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Hints and Crafts


If your "lost" car keys recently turned up in the microwave after hours of searching, then it's time for a new strategy in the kitchen...

- If you don't have a block of time,
tackle a large reorganizing task gradually -
- one cupboard at a time, one shelf at a time.

- Beginning with the cabinet closest to the sink,
work your way around the kitchen methodically.
Take everything out of each cupboard
and wipe down the shelves.

- Return only the items that belong there,
placing in front the ones used most frequently.
(Set the rest aside to be stored elsewhere or
put them in a giveaway box for a local shelter.)

- Reserve prime storage space for items used daily.

- Line glasses up in neat rows according
to what they're used for
(short juice tumblers, tall drink glasses, etc.)

- Wherever possible, save space by stacking glasses.

- Prevent dust buildup and discourage insects
by storing glassware upside down.

- Let younger kids stock a lower cabinet with
plastic cups and dishes.

- Store seldom-used pots and pans, bowls,
casseroles and platters in less accessible cabinets.

- Install vertical dividers in a lower cabinet near
the oven to hold cookie sheets and pizza pans.

- Store pot lids in one place. Stand them on
their sides in order of size in a deep drawer.

- Keep leftovers in clear-glass or
plastic containers in your fridge. That way,
you'll always know what you're saving.

- Hang kitchenware that you use daily on
a wall grid in your favorite color.

- Store oversize utensils (soup ladles,
whisks--anything that can jam drawers)
in a crock or pitcher by the stove.

- Use the dead space under the sink for storage.
Install wire or plastic sliding shelves,
or use plastic vegetable bins.
(Position shelves or bins so that you can
get to the water shutoff valve easily.)

- Get rid of spacetaking cookbooks you rarely use,
but be sure to cut out or copy favorite recipes first.
Then, using an inexpensive photo album,
file them into a personal cookbook.

- Keep favorite seasonings and spices
at arm't length but not above the stove.
Heat can destroy a spice's flavor.
Store in a cool, dark place.

- Save search time by labeling shelves in your
freezer. For example: Breads & Quick Meals,
Desserts & Beverages, and Meat.

- Number lids and bottoms of plastic storage
tubs with a permanent marker so they're
easy to match up.

- Make use of the space inside cabinet doors.
It's a good place to post information such
as kitchen measurements,
favorite recipes and ingredients substitutions.

- Buy an inexpensive foil,
plastic wrap and brown bag organizer,
and store items neatly inside a pantry door.

- Spread butcher's paper (from an
art supply store) over counters before doing
a messy cooking job. Just wad it up
and throw it way when you're finished.

- When a new appliance comes with a supply
of extra parts, label them and store
in a designated parts box in the garage.

from our ListHostess Shirley


Many terms are used exclusively in cooking.
You need to know what they mean in order
to understand even basic recipes.

~Al dente - Pasta cooked until just firm.

~Bake - To cook food in an oven, surrounded
with dry heat; called roasting when
applied to meat or poultry.

~Baking Powder is a combination of baking soda,
an acid such as cream of tartar,
and a starch or flour (moisture absorber).
Most common type is double-acting
baking powder, which acts when mixed
with liquid and again when heated.

~Baking Soda - The main ingredient in baking powder,
baking soda is also used when there is acid
(buttermilk or sour cream, for example) in a recipe.
Always mix with other dry ingredients
before adding any liquid, since leavening begins
soon as soda comes in contact with liquid.

~Barbecue - To cook foods on a rack or spit over coals.

~Baste - To moisten food for added flavor and
to prevent drying out while cooking.

~Batter - An uncooked pourable mixture
usually made up of flour,
a liquid, and other ingredients.

~Beat- To stir rapidly to make a mixture smooth,
using a whisk, spoon, or mixer.

~Blanch - To cook briefly in boiling water
to seal in flavor; usually used for
vegetables or fruit, to prepare for canning
and to ease skin removal.

~Blend - To thoroughly combine two
or more ingredients, either by hand
with a whisk or spoon, or with a mixer.

~Boil - To remove bones from poultry, meat or fish.

