One of the things that I felt would help me on the way to a Plastic-Reduced kitchen was Beeswax Wraps!
These handy sheets and bags were made with an old, clean duvet and napkins that were destined for goodwill, a block of Beeswax from our Health Food Store, my handy dandy sewing machine and some string from Dollarama. Thankfully my Mom was around while I sewed the bags and she grated up all the beeswax for me (thanks Mom!)
First Step was to create the bags...I used no pattern and just eye-balled the size and shape (which is why this rectangle is not perfect - I am a 1 hr-project girl after all!), creating a 1/2 inch hem at the top for the drawstring.
Next I used aluminum foil to line my oven rack and cut to size a piece of parchment paper to go inside the bag to keep the two layers separate. This way I could do 1 side at a time without them fusing together 🙂
Oven preheated to 200F, it only took a few minutes to melt into the cloth...keep an eye on it! When it looks all melted, pull it out of the oven and let it cool ~ I like to pick it up and wave it around 😉 Once it is cool, it is ready to use!
They aren't perfect or overall as pretty as I would like...but that's what trying something new is all about! Next time, I want to choose some fabric that is more colourful and create some sandwich/snack bags for school lunches ~ when I have done them, I'll post some pictures!I find that they keep my vegetables fresh for waaay longer than plastic bags!
Here's an example of mushrooms that I bought in a plastic container, removed the plastic and replaced it with a Beeswax Napkin:
TWO weeks later....
a little bit brown but Still Edible! That's a WIN!
Greetings, Culinary Compatriots!
I thought I would take a quick moment to sing the praises of Textured Vegetable Protein, aka TVP. TVP is made from soy and I can’t think of a better food to help people transition to plant-based cooking. It can replace hamburger in almost any familiar recipe you can think of and it is SO EASY TO USE! SO EASY! I really can’t emphasize that enough, because gone are the days of standing over a pan scraping a solid block of slowly thawing/cooking frozen hamburger.
Instead, I boil a pot of water and five minutes later, I have my mince for any recipe I can think up. Here’s why I like it so much:
It has a neutral taste, and so it can take any flavour you want to add to it. I can make chili, spaghetti, taco ‘meat’, lasagna, shepherd’s pie, spicy Jamaican patties … you get the idea.
HUGE bonus — if you buy it from a Bulk Store, it’s super cheap. And Zero Waste if you use a cloth bag.
It also doesn’t go bad because it is shelf-stable. I have a huge glass jar of it in the cupboard above my stove.
In short, it is awesome.
To prepare it, it is a simple ratio of 1 part TVP: 1 part BOILING WATER. 1:1 — it doesn’t get easier than that. Leave it for 5 minutes to reconstitute and it’s ready to use. Don’t worry about the slightly earthy smell, once it is added to whatever you’re cooking up, it has a very neutral flavour — try it and you will see what I mean.
I hope you find it as easy and versatile as I have.
Liquid gold: You may call me VINEGAR!
When you find an easy, accessible and inexpensive household product that does so much, it’s hard not to sing its praises! Today, I am raving about white VINEGAR and how it's changed my life!!
Now as a child, I hated being asked to wash windows, because all we had was watered down vinegar with newspaper, and at the time, my only thought was 'This stuff stinks. Why can't we buy the blue stuff my friends’ use?'.
I have a feeling my sisters are going to read this and say, ‘We could have told you how great it was if you had just been listening!’ hahaha
Ok, ok...Now I get it, this stuff rocks!!
Let’s learn a little more about VINEGAR before we use it all about house:
Vinegar is a liquid consisting of about 5–20% acetic acid (CH3COOH), water, and other trace chemicals, which may include flavorings. The acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Historically it has had a great variety of industrial, medical, and domestic uses. (this has been paraphrased from Wikipedia. To read more follow this link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar)
My house is hooked up to city water, and while it has less scale residue than hard well water can cause, I still get buildup in visible areas. One place that absolutely drives me nuts, is the upper edge of my stainless sink in the kitchen where I constantly battle with dried water rings. These are the kind that you can’t just wipe up, or scrub with your dishcloth of soap and water to remove.
The first thought I had was to go buy stainless steel polish to really buff up the shine. Although after some research, and reading other reviews, I was worried that some of those options might be more abrasive to the finish of my new steel. I knew it was time to find an alternative, so I did a quick search online, and found the solution (don’t mind the pun)
For the area that I was looking to deal with (the kitchen sink), using an undiluted concentration of vinegar for 5 or 10 minutes did the trick. I simply soaked a paper towel and placed it over the trouble spots. Once it had the time to soak, all it needed was a wipe to see the ring-free shine!! After that I was hooked, and started searching the house for other places that needed a direct hit from my new friend.
And there were. Namely in the bathrooms, which I felt deserved a little TLC anyhow. The edge in the bathroom shower was in much need of help. I actually thought the finish had been worn off on the shower ledge, because no matter how much I soaked it in cleaner, or scrubbed it with my toughest sponge, there seemed to be no change. So, I took my VINEGAR to the bathroom, and I was amazed...again! (ok, it clearly doesn’t take much to amaze this gal, but I’m ok with that 😉 It had even removed a hair dye stain that I had been looking at with despise for a couple years – YAY!
If you are looking for a more calm solution for around the house, let’s say for glass and mirror cleaning, use a 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water solution, poured into a spray bottle, spray, wipe and done!
I’m including a great link to Readers Digest as an incredible source for many uses of Vinegar around the house - from carpet stain cleanup, removing candle wax to purging bugs from your pantry....Freaking Amazing!!
The next thing I’m going to try is unclogging and deodorizing the drains, so wish me luck and please comment your wonderful VINEGAR tips below if you have some to share...