Sally’s Helpful Hints

Back by popular demand, I have more goodies to share.  Thanks to everyone for the great tips and comments on the last Helpful Hints post!

Two things used to drive me nuts when I had a nice flower-herb-veggie garden.  Rodents (squirrels and moles mostly) would dig up my bulbs and munch on other delectables, and cats would pee on the roses.  Both killing my chances of beautiful and useful landscaping that I slaved over the previous season.  I don’t actually want to harm the animals or taint my garden either.  So I discovered MOTH BALLS work really well.  Cats and squirrels especially do not like the smell and will avoid the garden altogether.  Can you blame them?  To make it particularly effective I buy the moth ball crystals and sprinkle them around the garden to have more coverage than one large ball and less concentration in the soil of the chemical in one spot.  Just beware that rain will dissolve them and you will need to re-sprinkle.  But it’s a cheap and relatively safe way to help that pest problem.  Usually it only takes a few sprinkles to train them to keep away.

Brain Freeze
Ever eat ice cream or drink a smoothie too fast?  I do it all the time, and you’d think I’d learn to slow down, but it’s so so good!  But that pain between your eyebrows is miserable and you want it to stop.  One of my friends, who’s a singer, told me about HUMMING.  Yep, that’s right!  Hum through your teeth to create a vibration in your sinus cavity and in that painful brain freeze spot and it will go away quickly.  I’m not sure if it’s the actual vibration that does it or it’s the heat and friction from the vibration to melts the freeze, but it really works!

Cookies & Bread
Ever have bread that goes dry or stale from sitting out?  Or overcook cookies a little too much and they get hard and crispy, but you prefer soft and moist?  It’s really just a moisture issue.  The easiest way to fix it is to put a slice of APPLE in the bag or container with the bread or cookies until the desired level is reached.  The moisture from the apple will transfer to the bread or cookies and bring them back to life.  Just remember to take the apple out when you’re done, because it works both ways.   You can also use a slice of dry bread to dry out other things, like cookies that are too chewy.  This is basic biology that water wants to go to where it is absent (hypo- and hypertonic), so just remember that once you’re done with your experiment remove the fruit or bread or else the moisture will just go back and forth and you’ll be frustrated.

Run out of parchment paper?  Making several batches of cookies in one day and only have a couple cookie sheets?  Hate cleaning cookie sheets?  Use ALUMINUM FOIL to line the cookie sheet and clean up is a snap!  I always spray a little cooking spray to make sure the goodies don’t stick to it.  But this is great if you don’t want to clean a huge, airbake cookie sheet.  It also makes it easy to transfer a whole sheet of cookies to a cooling rack without mess and begin again fresh on the same sheet immediately for different cookies.

Bee Sting
Ouch!  These are awful, but there is a quick way to cure the pain.  Thanks to my Granny for this one, because I used to step on bees all the time as a kid.  TOBACCO wetted down with water placed on the sting will literally take out the sting!  One of the funniest things I ever did as a pre-teen was walk around a pool asking all the adults for a cigarette, trying to convince them I really needed it because my friend was stung by a bee.  Just keep in mind that some people are allergic, or can develop an allergy, to bee stings so they should be monitored for any other reactions and seek immediate medical care if conditions worsen.

6 Responses

  1. Yep I was going to say about the moth balls..!.. or a gun… NO ! JUST KIDDING !!
    great blog !. gareth

  2. If drilling tiles, put celotape on the tile first, and drill slow !

  3. Another tip for brain freezes? Stick your thumb on the roof of your mouth. Weird, but effective! I think I’ll try humming!

  4. I think the thumb to the roof of your mouth probably works on the same principle. So humming might work when you don’t want to look like you’re sucking your thumb, but the thumb might work when you can’t really hum loudly, like in a meeting or church.

  5. Brain freeze–OUCH! I’ve never heard of that humming trick. I’ll have to try it next time.

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