~Bouquet garni - A tied bundle of herbs,
usually parsley, thyme, and bay leaves,
that is added to flavor soups, stews,
and sauces but removed before serving.

~Braise - To gently brown in a small amount of
liquid over low heat in a covered pan until tender.

~Bread - To coat with crumbs or cornmeal before cooking.

~Broil - To cook on a rack or spit under
or over direct heat, usually in an oven.

~Caramelize - To heat sugar until it liquefies
and becomes a syrup ranging
from golden to dark brown.

~Cream - The butterfat portion of milk.
Also, to beat ingredients, usually
sugar and a fat, until smooth and fluffy.

~Cube - To cut food into small even pieces, usually about 1/2-inch.

~Cut in - To distribute a solid fat
in flour using a cutting motion,
with two knives or a pastry blender,
until divided evenly into tiny pieces.
Usually refers to making pastry.

~Deep Fry - To cook by completely immersing
food in hot fat.

~Deglaze - To loosen pan drippings by
adding a liquid, then heating while
stirring and scraping the pan.

~Dollop - A scoop-size blob of soft food,
such as whipped cream or mashed potatoes.

~Dot - To scatter butter in bits over food.

~Dredge - To cover or coat uncooked food,
usually with a flour or cornmeal
mixture or bread crumbs.

~Dress - To coat foods, such as salad, with a sauce,
or to clean fish, poultry, or game for cooking.

~Drippings - Juices and fats rendered by meat or
poultry during cooking.

~Fillet - A flat piece of boneless meat, poultry, or fish.
Also, to cut the bones from
a piece of meat, poultry, or fish.

~Fines herbes - A mixture of herbs,
traditionally parsley, chervil, chives,
and tarragon, used to flavor fish,
chicken, and eggs.

~Flambe - To ignite warmed alcoholic beverages,
which are then poured over foods
just before serving.

~Flute - To make decorative grooves.
Usually refers to pastry.

~Fold - To combine light ingredients,
such as whipped cream or beaten egg whites,
with a heavier mixture,
using a gentle over-and-under motion.

~Glaze - To coat foods with glossy mixtures,
such as jellies or sauces.

~Grate - To rub foods against a serrated
surface to produce shredded or fine bits.

~Grease - To rub the interior surface of a
cooking dish or pan with grease, oil,
or butter to prevent food from sticking to it.

~Grill - To cook food on a rack under or over
direct heat, as on a barbecue or a broiler.

~Grind - To reduce food to tiny particles
using a grinder or a food processor.

~Julienne - To cut in long, thin strips,
matchsticklike in shape.

~Knead - To blend dough together with hands
or in a mixer to form a pliable mass.

~Macerate - To soak in a flavored liquid;
usually refers to fruit.

~Marinate - To soak in a flavored liquid;
usually refers to meat, poultry, or fish.

~Mince - To cut in tiny pieces, usually with a knife.

~Parboil - To partially cook by boiling.
Usually done to prepare food for
final cooking by another method.

~Poach - To cook gently over very low heat
in barely simmering liquid just to cover.

~Reduce - To thicken a liquid and
concentrate its flavor by boiling.

~Render - To cook fatty meat or poultry,
such as bacon or goose, over low heat
to obtain drippings.

~Roast - To cook a large piece of meat or poultry
uncovered in an oven.

~Saute or Panfry - To cook food in a small amount
of fat over relatively high heat.

~Scald - To heat liquid almost to a boil until
bubbles begin to form around the edge.

~Sear - To brown the surface of meat
by quick cooking over high heat
in order to seal in the meat's juices.

~Shred - To cut food into narrow strips
with a knife or a grater.

~Simmer - To cook in liquid just below
the boiling point; bubbles form but
do not burst on the surface of the liquid.

~Skim - To remove surface foam or fat from a liquid.

~Steam - To cook food on a rack
or in a steamer set over boiling
or simmering water in a covered pan.

~Steep - To soak in a liquid just under the
boiling point to extract the essence
-- e.g., tea.

~Stew -To cook covered over low heat in a liquid.

~Stir-Fry - To quickly cook small pieces of food
over high heat, stirring constantly.

~Truss - To tie whole poultry with string
or skewers so it will hold its
shape during cooking.

