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Here are a few helpful bits of information relating to homemaking that I have discovered.

Ginger Tea

You’ve heard that ginger is a great anti-nausea, and so it is.  But if you want to deal with morning sickness, or any other cause of nausea, may I recommend fresh ginger tea.  Buy a piece of ginger root at the grocery store.  Grate about a teaspoon of it through a large-holed grater.  Steep this with boiling water in any tea ball or strainer that you have.  The longer you leave it, the stronger it gets.  Then add a bit of honey.  This knocks out nausea and is a lot more appealing, and fresh, than a stale dry ginger snap.

 

Cracked Skin

This happens to me every winter, or any time I have to wash my hands often.  This winter I definitely learned to use rubber gloves when doing dishes, but you can’t really complete all life functions with rubber gloves on, so, eventually, I had one or two places next to my finger nails, on one side or the other, that were cracked and raw.

I hate this!

It doesn’t seem to matter how much water you drink or how much hand lotion you use to try to combat this, it will still happen.

I used to put a tiny dab of petroleum jelly on these spots at night, top with a bandage and this would at least prevent the wound getting any worse overnight.  However, once the bandage came off in the morning, which it inevitably did because it got wet, then the spot was still there.  There was no actual improvement.  I just had to wait for it to heal.

This winter I tried coconut oil.  What a difference!  If you use a dab of virgin coconut toil and top with a bandage, not only does it protect the crack while you’re sleeping, in the morning, it is actually better.  I had one spot heal basically overnight.

I have used coconut oil before for peeling skin on feet, and it is wonderful for curing that as well.

 

How to Get Foam off Broth

If you’ve ever made homemade meat broth, you know that most recipes will tell you to skim the foam that rises to the top of the pot.

What I’ve always wondered was how on earth should this be accomplished when you are getting burns from the steam that is rising up in clouds?

Maybe this solution is obvious, but it wasn’t to me.  I’ve been making broth for several years now and most recipes tell you to bring the meat or bones to a boil with the water, then skim the foam.   What I do instead is put a couple of chicken backs or a beef soup bone joint in my stock pot, and add filtered water to cover or about 4-5 inches deep.  Then I put the pot on and turn it to high.  While it is heating up, I get out a slotted spoon and a small glass dish to drop the foam into, as well as any herbs I want to put in the stock, sea salt and some fresh onion, celery or carrot.  I always put in a bay leaf for either chicken or beef broth.

So now putter around the kitchen doing anything else you need to be doing, such as making lunches, etc., because you don’t want to leave the room. When you see that you are getting a few bubbles and just a tiny bit of foam, probably several minutes before it actually comes to a boil, (I love my glass lid for noticing this!), remove the lid.  Over the next 60 seconds or so, you will start seeing more foam.  Start scooping it out now with the slotted spoon.  It will continue to form and you will skim it off.  By the time the broth or stock actually comes to a boil, you will have most of the foam off, and you will have done it without burning your hand.

I have found that once the stock comes to a boil, if you turn it down, the foam breaks up into small chunks which slip through the holes in the spoon, making it a lot harder to get out.  This above technique has made the process a lot easier and more comfortable.

 

Homemade Sour Cream

I had no idea how relatively simple this is.  If you like sour cream but you want some without additives and stabilizers, you can make your own.  I used one half of a commercial package of yogurt starter, and two cups of cream.  You heat it up just like you would milk to make yogurt.  I believe it is to 180 degrees.  Stir occasionally to keep the temperature as even as possible.  Then let it cool back down to lukewarm, pour a bit of the cream into a clean jar, add the starter, and stir it in.  Then pour the small amount back into the larger amount in the pot, stirring well.

After that simply put your cream in a clean, sealed jar, and let it ferment.  I let it sit 24 hours because I’m currently avoiding lactose, and that longer ferment time is supposed to get rid of  lactose.  If you don’t have a yogurt maker, you can put the jar in a small cooler with warm water.  Change out the water every so often, to keep it pretty warm.  After 24 hours, or maybe less if you like the consistency and aren’t trying to remove the lactose, put it in the fridge and chill.

Fooling with a cooler is a bit of a hassle, but not too bad.  And, I have actually done better with using a cooler than with a commercial yogurt incubator–I think it was too hot.

Voila, you have made sour cream.

 

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Posted March 2, 2017 by swanatbagend in food, health

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