So let’s check our Mr. Potato Head and his fellow companions….actually the group has two different cliques—each based on the amount of starch and water that they contain.
These groups are the following…
Let’s look at the characteristics of a starchy potato…
- absorbent almost all of the butter and cream that you place on them…yum…
- break down easily when cooked
- don’t hold together very well when cooked
flesh coats your knife with a white, milky film when you cut into it
high in starch
low in moisture
The most common type of starchy potato is the russet potato, also known as an Idaho potato or Burbank potato.…russet potatoes are in fact the most common type of potato grown in the United States. Russet potatoes are the type of potato most people think of when they think about buying potatoes in the grocery store.
There are actually numerous varieties of russet potatoes. A few of their characteristics are…
- easily absorb butter and milk making them ideal for mashed or baked potatoes
- just a few shallow eyes
- light, fluffy texture
- medium-to-large size
- oblong or oval shaperough net-like skin that becomes chewy when cooked
- white flesh
Cooking methods that are best for starchy potatoes include…
- Deep Frying
- Pan Frying
These cooking methods create a crisp crust and keep the interior moist.
Starchy potatoes are not good for dishes that require the potatoes to hold their shape.—such as potato salads, soups, stews, and potatoes au gratin—because the flesh flakes and easily separates after cooking.
However, these potatoes are great for making…
- baked potatoes
- French fries
- potato chips
- mashed potatoes
So let’s start actually cooking by using the cooking method that we are currently talking about—deep frying—by frying up some potato chips and French fries..
Now that we’ve basically covered every single use for baking soda known to man, let’s finally get back to cooking.
Our detour on the many uses for baking soda began as an ADHD tangent on the fact that baking soda can be used to make a batter for the cooking method that we’re focusing on now—deep frying.
And as soon as I hear the word “deep-frying,” my mind automatically thinks about potatoes—potato chips…and French fries…
So let’s talk potato chips…
Potato chips are obviously one of the most popular snack foods around the world…but I honestly have gotten where I hate store-bought chips. To me they often taste soggy and greasy, instead of crispy and crunchy.
Also most of the chips available at your local grocery store either contain all sorts of words that none of us can pronounce…or cost too much and have so few chips in the bag that you can’t justify spending that much.
So instead we are going to make our own potato chips that are crispy, easy to make, and a good-for-you snack your whole family will devour.
But before we can ever expect to make the best potato chips…and French fries possible, we must first learn to select the ideal potatoes for frying…
After all, as a musician we are taught that there are only two really important parts of a performance. It is important that you start well, and that you end well…
So let’s start well!!!
This year I have been in the process of “detoxifying” our home and our lifestyle. Lately I have been learning to make my own”safe” cleaning supplies.
Making your own homemade cleaning products typically involves combining specific products, such as…
1. Baking Soda...Baking soda is an ideal deodoriser, disinfectant, anddegreaser.
2. Borax…Borax consists of soft colourless crystals that dissolve easily in water that can be used to make a very effecti all-purpose cleaner that can clean just about everything.
3. Detergent…Detergent helps lift dirt and grime. When shopping for detergent, look for a detergent that is PH neutral, fragrance free and septic tank safe…such as Earth Choice, Morning Fresh, and ecostore.
4. Essential Oils...Essential oils help make both your home and your cleaning supplies smell lovely and fresh. Some of the best essential oils for cleaning are lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, and wild orange.
5. Microfiber Cloths…Microfiber cloth are reusable. Simply throw them into the wash and then hang on the line to dry.
6. Salt... Salt is an effective scouring agent, deodoriser, and degreaser.
7. Spray Bottles…Spray bottles are obviously important when you are making and using homemade cleaners.
8. Vinegar...Vinegar, a great natural anti-fungal and antibacterial, can be used so many different ways to clean -to disinfect, cut through grease, de-scale, clean glass, and so much more.
Hard to believe that thirty years ago, my mom was trying to teach me how to do my own laundry as I headed out the door to college.
Now I have three college daughters of my own who really need to start doing their own laundry…the right way…(So they can’t ever say that their mom never showed them how to do their own laundry…I am writing it here in plain English.)
1. How much detergent…Too much detergent is a waste of money and produces an excess of suds in the wash. Too little detergent can keep your clothes from getting clean at all.