~Whip - To beat food with a whisk or mixer
to incorporate air and produce volume.

~Zest - The outer colored part of
the peel of citrus fruit.

~*Copyrightę 1998 Daily Recipe«*~

from Judy of Country Kitchen

According to the 1999 consumer reports,
these are in order of overall score:

1 - Panasonic Bread Bakery SD-YD205 @$190
2 - Breadman TR800 @ 100
3 - Zojirushi Home Baker Super BBCC-Q20 @ 150
4 - Goldstar HB202CE @ 100
5 - Toastmaster Breadbox 1188 @ 100
6 - Regal Kitchen Pro K6743 @ 100
7 - Breadman Ultra TR700 @ 100
8 - Pillsbury Auto. Bread/Dough Maker 1021 @ 120
9 - West Bend Baker's Choice Plus 41090 @ 200
10-Black & Decker All in One Deluxe B1630 @ 110
11-West Bend Auto. Bread/Dough Maker 41044@ 100
12-Welbit The Bread Machine ABM4100T @ 95

Good Luck..............

from our ListHostess Shirley

American Liquid Measures

1 gallon = 4 quarts = 3.79 L (Can usually be rounded to 4 L)
1 quart = 2 pints = 0.95 L (Can usually be rounded to 1 L)
1 pint = 2 cups = 16 fl oz = 450 ml (Can usually be rounded to 500 ml)
1 cup = 8 fl oz = 225 ml (Can usually be rounded to 250 ml)
1 tablespoon = 1/2 fl oz = 16 ml (Can usually be rounded to 15 ml)
1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon = 5 ml

Oven Temperatures
An approximate conversion chart

Fahrenheit Centigrade Gas mark Description

225 F 105 C 1/4 Very cool
250 F 120 C 1/2
275 F 130 C 1 Cool
300 F 150 C 2
325 F 165 C 3 Very moderate
350 F 180 C 4 Moderate
375 F 190 C 5
400 F 200 C 6 Moderately hot
425 F 220 C 7 Hot
450 F 230 C 8
475 F 245 C 9 Very hot

American Can Sizes

Can Sizes Contents Cups (approx)

5 ounce 5 oz. 5/8
8 ounce 8 oz. 1
Picnic 10 1/2 to 12 oz. 1 1/4
12 oz. vacuum 12 oz. 1 1/2
No. 300 14 to 16 oz. 1 3/4
No. 303 16 to 17 oz. 2
No. 2 1 lb. 4 oz. or 1 pint 2 fl. oz. 2 1/2
No. 2 1/2 1 lb. 13 oz. 3 1/2
No. 3 46 oz. 5 3/4
Condensed milk 14 fl. oz 1 1/3
Evaporated milk 5 1/3 fl. oz. 2/3
and 13 fl. oz. 1 2/3

Metric Spoons

Metric spoons Grams Ounces
1 level tablespoon peanut butter 20 2/3
1 level tablespoon baking powder, bicarb soda,
cream of tartar, gelatine, rice, sago 15 1/2
1 level tablespoon cocoa, cornflour,
custard powder, nuts 10 1/3
1 level tablespoon golden syrup,
treacle, honey, glucose 30 1
1 level tablespoon sugar, salt 20 2/3
1 level tablespoon yeast, compressed 20 2/3

1 tablespoon = 20 mls
1 teaspoon = 5 mls


1 ounce = 28.4 g (can usually be rounded to 25 or 30)
1 pound = 454 g
1 kg = 2.2 pounds

British Liquid Measures

UK pint is about 6 dl
1 UK liquid oz is 0.96 US liquid oz.

