meat products in the bottom section of the freezer, that way if the freezer breaks, the juices from the meat won’t contaminate any other food. Use the door shelves to store items that are packages and small enough to fit such as: juice, cookies and shredded cheese. Frozen veggies can be stacked and stored in the higher part of the freezer. Rotate and date items for maximum freshness.


Tips by Rose:

· To get rid of sewer flies, use about two cups of water and a couple squirts of dish soap. Pour the mixture down the drain. Repeat. This also works on cankerworms. 

· To get the sparkle back on my sliver ring, I used the liquid from my can of asparagus and the ring sparkles like the stars. I left the ring in the liquid for 30 minutes. 


Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.


Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email at: Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:



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