Solutions & Substitutions Column Oct. 8th, 2010

Solutions & Substitutions Column

By: Reena Nerbas

Dear Reena,

I am considering purchasing a new baking sheet. My goal is to buy aluminum, however I read that aluminum is linked to Alzheimer Disease. Is that true? Lorne

Dear Lorne,

According to The Alzheimer Society there are several factors that contribute to causes of Alzheimer’s disease in some people. “In terms of aluminum, there is circumstantial evidence linking this metal with Alzheimer’s disease, but no causal relationship has yet been proved. As evidence for other causes continues to grow, a possible link with aluminum seems increasingly unlikely. Researchers believe that in the majority of those affected, Alzheimer’s disease results from a combination of different risk factors rather than one single cause. Such factors, which vary from person to person, may include age, genetic predisposition, other diseases or environmental agents.” For more information, check out, alzheimers.org

Dear Reena,

How do you keep homemade sauerkraut from oxidizing and turning brown after it is in jars for a while? Dolores

Dear Dolores,

There are a number of factors that can cause sauerkraut to brown. Here are a few suggestions: It is important to use either pickling or canning salt (not regular salt). If sauerkraut is turning brown you may be fermenting it too long. It is also essential to check on the temperature controls because spoilage leading to food poisoning can occur if the fermentation temperature of sauerkraut is too high. The high acidity content in sauerkraut prevents it from spoilage. It’s important to pack sauerkraut tightly, that way the salt will draw out the water from the cabbage so fermentation can occur.

Dear Reena,

I was making a recipe that called for whip cream. I was supposed to add whip cream to the pot with sugar and butter to create a thick cream sauce. However, I didn’t have whip cream so I used half and half cream instead, but the cream would not thicken no matter how long I cooked it. What did I do wrong? Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

You can spend hours stirring half and half cream and it won’t thicken because it does not have a high enough fat content. In other words it is the fat in whip cream that makes it a thickening ingredient. If you run out of whip cream and need to use something else such as half and half or regular milk, add a little cornstarch then bring to a boil to thicken (just like you would gravy).

Wonderful Feedback from Reader:

Hi Reena,

For many years my bread dough wouldn’t rise. I was told it was the yeast. My “bricks” made really tasty toast, but not great looking bread. And I was frustrated, very frustrated! I finally realized that my ingredients were too cold and therefore inhibited the yeast from growing. I was using stone-ground whole wheat flour, and for added nutrients I added wheat germ. Both have to be kept in the fridge to prevent them from going rancid. Once I let the flour and wheat germ come to room temperature before starting the bread everything was fine. I wouldn’t want to tell you how many years it took for me to figure this one out. Cheers, Betty

Clever Kit Kat Fun:

  • Kit Kat Cake Recipe

You will need: One box soda crackers, one and a half cups graham crackers (crushed), three quarter cup brown sugar, one cup granulated sugar, three quarter cup butter or margarine, one third cup milk, one teaspoon vanilla, one cup butterscotch chips, one cup semisweet chocolate chips, three quarter cup smooth peanut butter.

Put graham crackers, brown sugar, white sugar, butter, milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Place a layer of crackers in 9×13 a pan and pour half of the mixture over it. Add another layer of crackers and pour the remaining mixture. Add one last row of crackers. Over low heat, melt both chips and peanut butter. When melted, spread evenly over the top layer of crackers. When cool, cut into desired bars or squares.

  • Out of icing? Decorate the wall of your homemade cake with a fence of individual Kit Kat bars. Hold the Kit Kat pieces in place by tying a pretty ribbon around the cake. Fill the centre of the cake with handfuls of M & M’s.
  • Top cupcakes or cakes with finely cut pieces of Kit Kat bars. Freeze and use as needed.

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and the author of three national best sellers, “Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions”, “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets” and “Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives”. Corporate and Christmas Workshops Available by calling: 204-320-2757.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

Check out my web site! www.householdsolutions.org

For all of your home improvement needs please contact my friend Shell Busey at www.housesmartcentre.com. To read more household solutions visit: www.CanadianHomeTrends.ca

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