Stupidly Simple: Radish Slaw Recipe

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Heather says:

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was finally able to take advantage of our local CSA. If you’ve never participated in a CSA, it’s a program where you pay a farm a predetermined amount at the beginning of the growing season. The farm then divides up the produce harvested between those who have contributed. Some CSAs also require a labor or time investment as part of the share, the one I belong to does not.

Joining a CSA isn’t a sure thing, if the crop is wiped out in a hailstorm or the weather just isn’t conducive to a productive year, you are susceptible to the same risk as the farmer. While I am a big advocate for supporting the local economy, a CSA may not be for you, if you are a super tight budget and having to buy vegetables after investing in a CSA would be a hardship.

There’s a little bit of adventure involved in being a part of the CSA, while you may have a good idea of what will be included in your share, sometimes some produce you normally wouldn’t buy shows up. I like the challenge. Not everyone likes to play Iron Chef though, so I’ll gladly do it for you.

This week’s challenge vegetable? Radishes. I don’t mind radishes, but I’m not the person who sits there and thinks, Gee a radish would really hit the spot.

So, when a bunch of radishes were included in my share I tried to think of how I could convince everyone else to eat them, since they weren’t my go to vegetable for spring side dishes.

Everyone in this household loves tacos, if I can put it in a taco, I guarantee that there will be no complaints. When I make fish tacos, I use a ridiculously easy cabbage slaw. I decided to experiment and see if this technique would work for radishes, which have a significant bitter bite. The acidity of the lime juice and the sweetness of the honey mellow out the bitter to a pleasant heat and crunch that is an excellent taco condiment and I bet it’d be good on a Southwestern wrap or burger, too.

Enjoy.

Radish Slaw on Chicken and Black Bean Taco Wraps

: Radish Slaw

: Easy condiment for tacos, wraps, and burgers

 Radish Slaw 2

  • 1 small bunch of radishes, cut into matchsticks (think thin strips)
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 TBSP chopped cilantro

  • Whisk the lime juice, honey, and cilantro together.
  • Toss with the radishes.
  • Allow to marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
  • Re-toss before serving

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour refrigeration

Number of servings (yield):

 

Help! The Laundry Smells Like Rotten Eggs

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Dear Home-Ec 101,

I followed all of the advice in your how to deal with stubborn body odor in laundry article and my clothes still stink. There’s sort of a rotten egg odor and nothing I do gets rid of it.

How do I get rid of this sulfur smell in my laundry?

Signed,
Sick of the Stink in Stinesville

Heather says

Did you know that scent is one of the most powerful memory triggers? When I was a little girl, I went to Girl Scout Camp (Camp Loco for you South Carolinians) and they had a serious sulfur issue in the groundwater. It was so bad that neither Kool-Aid nor sweet tea could cover that eggy taste. It’s been –well, we won’t say how many years– a long time and the slightest whiff of sulfur takes me to that hot, sweaty summer.

Sulfur odor in well water has two potential sources and it takes a little bit of household detective work to determine which is the likely culprit. In both cases, Hydrogen Sulfide is the offending chemical, but how it gets into your water determines the solution to removing the offensive odor.

1.  Sulphate reducing bacteria:  H2S is often the result of bacteria doing their bacterial thing and processing organic matter into waste.

2. Hydrogen sulfide gas: If your well is in shale or sandstone hydrogen sulfide gas dissolved in the water itself is possible. You may notice other symptoms of this issue around your house – corrosion of your pipes and silverware that quickly turns black for example.

Unfortunately this sulfur compound, as you have noticed, can build up on your clothing. In order to solve this issue you’ll need to address the actual cause or you’ll quickly understand the plight of Sisyphus. I contacted the reader and asked if the smell was present in only the hot water or in the cold water, too. In her case, the odor is found in both, which was a little disheartening as this hot water only has the simplest fix.

If sulphate reducing bacteria has colonized only the water heater, it is possible to kill it by raising the temperature of your water to more than 140°F for 48 hours.

If you choose to attempt this fix, please be careful if you have an elderly relative or young child in the home. Water over 140°F can cause scalding and extra care should be taken.

If the odor returns, bacteria is likely colonizing the magnesium and aluminum anode rod in the water heater. You can try replacing it with an aluminum-zinc rod -go ahead and flush your water heater at this time. If you also utilize a water softener in your home, you’ll find that this tactic likely won’t be effective. The salts that condition the water negate the effect of using zinc instead. Isn’t chemistry fun?