1 pint = 570 ml = 20 fl oz
1 breakfast cup = 10 fl oz = 1/2 pint
1 tea cup = 1/3 pint
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 dessertspoon = 10 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml = 1/3 tablespoon

International Liquid Measurements

Standard cup Tablespoon Teaspoon

Canada 250ml 15ml 5ml
Australia 250ml 20ml 5ml
New Zealand 250ml 15ml 5ml
UK 250ml 15ml 5ml

British Short Cuts

Cheese (grated) 1 oz = 4 level tablespoons
Cocoa or chocolate powder 1 oz = 3 level tablespoons
Coconut (desiccated) 1 oz = 4 level tablespoons
Flour (unsifted) 1 oz = 3 level tablespoons
Sugar (castor/caster) 1 oz = 2 level tablespoons
Sugar (granulated) 1 oz = 2 level tablespoons
Sugar (icing) 1 oz = 2 1/2 level tablespoons
Syrup (golden) 1 oz = 1 level tablespoons

Chinese Catties

Catties In ancient China, 1 catty = 1.33 pound = 600 grams.

In Modern China, this went with kilograms and stuff.
To make the transition easier for the average people
they invented a new kind of catty

1 catty = 0.5 kilo ( = 1.1 pound )

However, old books from Hong Kong and Taiwan
still uses the old catty = 600 grams.

from our ListHostess Shirley

Substitutions and Equivalents

This section contains information on
where substitutions can be made,
and what they can be made with.


US all-purpose flour and UK plain-flour can be
substituted for one another without adjustment.
US cake flour is lighter than these.
It is not used much anymore, but if it does
come up, you can substitute all-purpose/plain
flour by removing three tablespoons per
cup of flour and replacing it with corn starch
or potato flour. Self-raising flour contains
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2
teaspoon salt for each cup of flour.
US whole wheat flour is interchangeable
with UK wholemeal flour.

Leavening agents

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.
It must be mixed with acidic ingredients to work.
Baking powder contains baking soda
and a powdered acid, so it can work
without other acidic ingredients.

Dairy Products

Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk
both come in cans, both are thick
and a weird color...but are not the same thing.
Sweetened condensed milk is, as the name implies,
mixed with sugar or another sweetener already.
It isn't found everywhere, but this recipe
makes a good, quick substitute:
Mix 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry (powdered) milk
and 1/2 cup warm water. When mixed,
add 3/4 cup granulated sugar.

If a recipe calls for buttermilk or cultured milk,
you can make sour milk as a substitute.
For each cup you need, take one tablespoon
of vinegar or lemon juice, then add
enough milk to make one cup. Don't stir.
Let it stand for five minutes before using.

The minimum milk fat content by weight
for various types of cream


Clotted Cream 55% N/A
Double Cream 48% N/A
Heavy Cream N/A 36%
Whipping Cream 35% 30%
Whipped Cream 35% N/A
Single Cream 18% (=Light Cream)
Half Cream 12% (=Half and Half)

Quark (aka quarg): A soft, unripened cheese
with the texture and flavor of sour cream.
Quark comes in two versions - lowfat and nonfat.
Though the calories are the same (35 per ounce),
the texture of lowfat Quark is richer than
that of lowfat sour cream. It has a milder
flavor and richer texture than lowfat yogurt.
Quark can be used as a sour cream substitute
to top baked potatoes, and as an ingredient
in a variety of dishes including cheesecakes,
dips, salads and sauces.


UK cornflour is the same as US cornstarch.
Potato flour, despite its name, is a starch,
and cannot be substituted for regular flour.
It often can be substituted for corn starch
and vice versa. In the US, corn flour means
finely ground cornmeal. If in doubt about
which type of cornflour is meant in a
recipe, ask the person who gave it to you!

A couple of rules of thumb - in cakes, especially
sponge cakes, it's likely to mean cornstarch -
as a coating for fried okra, it's likely to mean
finely ground cornmeal. Cornmeal or polenta
is not the same thing as cornstarch orcornflour!
What one can buy labelled 'polenta' really
looks no different to cornmeal though, so hey,
let's not panic too much. Polenta is commonly
used to describe cornmeal porridge but
may also be used to mean plain cornmeal.

Beware. If you don't have cornstarch/corn flour, you
can use twice the amount of all-purpose/plain flour.

However, unless whatever you're adding it to is
allowed to boil, the result will taste starchy.

