Hello, friends! It's good to see you again. I feel like we have so much catching up to do. Shall we pretend we're sitting down for a cup of tea and a chat? I've got some fresh homemade bread I'd be happy to share.
So what's been going on with me? Well...
Last fall, wheat bugs discovered my year supply of organic pasta. When I opened the pantry door, it sounded like rice krispies - munch, munch, munch, snap, crackle, pop. This was a tragedy! $80 worth of pasta, now inedible. I may have cried a little.
I needed a better way to store my pasta. Bug-proof, tightly-sealed, preferably not plastic, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. A gigantic glass pickle jar might work...if I could get rid of the vinegar smell.
Have you ever tried to get the vinegar smell out of a pickle jar? At first, it seemed to be an impossible task. No matter how many times I washed it or how long I soaked it, the smell would remain. And then I discovered the solution: newspaper. Fill your glass jar with crumpled balls of newspaper, screw on the lid, let it sit for a long time (at least a few days), remove the newspaper, and there you go. A gigantic glass pickle jar ready for all of your food storage needs (or whatever other needs you may have).
Speaking of smelly things, last year I read somewhere that if you use 100% cotton dishrags, they will not get that icky dishrag stink. This is not true - do not believe it. After I read that, I crocheted myself all new dishrags with 100% cotton yarn, and it was true for several months - maybe even a year - and then...Winter came, cold house, dishrags not drying out, and the stink returned.
If you have the stinky dishrag problem, here's what I do now: Put some water in a bucket (you only need enough to cover your dishrags). Add a slosh of vinegar. Toss your dirty dishrags into the bucket when you're done using them. On laundry day, put the wet dishrags in the wash. Empty bucket and refill with fresh water and a slosh of vinegar. No more stink.
Last fall, when I canned applesauce, I experimented with making apple cider vinegar out of the fruit scraps. Here are the basic instructions if you're interested. Sadly, however, I did not successfully make apple cider vinegar. Apparently, I made hard apple cider. It was very fizzy and stunk like alcohol. Have any of you ever tried making apple cider vinegar? Tips?
Although my attempt to use up my apple scraps was a fail, I have found a great way to get a second life out of orange peels: I fill a jar with vinegar, and then as we work our way through a box of oranges, I add the peels to the vinegar in the jar. When the jar is full, I let it sit for a month and then strain out the peels. The orange-infused vinegar makes a great-smelling all-purpose cleaner.
Kind of funny that all of these things I wanted to tell you about had to do with vinegar...
What have you been up to lately?