2. How many clothes per load…Cramming every single article of clothing you own into one wash load makes it harder for clothes to get cleaned effectively. Use your common sense.
3. How often should I wash my clothes…Socks, underwear, and workout clothes should be washed after every wearing. Everything else, at least for the most part, can simply be aired out and put away for another day…(no, girls, that does not give you a valid excuse to leave your entire wardrobe all over the bedroom floor)…
4. What settings should you use…Select the smallest load setting and shortest wash setting appropriate for each particular load…again, use some common sense…or call your mom…
5. What water temperature should I use to wash my clothes… According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 90 percent of the energy used while doing a load of laundry is used to heat the water….
We have been told differently since birth…or maybe since college days…because there was a time when hot water was needed to dissolve powdered detergent, but times have changed…and liquid laundry detergents have now advanced to the point of being able to get clothes just as clean in cold water as hot.
So stop…(stop using hot or warm water, that is…not sure that any of us can get by with not doing laundry, at least not for very long.)
Now that I have started doing smaller loads throughout the week, I am enjoying the freedom of “bachelor washing”…washing almost anything and everything in one load.
Cold water makes doing this “safer”…is gentler on fabrics than warmer water…and helps keep clothes from fading or shrinking.
Even better, switching to cold water is the simplest way to save money. (There are detergents specifically made for cold water use, if throwing all your clothes into the same water scares you still)…
6. What water temperature should I use to rinse my clothes… rinsing in hot or warm water doesn’t get clothes any cleaner…it just increases your monthly utility bills.
7. Which detergent should I buy…Be smart enough to look beyond those super-expensive brands so that you can see the generic and store-brand options.
Read the label to see how best to use a particular product. Forexample, some detergents go into the soap dispenser, others go right into the drum.
Many of my friends were on a laundry detergent-making sprint back when Pinterest first got big…(I personally never found time to try making my own…too busy on Facebook, I guess)…but here’s a recipe for homemade laundry detergent that was given to me back then…
Homemade Laundry Detergent...3 cups washing soda, 3 bars of Castile soap, 3 cups of Borax, and 1/2tsp essential oil-such as grapefruit, lavender, lime or orange.
Rosemary Mint Fabric Softener...6C water, 3C white vinegar, 2C Suave Rosemary + Mint Conditioner…Add 2Tbsp to your wash cycle for smaller loads, or 1/4C for larger loads. You can also pour 1/4C of the fabric softener onto a clean washcloth and toss it in your dryer just like a store-bought dryer sheet.
8. How do I wash extremely stinky clothes…Soak very smelly clothes in a machine filled with the hottest water available and 1C vinegar for an hour before washing them as normally would. Add a few drops of essential oils-such as lemon or lavender-to the water in the washing machine.
9. How do I deal with that stain “will never come out”...Simply pray hard and then work a few drops of detergent into the stained fabric and wash as usual. If the stain doesn’t come out, you needed a good excuse to go shopping anyway, right?!
The Dryer…Your dryer is the most expensive appliance to operate…so using it less will obviously save you money. A wall-mounted, folding drying rack provides the perfect spot to air-dry clothes without hanging your undies in plain sight for everyone outside to see.
Here are a few more ways to save money when drying your clothes.
1. Empty the lint trap and wipe the lint filter clean with a used dryer sheet after each load. Making sure the dryer lint filter is clean before starting each load will ensure peak performance of your dryer and prevent fire.
2. Make your own dryer sheets…Homemade dryer sheets, using the natural smell of essential oils, can be added to your dryer along with your clothes to leave them pleasantly scented.
Homemade Dryer Sheets…Combine 1C white vinegar with 25 drops essential oil in a Mason jar. Put the lid on securely. Shake vigorously to mix. Dunk pieces of fabric or towels in the solution and wring out any excess liquid before using.
3. Use your dryer during off peak times…Power companies often charge more per kilowatt-hour during peak usage times. This obviously means that the next load of clothes will cost more to dry during these times.
4. Put an extra dry towel in the dryer with the wet clothes to help absorb the water so that your clothes dry faster.
5. Regularly use a small amount of detergent and a toothbrush to clean your lint trap. Also take this time to clean the dryer exhaust vent and clear out the air hose behind your machine.