Sugar and Other Sweeteners

UK castor/caster sugar is somewhat finer
than US granulated sugar. There is a product
in the US called superfine sugar, which is about
the same as UK castor/caster sugar. Usually,
you can use granulated sugar in recipes
calling for castor/caster sugar and vice versa,
but I've gotten reports of times this
didn't work so well! As usual, give the recipe
a trial run with the substitute some time when
it doesn't need to be perfect.
(US) Confectioner's sugar is (UK/Aust/NZ)
icing sugar. Sometimes these are marketed
as mixtures containing about 5% cornflour.

Corn syrup is common in the US but not always
elsewhere. Sugar (golden) syrup can be substituted.
Corn syrup comes in two flavors - dark and light.
Light corn syrup is just sweet, dark has a
mild molasses flavor. Some people have
substituted dark corn syrup for golden syrup
in ANZAC biscuits and found it successful.
A common US brand is Karo.

Golden syrup is a thick, golden brown
(fancy that) byproduct of cane sugar refining.
The taste is mostly sweet, although there is a slight
acidic, metallic component. Lyle's is a common brand.
The New Zealand brand name is Chelsea.
If desperate, a plain sugar syrup may be a possible substitute,
boil 2 parts sugar, 1 part water.
This could be messy. You may want to thin it
out with water. Again, you may want to
try this out on your own before making
something for a special occasion.

Black treacle and blackstrap molasses
are similar but not identical.


A "stick" of butter or margarine weighs 4 oz
and is 1/2 cup US, approximately 100 grams.
Each 1/4 cup or half stick butter or margarine
in US recipes weighs about 50 g.
There are 8 tablespoons in 1/4 pound butter.

Shortening is solid, white fat made from
hydrogenated vegetable oil. (A popular brand name
is Crisco, and many people call all shortening Crisco.)
It is common in the US, tougher to find in some
other parts of the globe. In my experience,
you can usually but not always substitute butter
or margarine for shortening.
The result will have a slightly different texture
and a more buttery taste
(which in the case of, say, chocolate chip
cookies seems to be an advantage!).
Sometimes this doesn't work too well.
Not to sound like a broken record but -
try it out before an important occasion.

Copra is a solid fat derived from coconuts,
it is fairly saturated and used in recipes
where it is melted, combined with other
ingredients and left to set.
Lard can be successfully substituted in some
recipes, for example it makes very flaky pastry.

Deep frying requires fats/oils with heat-tolerant properties.
Butter and margarine, for example,
are right out, as are lard and olive oil.
Corn and peanut oils are both good.


If you don't have unsweetened baking chocolate,
substitute three tablespoons of unsweetened
cocoa powder plus one tablespoon of fat
(preferably oil) for each one ounce square.
US dark chocolate is the same as UK plain
chocolate, that is, the darkest and least
sweet of the chocolates intended for eating
(also called bittersweet).

What is called milk chocolate in the UK
is called milk chocolate in the US, too, but many people
simply refer to it as "chocolate."

The stuff called "semi-sweet chocolate"
by some folks is the US dark or UK plain.

"Bitter chocolate" is, apparently,
the UK term for high quality plain chocolate.
Some manufacturers apparently distinguish
between "sweet dark," "semi-sweet" and
"bittersweet" (Sarotti is one), but they
seem to be minor variations on a theme.

Chocolate chips are not necessarily a substitute
for bar chocolates, because the chips have
something added to them to slow down melting.

from Pat of Homespun


A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen
so my kitchen, believe me, IS delirious!

If we are what we eat........
then I'm easy, fast and cheap!

A balanced diet is having a cookie in each hand!

Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator!

A clean kitchen is a sign of frozen food!

Help keep your kitchen clean.......
Eat Out alot!

Countless numbers of people have eaten in my
kitchen and have gone on to lead normal lives!

My next home will have NO kitchen.......
Just vending machines!

Chocolate Lover's Basket:

Fill with everything chocolate...

fudgy One Bowl Brownies,
Holiday Chocolate Dipped Delights,
TOBLERONE Chocolate Bars and of course,
lots of BAKER'S Chocolate,
your recipe favorites to repeat the indulgence!

Fruit and Cheese Basket:

Pile favorite winter fruits (pears, apples, grapes, figs)
and several varieties of CRACKER BARRELL Cheese
and KRAFT Cheese Spreads and Dips.
A good bottle of wine and snack crackers
or fresh European bread....a holiday picnic
in front of a glowing fire for someone special.

