Mattress Cleaning and Other Indoor Sports

Dear Home-Ec 101, What is the best way to clean a mattress? Dec 2008 I splurged and upgraded from a queen bed to a fabulously huge king size bedset.I'm wondering what is the best way to clean the mattress? I have a small "spot" cleaner by Hoover (I think)-and I use that to get stains/spills-thank goodness there have only been a few. But I've … [Read more...]

Can You Make Your Own Powdered Sugar?

Heather says: Yesterday a reader commented on Beet Sugar vs Cane Sugar: Where do you purchase organic beet sugar? Have you found it in powdered form? I have only found it on an Austrian site so far and would prefer to buy US grown if it exists. As I am not, nor was I ever, a pastry chef, I began to research. It turns out the only difference … [Read more...]

How to Get Rid of Ants in Compost

Dear Home Ec 101, Every time I have tried composting, it gets full of ants and I freak out and spray the compost pile. That's probably not so good, eh? Is it okay for a compost pile or bin to be full of ants? Signed, Scared There'll be Ants in My Pants¹ Heather says: I hadn't experienced this phenomenon so it was off to the garden … [Read more...]

Freezing, A How To, Part Two

Heather says: Yesterday's post on How to Freeze Food inspired a few more questions. Rather than extend an already long article, this is the second installment on freezer tips. Can you do a post on freezing leftovers? I'm a single gal, and while I do cut down most recipes, sometimes I have a couple stuffed chicken breasts or some steak left … [Read more...]

Bare Minimum Pantry Supplies for Black-Outs

The topic of emergency preparedness can be quite overwhelming, over the next few weeks I'll be covering different aspects of how individuals and families can be more prepared for some emergencies. Emergency preparedness is a practical, low cost insurance policy. Just like car, home, or renters insurance, we may never need it, but that doesn't … [Read more...]