Call your county extension office and ask if hydrogen sulphide gas is an issue for groundwater in your area. If indeed this is the case, you should consider treating the water before it comes into your home. Unfortunately there isn’t a simple solution and requires either aeration or chlorination of the water at a point between the well and your home. The option you choose depends on your budget and longterm plans.

If hydrogen sulfide gas is not of local concern, again it’s probably sulphate reducing bacteria, only this time it has colonized your well and pipes rather than just the water heater.

Thankfully sulphate reducing bacteria in your well can be treated with household bleach. Here is a guide that gives step-by-step instructions to determine how much bleach is needed based on the depth and size of your well and how to shock the well and your pipes.

Before starting, know that you will not be able to use your water supply for 12 – 24 hours and you should plan accordingly. Remember this includes flushing the toilets! If you choose to remain in the home during the time of the shock you can use buckets of water filled before the shock to flush your toilet. If you are also on a septic system you must use care when flushing the bleach from your pipes, you don’t want to overwhelm your septic tank. Too much chlorinated water can kill off the good bacteria in your septic system and cause it to not process the waste. Collect the shocked water in buckets and dispose of it anywhere but down the drain.

If the sulfur smell begins to return shortly after shocking your well, it is definitely time to have your well inspected. Bacteria may be entering your well through cracks or your well may need to be moved to a better location.

Once you eliminate the hydrogen sulfide from your water source normal laundering will remove the rotten egg smell from your clothing. It may take a couple of washes to completely eliminate the odor, but you’ll get there.

I’m sorry there wasn’t a just use vinegar or borax style answer to the problem.

Best of luck!

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com

Solve Household Odors

References:

 

Back to Life, Back to the Menu Plan

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Heather says:

Back to life, back to reality, not the whole song, just that one line is on repeat in my head. In the last 45 days I’ve been all over the country attending work events, conferences, meeting bloggers for my day job, and visiting family. While I had some fantastic meals (and wine) on these work trips, I am ready to eat a bit healthier. Currently in the fridge I have almost half a box of produce to use up and more to pick up tomorrow.

Last night I made a sausage and squash soup, it was quite possibly the ugliest thing I have ever eaten, but it tasted good. I am just glad that everyone trusted me to just try it, don’t look at it. I am quite certain that soup will be the butt of jokes for years to come.

It happens.

Menu Plan Monday

After a long couple of years, I’m finally in a place where I have good lighting, a nice kitchen set-up, and I have some mental bandwidth to spare. I’m excited to break out my camera and seriously begin shooting pictures again. As I’m able, these recipes will be linked to the versions I use for this site. In the interim, I’m linking to my starting points.

  • Monday -Squash and Zucchini Carbonara: Place holder Carbonara Sauce Recipe  I’ll be tossing the sauce with the sauteed vegetables
  • Tuesday – Chicken tacos in lettuce wraps with a radish slaw – lime, honey, and cilantro in place of the normal shredded lettuce
  • Wednesday – Lentil burgers with tzatziki, vegetables marinated in homemade Italian dressing
  • Thursday – Vegetable fajitas – don’t tell the kids, I’m just not going to add any meat – guacamole 
  • Friday – Hamburgers and sweet potato fries
  • Saturday – Some kind of grilled meat on skewers, over rice, with lots of vegetables… I’ll get it figured out
  • Sunday – Clean Out Refrigerator Night

What are you having this week?

Do you need a printable to start planning your menu?

Have you tried anything new lately? How did it turn out? More interestingly, have you had any failures? What did you learn?

Do I ever stop asking questions?

Why would I?

Windows: A Home-Ec 101 Guide

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We might wish we could say, “I don’t do windows,” but we don’t have that privilege if we want to keep our house looking nice and our view unobstructed. It can be a rewarding job to shine the glass, wash the blinds, and let the sunshine in. Following are some articles full of tips about cleaning windows, blinds, window sills, and more. Click the title you want to learn more about to see the complete article.

clean windows

How to Clean Blinds

I have several faux wood white blinds that I have stored in the garage. I want to use these now and they have needless to say their share of spider webs, dust and other weird things on them. What is the best way to clean them?

How to Clean Mini-Blinds

I live in an apartment and my mini-blinds are covered with the funk of thousands of tenants. Can you please tell me the best way to clean these?