Coffee Lover Basket:

Favorite coffee companions...

Breakfast Biscotti, Cinnamon-Nut Sour Cream Cake
freshly baked and packed with the latest mug designs,
creative stirrers and coffee "additions".
Don't forget a couple of cans of MAXWELL HOUSE
Italian Espresso Roast and a few flavors of
GENERAL FOODS International Coffees.

Bird Nutrition Words

Kosher -
The product is prepared according to Jewish dietary laws.
Many meats and poultry have added salt.

Natural -
No artificial ingredients and minimal processing.
When talking about chickens,
it means nothing concerning how the birds were fed,
raised, slaughtered, handled, or packed.

Organic -
For meats and poultry, 80% of the feed
must be organically grown.
Under certain circumstances, antibiotics and other
drugs may be used. Make no assumptions about
the space or outdoor access the animals are given.

Sell-by date -
This is purely a voluntary service provided by stores
and processors. There are no regulations about it.

Fresh -
If the bird has never had an internal temperature
below 26░F (the freezing temperature of a chicken),
then it may be called "Fresh."

Frozen -
The bird's internal temperature has sunk below 0░F.
There's no term for birds who are kept
somewhere between 0░F and 26░F.

Irradiated -
Birds "zapped" to kill bacteria.

Broiler-fryer -
Chickens whose short life lasted about seven weeks,
attaining a weight of 2.5 to 4.5 pounds.

Roaster -
Older chickens who have spent three to five months
on earth, growing to five to seven pounds.
A better deal than broiler-fryers if you are
concerned with the amount of meat per pound of bird.

Has anyone ever tried this recipe for oatmeal soap?
I found this on another mailing list
I'm on and I thought it looked interesting:


You'll need:
*scented soap scraps*, grated
*fine oatmeal* (wizz in food processor or blender)

Measure grated soap scraps with a cup,
then place into a saucepan.
For each cup of grated soap, add 2 cups boiling water.
Heat, stirring, until dissolved.

Stir in enough oatmeal to make a thick paste,
and add a little fragrant oil if desired.
Pour into moulds which have been lined with plastic wrap.
The next day, remove and cut into cakes.
Allow to dry for several days.

Note: You can also add a spoonful of glycerine,
or the juice of a lemon, or both.
To make guest-type soaps, pour soap mixture
into chocolate molds in fancy shapes.

Lace Sachets

•10" Square White Lace
•1/4 Cup Lavender Flowers
•24" White Satin Ribbon, 1"Width

Additional Supplies:
•Sewing Machine
•White Thread
•Fusible Web
•Using a sewing machine will be a
great advantage when making these sachets.
However, you will be able to make them using a
needle and thread or fusible web to bind them together.

1. Fold the lace square in half and cut it.
Fold each half in half again and cut them.
You will use only 3 of the 4 pieces.

2. Fold each lace section in half,
making a rectangle shape and iron it.
Sew one short side and one long side.
With one side folded over, sewing the others
should make a tube shape with the top open.
If you don't have a sewing machine,
you may stitch the sides by hand or insert
fusible web and iron them together.

3. Fold the lace tubes inside out,
so the seam is on the inside.
Stuff each one with equal amounts of lavender
and rose petals until they are plump.
You may want to mix the lavender and rose petals
in a bowl before stuffing the sachets.

4. Turn the top section in to create a finished edge.
Insert a small piece of fusible web
and apply a hot iron to seal the end.

5. Find the center of the ribbon and place
it under one of the small pillow shaped sachets.
Stack the other two on top of it and tie
the ribbon around all three.
Knot the ribbon on top and tie a bow.
Trim the ends of the ribbon in a V shape.

Here's another potpourri recipe I've been saving.


Gather rose petals each day, until you have
an ample amount to make your potpourri.
Place on a screen and let dry.
Place all dried petals in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Add 5 drops of Rose oil or Geranium oil
and 5 drops of Glycerine.
Keep adding dried petals from time to time.
Other fragrant flowers, such as honeysuckle
or orange blossoms, can be added if you like.

