Sometimes just a little common sense goes a long way. My Mom and my Grandma had a way of seeing things that brought perfect clarity to a subject. Each Spring we all took a Spring
tonic made of fifty percent Cod-Liver Oil and fifty percent Cascara. Granted, it tasted awful, but the effect on our immune system could not be denied. The awful tasting brew made us feel
better. Lots of things we would never suspect are used in interesting ways.
What On Earth Is That?
I don’t know about you but I
love home made Mexican food. The only problem making spicy food is handling
heat containing vegetables such as hot peppers. I find that after preparing the
raw vegetables my hands sting and burn. I asked my Mom about the discomfort and
she just smiled. “Didn’t you notice the rubbing Alcohol on the kitchen sink?
Next time you prepare the raw hot peppers after you finish rinse your hands in
Alcohol. It will take away the sting.” The next time I prepared spicy food
containing hot peppers I rinsed my hands in Alcohol. My Mom was right the sting
went away. My friend who was watching me prepare the food suddenly was
perplexed. “What on earth is that?” “Its alcohol and it takes the sting out of
preparing raw hot peppers.” Wear glasses while peeling onions it will save a lot of tears.
Let it Shine!
I never thought about using fruit for things besides eating. Goes to show how we sometimes think with tunnel vision. I watched my son the R.O.T.C. Cadet use a banana peel to shine
his shoes. I asked how he knew how to do that and he replied, “His Sergeant
told him how.” The shoes were shiny and my son passed inspection. A shiny tip
for good china; put one half cup of Borax in a sink full of warm water rinse
china and then rinse with clear water. Your china will shine like new.
Was That Cake I Saw?
Keeping the ends of cut cake from drying out by using tooth picks to secure a slice of bread is a simple thing and it works. Using a large loaf of uncut bread hollow out the center it
can be used as a soup bowel or a dip holder. I always keep cheese cloth on hand
because it is so versatile. Cheese cloth can be used as a tea strainer,
pressing cloth, and butterfly net and fat remover. Wrap an ice cube in cheese
cloth and draw it across soups or stews to remove fat.
Wrinkle, Wrinkle, There You Go!
My Aunt swears by Castor Oil for a wrinkle cream. My Aunt puts Castor Oil around her eye area at night before she goes to sleep. I swear she has no wrinkles around her eyes. If you
have been working hard and your fingernails are stained use the inside of a
lemon peel. Dig your nails into the soft flesh of the lemon peel and it will
clean and bleach them.
I’ll Drink That!
I make fruit punch for various gatherings. I use fruit juice and Club Soda to make a refreshing
healthy drink. Club Soda has various uses and some that are surprising.
It loosens rusty items, cleans porcelain surfaces, removes stains from clothing
and calms upset stomachs. Dandelion root tea will also calm an upset stomach
and stimulate the appetite. Make sure to use clean roots not sprayed by herbicides.
Dandelion roots need to be roasted until brown, cooled and ground. Use one
teaspoon per cup because it can also act as a diuretic. The tender young leaves
can be eaten as a salad. Just make sure the leaves are picked before the
flowers are formed. Once the flowers are formed the leaves become bitter and
Flowers for My Bowl.
If we knew what was edible we would never be hungry. See those pansies in that window planter? The petals of pansies, violets, and nasturtiums are edible. Leaves of peonies, yuccas, and
carnations, are great for salads. Rose and violet petals can be used to
decorate confections. Dip the petals in egg whites and sprinkle with confectioner’s
sugar put on wire rack to dry. Yummy they tasted great. On the other hand dried
garden flowers placed in an airtight container with crushed mint leaves a
quarter teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and four drops of lemon oil make a fantastic
Baby its Cold Outside!
In emergency situations the simplest things can be a comfort. Lip balm can be used as a facial moisturizing solution. Pat some on razor nicks and it will stop bleeding. Cranky zippers
will slide with ease with just a little Lip Balm. Because I live in hurricane alley I make sure my emergency kit has a supply of Iodine I never know when I might need to purify drinking
water. To purify water use six to eight drops of Iodine per quart of water and
let stand for twenty minutes. I remember a time when I had to have a ring cut
off my finger. Now in that situation when I have problems removing my rings and
this might sound peculiar but I use Mayonnaise and the rings slip right off my
A Modern Convenience.
Microwave ovens have opened up a whole new field of interesting uses. A small hand towel moistened with water and placed in a gallon plastic bag then heated for one minute or until
warm can be used as a heating pad. Clothes wrinkled without metal buttons can be
sprinkled with water placed in a plastic bag and heated for one minute can be
ironed smoothed. Rejuvenate soggy crackers, potato chips, pretzels and cookies
by heating them on High for 30-60 seconds and let stand for one-two minutes.
These are just some things I have gleaned from my parents and grandparents through the years. I
have a whole diary full of notes about these remedies. I have used them through
the years and decided to share some of them with my readers. I look forward to
hearing from you in the comment section.
Author: Whitney Joh is a retired Science Teacher.