6. Select sensor dry instead of timed dry, if you have the option.
7. Switch loads right away, instead of allowing your dryer to cool down orrest between loads. Your dryer is built to handle such back-to-back cycles…so do not wait.
1. Anti-Mold Spray and Bathroom Cleaner…Fill empty spray bottle at least half full with vinegar. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water, leaving about a 1″ gap at the top of the bottle. Add 1tsp tea tree essential oil for every 1C vinegar/water solution.
To use, shake vigorously to combine the essential oils throughout the mixture. Generously spray on surfaces-showers, shower doors, walls, and tubs, etc-and do not wipe down.
2. Carpet Freshener…Fill a shaker about halfway with baking soda. Add ten drops essential oil. Do another layer of baking soda and essential oil. Mix well. Sprinkle over carpet and rugs, and then vacuum.
3. Daily Shower Cleaner…Mix together 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tsp dish soap, and 1 Tbsp dishwasher rinse aid into a 24oz spray bottle. Fill the spray bottle the rest of the way with water.
The hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol work together to help keep mildew at bay, and the soap and rinse aid fight soap scum.
Hydrogen peroxide will break down in sunlight (which is why it’s sold in brown bottles). You can keep this spray in a dark bottle, or just store it in a dark cupboard between uses.
4. Floor Cleaner… Simply mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water. Mop. There’s no need to rinse, and the vinegar smell dissipates once the floors have dried.
This floor cleaner works well on all floor types-sealed wood, tile, laminate and linoleum.
5. Glass Cleaner...Funnel 1 1/4 cups distilled water, 1/2 cup 80-proof vodka, and 1/4 cup white vinegar into a glass spray bottle. Add 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Replace the nozzle. Shake well.
To use, spray on windows and mirrors, and then wipe with a soft microfiber cloth until dry.
6. Lavender Linen Spray...Combine 2Tbsp witch hazel or vodka and 10 drops lavender essential oil in a small jar with tight-fitting lid. Place the lid on tightly. Shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine the two.
Open the lid to the jar. Add 6Tbsp water. Replace the lid. Shake again for 15-20 seconds to combine.
Place the funnel in the opening of the spray bottle. Pour the mixture from the jar into the spray bottle. Replace the spray bottle lid.
Spray on your pillows, sheets, and blankets.
7. Room Freshener Spray…Stir together 1Tbsp baking soda and 10 drops essential oil. Put mixture into 16oz spray bottle. Top off with 2C distilled water. Label. Shake before each use.
Scent Combination Ideas…
1. 5 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Wild Orange
2. 5 drops Wild Orange, 3 drops Ginger, 3 drops Ylang Ylang
3. 4 drops Bergamot, 4 drops Lemon, 2 drops Peppermint
4. 4 drops Lemongrass, 3 drops Wild Orange, 2 drops Peppermint
8. Toilet Bombs…Stir together 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup citric acid. Add 25 drops peppermint essential oil and 10 drops tea tree/melaluca essential oil.
Place vinegar in spray bottle.Spritz baking soda mixture lightly with vinegar. Spritz and stir, then repeat until mixture sticks together when squeezed.
Press mixture firmly into a muffin tin or silicone molds. Allow to dry a few hours. Pop from mold. Store in a quart mason jar.
To use, toss one toilet bomb into the toilet bowl. Wait 15min. Swish with toilet brush. Flush.
9. Wood Floor Cleaner and Polish…Combine 1 gallon of hot water, 3/4 cup of olive oil! and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Apply it to your floors with a mop that you’ve wrung out fairly well. Let it dry on its own, without rinsing.
It is important to remember that essential oils and green products can react with plastic, so always make and store your cleaning products in glass containers.
Also be sure to print and use cute and colorful labels to help you stay organized and know what each container contains.
Moving on ahead, here are a few essential oil recipes to help keep your kitchen cleaner…
1. All Purpose Cleaner …Combine.1 gallon water, 2tsp Dawn dish soap, 1/2C vinegar, 1/2C baking soda. Put in a spray bottle to clean showers, toilets, sinks, counter-tops, and floors.