When the jar is full, sprinkle a little salt over the petals.
Shake the jar every day for two weeks and then
add one fourth ounce of each of the following:

Orris root powder,
cinnamon and

Keep the jar tightly covered.

Rose oil, geranium oil and glycerin can be
purchased from druggists and health food stores.
Orris root from craft stores.

Bean Soup Gift Bags

This will make 40 cups

1 pound each of the following:
Navy beans
Great Norhtern beans
dried pinto beans
red beans
dried soybeans
yellow split peas
green split peas
blackeyed peas
dried lentils
dried large limas
dried baby limas
barley pearls

Combine all the ingredients in a large pan or bowl.
Measure out 2-cup gift packages.
Store in airtight containers.

Add this recipe to container:

World's Best Bean Soup

(makes 2 and a half quarts)

1 pckg Soup Mix
2 quarts water
1 ham hock
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 16 oz can tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
3 TBLSP lemon juice

Wash the Soup Mix and place in Dutch oven.
Cover with water and soak overnight.
Drain beans.

Add the water, ham hock, salt and pepper.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat.

Simmer 1-1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Remove the ham hock and remove met from bone.
Return meat to soup.

I am clearing out my bookmarks
and thought I would send these along...
....pretty good stuff here....

Re: Play-Doh....

Why not get the children to make a picture?
- ie make an animal, flatten it & reshape flat;
follow this with a house / tree / flowers etc.
- design the 'bits' into a picture.

When they've gone to bed, place a small metal
curtain ring in the back, and place on a baking sheet.
Slow bake their creations in your oven for a
number of hours until nicely dried out.

Next day the children can paint their picture
using water soluable paint (emulsion / poster?)
Leave to dry.

Apply clear varnish to front & back to seal it.
Hang it up in the gallery.

Quick TIPS for the Kitchen:

~~Rub Crisco Cooking Oil on your cheese grater
before using for a fast and simple clean up.

~~To remove a chocolate or coffee stain from material,
wet area and rub with Food Lion Borax.
Leave for a few minutes, then scrub with toothbrush.

~~To get rid of cigarette smoke in a room,
dampen a dish towel with White House Vinegar
and wave it around the room.

~~To remove harden paint or tar, apply
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to item, then launder.

~~Rub Ivory Soap on the casters of drawers
and windows so then slide open and shut easily.

Silly Putty-type Recipe

Mix 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup glue.
In a separate container, mix 1/2 cup water
with 2 T Borax (You'll find this hidden away
in a tiny recess of your detergent aisle)
Now, while stirring the Borax mixture constantly,
add the glue mixture.

It should immediately glump up and look like blubber
(Or at least what we imagine blubber to look like.)
If it isn't really glumpy and tough,
mix up more Borax mixture and add that to it.
Use the same toys as with silly putty.
This does not stick to things as much as silly putty.

"Slime" Recipe

2 c White glue (Elmer's)
1 1/2 c Water
Food colouring of choice
1 ts Borax
1/2 c Water

Mix the glue, 1 1/2 c water and food color
until it's not sticky.
Separately dissolve the borax and 1/2 c water.
Add to the glue solution.
You will get a very thick clump
of Slime where the two mix.

Now you must work in the rest of the solution.
With clean hands, knead the Slime to get it to mix.
This will take about 10 minutes or so,
and is not very difficult as the
Slime easily separates between your fingers.

If you desire a looser, more slimy texture,
add a bit more water and knead it in.
The more slimy this is, though,
the more apt it is to get stuck in any fabric
it comes in contact with.

Face Paint

A sure hit at birthday parties
and neighborhood get-togethers

2 tsp. Shortening
2 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
1 tsp. White Flour
3 to 4 drops Glycerin (available at pharmacies)
Food coloring
cold cream
cotton swabs

1. Thoroughly mix the shortening,
cornstarch and flour until it forms paste.

2. Add the glycerin and stir again until
the mixture becomes smooth and spreadible.

3. Add food coloring a drop at a time
until you get the color you like.

4. For easy paint removal later, smooth a dab
of cold cream on the child's face before painting.
Use cotton swabs to create simple designs
such as a sun, heart,football, daisy or theirs.

