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Renovation & Design

Waiting to season scrambled eggs will help ensure fluffy texture

Question: I cook scrambled eggs, but they are never fluffy. They are never perfect, the way that they are at restaurants. What am I doing wrong?

Janet

Answer: One of the ways to avoid making scrambled eggs that are runny is to season them after they are cooked. If you salt eggs as they cook, or before, they tend to break down and become watery. As well, it is not necessary to stir in water or milk to the eggs as they scramble. This is a personal preference, of course, but many chefs add nothing to the eggs. Avoid overcooking scrambled eggs by removing the pan from the heat a few times as they cook. Stir with a spatula to ensure they cook evenly and become fluffy little heaps of sunshine as they finish. Season before eating.

Question: Purple candle wax dripped onto my beige synthetic-fibre carpet, which has a low nap. What should I do? I have scraped off as much of the wax as I can, and await your suggestion as to further treatment.

Larry

Answer: What you need to do is place a single-layered brown paper bag over the wax, and using a warm iron, press the area to lift the wax, being careful not to scorch the carpet. Move the bag around so you don’t push wax further into the carpet. When the wax is a distant memory, take Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo and water and blot it over the area to clean the rest of the mess (test on an inconspicuous area first). Rinse with water and blot.

Question: Many of the jackets and suits I buy are sold with an extra button. Apart from storing the button in the jacket pocket, do you have any suggestions for how to organize apparel buttons without losing them?

Teresa

Answer: One option is to sew the extra button onto the inside label of the garment. Some people tape the extra button onto the blank side of a business card and label the business card with the garment the button matches. Then the business card is put inside of a book-style business card holder that is specifically dedicated to spare garment buttons.

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.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; visit her website at reena.ca. Ask a question or share a tip at reena.ca.

 

Reena Nerbas 
June 1

Renovation & Design

Cutlery scratches on dishes a common household challenge

Question: I have everyday dishes that I really like that say they are lead-free. My stainless-steel cutlery leaves marks on the dishes, which makes them looked scratched and worn.

I use Bar Keeper’s Friend and scrub them clean, but as soon as we have one meal, the marks appear again.

Is there something I can use that will work permanently, or do I need to change my cutlery?

As I said earlier, I really like the pattern of my dishes and my last option would be to replace them. Thank you.

Carol

Answer: Scratches caused by cutlery are a common household challenge, and other than switching to very dull forks and knives, there is no perfect solution that I am aware of. The good news is that Bar Keeper’s Friend is an effective cleaning solution, or try baking soda and water. Some dishes scratch easily, because of the manufacturing process.

 

Question: Do you have any solutions for how to keep robins from building a nest above a rollout awning over my deck? I have tried ribbons, etc., with no luck. From a non-bird lover.

— Dale

Answer: Here are a few suggestions for deterring robins without hurting them. Option A: Lay a plastic snake onto the awning. Option B: Lay wire netting over the awning when not in use. Option C: Use wire to attach a piece of plastic over the awning when not in use. Cut a strip off a plastic computer mat with little plastic spikes. This solution will not hurt them, but will not be comfortable.

 

Question: Two winters ago, we raised a family of rescue cats on our back porch. It was a mama and five tiny kittens. The back porch is unheated, but we had heating pads and heated water/food bowls out there for them. We also had three litter boxes that were cleaned daily. However, they would sometimes like to find a corner to poop and pee in, but because this was the middle of winter, it wasn’t always evident to us. We tried to keep on top of what was happening out there.

When spring came, I cleaned out the entire back porch and washed it down. This did not get rid of the smell, so I used products specially designed to deal with cat urine smells. This did not work. I washed the floor and the walls with soap, water and bleach.

By the way, this is a lovely and very old wooden porch on the back of our 1870 farmhouse. Anyway, I finally cleaned everything and then repainted the floor.

Now that spring is back, I can once again smell that unmistakable odour on the back porch. Is there anything else I can do, or do we just have to put up with it? Thanks so much.

Fran

Answer: How nice of you to care for a family of cats! If the smell remains, the odour is likely coming from underneath the porch or a mat sitting on the porch, because this will kill pet odour.

Into an empty four-litre ice cream bucket, mix together ¼ cup dish soap, four cups of water, one cup three per cent hydrogen peroxide and a half-cup of household ammonia. Pour the solution onto the porch and use a sponge to distribute the mixture (test on an inconspicuous area first). Cover the area with a plastic tablecloth (found at dollar stores). Place something heavy onto the tablecloth and leave for 12 hours. Remove the tablecloth. Double or triple the recipe as needed.

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.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website at reena.ca. Ask a question or share a tip at reena.ca.

 

Reena Nerbas  
May 25

Renovation & Design

Tough stuff

Colleen Zacharias
May 25

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