How to Clean Window Sills

I bought a lovely old home with large windows, but I am at a loss over my window sills.  How on earth do you keep window sills clean? Liquid sprays seem to make the problem worse.  I’m hoping to avoid stripping all of the paint and starting over, and there are so many layers already that adding another coat would only be a temporary fix.

How to Clean REALLY Dirty Windows

We just moved into an older house and I don’t think anyone has cleaned the windows in years. We had it pressure washed and used Windex but the windows still look covered in grime. Are there any other solutions I can use that will get off the tough dirt.

Now Is The Time To Wash Your Windows

My mom always said there’s something very spiritual about washing your windows. Her theory on this is that the windows are they eyes of your home and by washing the windows, you’re opening up those eyes to let the sun shine in.

Tips For Buying Window Shades

I have a very large window that bears the brunt of the western sun in summer. Do you have any suggestions for easy, inexpensive window coverings that will block or reflect a lot of heat?

What Are These Bugs On My Window Sill?

This summer I have been noticing these itsy bitsy little grey bugs on my window sills in the kitchen and bathroom. Last week I diluted some bleach on a cloth and wiped down the sills. That seems to have helped. I’d still like to know what are they? How can I stop them?

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

Guide to Household Odors

Click the picture for lots more tips!

how to take care of your walls

Click the picture for more tips!

Get Ready to Grill

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Dear Home Ec 101,

I think I’m going to bite the bullet and fire up the grill this weekend. I’m tired of waiting for my spouse to cook something. Do you have any tips for a beginner?

Signed,

Grilling in Groten

Learn How to Grill

Heather says:

Hands down, the most important tip I have for a noobie grill chef is learn the hand test. What’s the hand test? It’s simply the most useful judge of a grill’s heat known to mankind. Even if you have a snazzy grill with propane and knobs that indicate the level of the flame I’m willing to bet your grill sits outside exposed to destructive elements and possibly more destructive children. I don’t trust the knobs on my grill one bit. Sure it says I’ve turned it to low, but that flame looks more like a medium or on another burner the opposite is true. Aside from that, every grill whether charcoal or propane will have areas that are hotter than others.  Use the hand test to become familiar with the zones or settings of your grill. (With a charcoal grill the zones will vary depending on how you spread the coals, a propane grill is fairly consistent).

The Hand Test

With a clean, dry hand hold your palm an inch over the grate. The length of time you can comfortably keep your hand in this position is a good indication of the grill’s temperature.

1 – 2 secondsHot (duh)
3 – 4 secondsMedium
5 – 7 secondsMedium Low
8+ secondsturn up the burner or add more charcoal

OK, now remember this isn’t the time to play hero or prove your man / womanhood. Seriously. We will point and laugh if you hurt yourself by trying to not wimp out holding your hand over a flame. That’s asking to be mocked. Move your hand as soon as it becomes uncomfortably hot.

My other suggestions for successful grilling:

Learn how to easily get your charcoal grill started.

Keep a spray bottle of water handy.

Use this to control flare ups. Remember to squirt the flare ups, not the food.

Know the difference between direct and indirect grilling.

Not every recipe you come across was intended for a grilling novice. Many times the recipes assume the cook has some basic knowledge of how to grill.

Direct grilling is straightforward, you grill over the heat source and is appropriate for many items that benefit from fast cooking: burgers, fish, boneless poultry, vegetables, and of course steaks. Keep the lid down, except when turning.

If you are preparing a cut of meat that is more than 2 inches thick, poultry (with the exception of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs), or roasts indirect grilling is more appropriate. The outside of these items would burn long before the center reached a safe temperature. To grill indirectly on a charcoal grill, mound the charcoal off to one side or in the center. Place the items away from the pile. For a propane grill with multiple burners, turn on one burner but cook over the other. For a small propane grill you may need to place a drip pan under the grate to deflect the heat. When grilling indirectly, it is vital to keep the lid closed as much as possible.  Think of it like baking, you wouldn’t open the oven every two minutes to check on a cake, don’t do it to your grill.

Prepare the side dishes in advance.

Just trust me on this one, it’s not fun to monitor the grill for flare ups, while dashing back in the house to stir something on the stove. It’s not my idea of a good time and I inevitably manage to let in flies while going in and out.

Keep the grill clean.

This means cleaning the grill the same days it is used. If it’s hard enough to want to grill, it’s going to be even worse if you have to clean the grill before you use it.

What grilling tips do you have?