2. Dishwasher Detergent Tablets…Stir together 2C cups baking soda, 2C borax, 1/2C epsom salt,1/2C vinegar, and 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Transfer the mixture into a ice cube trays or silicone molds.
Press down until each compartment is hard packed with detergent. Put them in a dry, sunny spo and let them sit for at least 24 hours. Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
3. Disinfectant...Combine 1Tbsp witch hazel, 5 drops orange essential oil, 5 drops lavender essential oil,2 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 7 drops tea tree oil in 8oz spray bottle.Fill with 1C distilled or filtered water.
Shake well before each use. To use, spray on hard surface, such as counter-top and let air-dry.
4. Garbage Disposal Bombs…Mix 3/4C baking soda with 1/2C salt.
Slowly add 1Tbsp dish soap and 10 drops lemon essential oil. Scoop the mixture into Tablespoon-sized “cookies” onto tin foil or parchment paper. Let /dry 24 hours. To use, store in a jar by the sink and run a couple of bombs through the disposal as needed.
5. Room Spray...Combine 2tsp witch-hazel, 15 drops of lemon essential oil and 4oz water in a small, fine-mist spray bottle.
For decades our mothers and grandmothers have all taught us to keep an open box of baking soda in the fridge, but baking soda also can be used in many other ways to help whatever “junk” causes the “funk” around your home.
Baking soda works by actually interacting with the odor particles, naturally neutralizing the pH balance, and totally eliminating these odors.
Basing soda works so much better than any “multipurpose odor remover” that you could ever buy at Walmart…or for those of us who don’t shop at Walmart, at Target or Tom Thumb that simply release fragrance molecules and temporarily mask the smell.
- Cat Box…Sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom of your cat box before filling it with kitty litter.
- Dishwasher…Toss it into the bottom of your dishwasher.
- Trashcan…Sprinkle it over the layers of garbage in your trash can. Research shows that putting baking soda at the bottom of your trashcans can get ride of 70% of the bad odor in the typical kitchen trashcan..
Baking soda produces carbon dioxide when heated, which can smother and extinguish small oil, grease and electrical fires. So assuming you don’t panic and try to beat the fire out with a towel like I did once, throw some baking soda over the fire instead.
Cleaning with baking soda is a much safer, natural, and cost-effective option than most of the commericial cleaners that contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets and children.
Not only can baking soda remove tough stains, but it also eliminates foul odors, whitens and disinfects
Here are a few of the things around your house that you could clean with baking soda.
- Carpets…Sprinkle your carpet with baking soda. Wait twenty minutes. Vacuum.
- Coffee Pot Cleaner…To remove tough coffee stains and funky tastes from your coffee pot, combine 1/4C baking soda with one quart warm water. Rub the mixture on and in your pots. Wait a few hours. Rinse.
- Dish Washing…Add baking soda to your regular dishwashing cycle to help eliminate unwanted grease and grime that builds up on your dishes.
- Drain Cleaner…Pour baking soda and then vinegar down your drain to create your own drain cleaner. Wait 15min. Rinse with hot water.
- Oven Cleaner…Add 1tsp baking soda to a damp sponge or rag and wipe away food and grease.
- Scorched Pots and Pans…To save a scorch pot, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the bottom of the pot. Add enough water to cover the burnt areas. Bring the mixture to a boil and empty the pan as usual. Scour with dishwashing liquid if needed.
- Scouring Powder...Sprinkle baking soda on the surfaces in your kitchen and use a sponge or rag to scrub. Make a paste using baking soda and a bit of water. Then clean away.
- Silverware …Create a paste that is three parts baking soda and one part water. Rub the paste onto your silverware. Let it sit in a large tray or bowl. After twenty minutes, rinse the silverware.
- Silver Polish..Silver undergoes a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with aluminum pan and baking soda that transfers the tarnish from the silverware onto the aluminum pan. .To do this, add 1tsp baking soda to an aluminum baking pan. Slowly pour in 1/2C white vinegar. Next, pour in 1C boiling water. Place the silver in the baking pan. This should work in less than a minute.
Baking soda is often used as a detergent booster and fabric softener.
Adding 1/2C baking soda to your regular amount of laundry detergent in each load is a great and inexpensive method for removing odors from clothes, whitening them, and cleaning them.