Home made face paint washes off with soap and water.

Parents' note:
All of the above projects are NON-EDIBLE.
Supervise children so they aren't tempted
to taste their concoctions!


If the weather's nice, take your paint and paper
outdoors where it won't matter if you're messy.

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup soap flakes or detergent
Liquid food coloring

1. In a small bowl or measuring cup,
mix the gelatin with 1/4 cup cold water.
Set aside to soak.

2. Put the cornstarch and 3/4 cup cold water
in a small saucepan and stir until dissolved.
Add the hot water and cook over medium heat
(with parental help) - stirring non-stop - until
the mixture begins to boil and looks clear.
Remove from heat.

3. Blend in the softened gelatin.
Then add the soap flakes and stir
until the paint is free of lumps.

4. Set aside to cool.
Then divide into five jars or cups.
Add food coloring drop by drop
until you get a color you like.

Put on an old shirt or smock
to protect your clothes from becoming a canvas!

Megga Bubble Mix

You will have a lot of fun with this amazing fluid,
which makes the BIGGEST bubbles you've ever seen!

1 C. grease-cutting dishwashing liquid
10 C. Water
3 Tbsp. Glycerine (available at pharmacies)

1. Mix all ingredients (stir, don't shake) in a large bucket.

2. Collect an assortment of bubble wands including
colanders, spatulas, even hangers - anything with
holes in it that can withstand being dunked in water.

3. Head outdoors and
bombard the neighborhood with bubbles!

Another "Slime" Recipe

2 ts Guar Gum
1 tb Borax
Mixing bowl
Food colouring
2 Empty plastic soda bottles to store the liquids
Zipper lock bag

Making The Borax Water:

Borax is a type of powder soap that is
available in most grocery stores.
Add 1 tablespoon Borax powder to 1 cup of water.
Stir until most of the powder dissolves.
Store the Borax Water in a jar or bottle,
and label the container
Remember that one cup of Borax Water
will make many batches of "SLIME".

Preparing The Guar Gum
(available at health food stores):

Measure 4 cups (approximately 1 litre)
of warm water into a large mixing bowl.
Add 10 drops of food colouring - possibly green!
SLOWLY (very slowly) stir in 2 teaspoons of guar gum.
This fine powder has a tendency to clump up
if it is not stirred into the water slowly.
After thoroughly mixing, pour the guar gum mixture
into a soda bottle and label it appropriately.

Making Slime:

Pour 1/2 cup of the guar gum mixture
into a clean zipper-lock bag.
Add 1 teaspoon of the Borax Water mixture
that you made previously. Seal the bag and shake.
Within seconds you'll have prepared
your very own batch of SLIME!
This gooey mixture will retain its slimy properties
for 1-2 days before finally turning into a watery mess.
When the SLIME is no longer good,
seal it in the zipper-lock bag and throw it away.
Do not pour it down the drain.

How Does It Work:

It's gooey, slippery, sticky,
really slimy and kids love it!
Make up a batch of SLIME
and you'll be the hit of any party.

The mixture of guar gum with Borax and water
produces a slime- like material called a polymer.
In simplest terms, a polymer is a long chain of molecules.
As a model for these chains of molecules,
picture in your mind strands of cooked spaghetti.

If the polymer chains slide past each other easily,
then the substance acts like a liquid
because the molecules flow.
If the molecules hook together
at a few places along the strand, then the substance
behaves like a rubbery solid called an elastomer.

Borax is the chemical that is responsible for hooking
the guar gum molecules together to form the SLIME.

Guar gum is actually a vegetable gum
commonly used as a thickening agent
in various food products and cosmetics.
Additional guar gum may be purchased
at a health food store.

The guar gum and water mixture
may only last a few days.
You can prolong the shelf life of the mixture
by keeping it in the refrigerator.


Although these substances are not considered hazardous,
you should treat all chemicals with care
and wash your hands after handling.

Do not taste or eat any of the materials
described in these activities.

Do not pour any of these experiments down the sink.
Clean up any spill immediately.

Go back to the Kitchen page.