Show Notes: Holiday Appliance Tune-up
No matter what your families Thanksgiving traditions are, the best tradition is the leftovers! Are your appliances up to preparing the feast? Washing up the dinner dishes? How about refrigerating all those delicious leftovers? Have no fear; here are some tips for tuning up your appliances.
Thank to our guest, Chef Marcel Cocit
What Does “Hazwoper” Stand For?
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response H Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response St HAZWOPER applies to five groups of employers and their employees. This includes employees who are exposed (or potentially exposed) to hazardous substances (including hazardous waste) and who are engaged in one of the following operations as specified by OSHA
Cleanup operations required by a governmental body (federal, state, local or other) involving hazardous substances conducted at uncontrolled hazardous-waste sites
No Pan? No Problem, Cook Eggs In The Diswasher
Why: For hard-boiled eggs without any of the work
How: If you’re running a load anyway, you may as well cook some eggs while you’re at it! Put them in plastic bags in case they crack during the vicious rinse cycle.
Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Appliances
Using hot water in your garbage disposal
It may seem counterintuitive, but hot water is no good for cleaning kitchen scraps from the sink. When running the garbage disposal to grind up food, use cold water instead. Hot water melts grease and fat, which only leads to clogged drains and mechanical damage.
Overfilling the freezer
It’s true that a full freezer works more efficiently than an empty one. But there can be too much of a good thing. Overfilling the freezer can block air vents, restrict the flow of cold air, and overtax your refrigerator’s condenser, which could lead to a burn out.
Overloading the washer or dryer
It’s tempting to stuff the washing machine to the brim, especially when the laundry piles up. But don’t. An overloaded washing machine puts undo stress on the bearings, throws the drum out of alignment, and can lead to an appliance repair call.
Leaving spills in the oven
Spills are a natural by-product of cooking. But anything spilled in your oven needs to be cleaned up right away, or it may damage the heating coils. Tip: Line your oven rack (not the oven bottom) with foil, so spills are quickly and easily removed.
Letting lint build up in the dryer
Remember to clear the lint trap in your clothes dryer after every single load. If you don’t, the efficiency of your machine will be drastically reduced. And it’s a safety issue, as well. Lint that gets clogged in the vent pipe can start a fire, and nobody wants th
Using soap to clean your gas range burners
Avoid cleaning the burners of your gas range with soap. It can lead to corrosion. It can also clog the lighting hole, causing your burners to have a slow ignition, or fail to ignite at all. Read your manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
Using too many dryer sheets
This happens because too many dryer sheets create a waxy layer that melts in your dryer, thus gumming up your appliance.
Cold Weather Got Your Concrete Slippery?
Here’s an easy surfacing trick to fix slippery concrete:
Super-smooth concrete can be etched. Wearing safety goggles and rubber gloves, use a 25-percent solution of muriatic acid.
This powerful chemical eats away the thin top layer of concrete, exposing the sand that was originally mixed into it. This procedure leaves a slightly rougher surface, one similar to fine-grit sandpaper. It provides better traction underfoot — even when it’s wet.
Simply pour it on, let it stand for 10 or 15 minutes, and rinse it off carefully — using a garden hose. To make the surface still a bit rougher, repeat the process until it’s exactly how you want it. Consider it social security for those you love.
Give Your Appliances a Pre Holiday Tune Up
Do a test run with your kitchen appliances before the big day. Test out your oven, range, cooktop, dishwasher and ice makers several days before the family will be gathering at your home. This provides you enough time to schedule an appliance repair service, without the extra hassle.
Do NOT put turkey bones, egg shells, or turkey grease in your garbage disposal! Turkey bones and these other items are definite No-Nos when it comes to your disposal. If in doubt- THROW IT OUT, into the trash.
Don’t self clean your oven the day before Thanksgiving. We recommend you perform the oven self clean AFTER Thanksgiving. Appliance studies revealed that ovens will ofte-n break or not operate properly after a self-cleaning cycle is run. This is not the best thing to happen right before the holiday!
Free up space in your refrigerator. If your fridge is filled to the brim with your Thanksgiving day ingredients, make sure you leave room for the door to close. If you can’t fit a cheese log in there, then chances are, you have packed it to the max. An overflowing refrigerator will keep the door from closing, and it in turn will not keep your food cool.
Don’t get locked out of your oven. Make sure your lock on the oven door is functioning properly. Nothing is worse than a turkey or an oven full of food you can’t get to!
If your dishwasher isn’t working properly right now, it won’t work right on Thanksgiving. If you think your drain might be clogged, look for the culprits like chicken bones, cellophane and broken glass. If you think your dishwasher is on its last leg, don’t wait until it is too late, get it repaired today!
If it leaks, fix it! No one wants to eat a rancid turkey, so make sure you freezer is keeping your holiday foods frozen. As most ice makers are incorporated into the freezer, make sure that is working as well.
Great Find Your Guest Bathroom
Spritz the bowl before you go and no one will ever know!
Spritz 3-5 sprays into the toilet bowl on the
water’s surface. Proceed to use the throne
as usual. The natural essential oils create a
barrier—trapping odor under the surface,
before it begins!
It is available in some great scents:
Original Citrus – lemon + bergamot + lemongrass
Royal Flush – eucalyptus + spearmint
Deja Poo – white flowers + citrus
Trap-A-Crap – cedarwood + citrus
Chef Marcel Cocit Cooks Up A Thanksgiving Treat:
Pumpkin Cupcakes In A Jar
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes: 12 cupcakes
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cups sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ chopped pecans (optional)
Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 sticks butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 8 oz Mason Jars
- Pastry Bag
- Star tip for cake decorating
- Cinnamon for garnish
- Chopped pecans for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a (12-cup) muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, sugars, vegetable oil and eggs. Then add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until all blended together. Next, mix in pecans until all incorporated.
- Scoop the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 3/4 filled. Bake in oven for about 17 to 18 minutes, check the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack before frosting
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
- Using a piping bag with a star tip add some frosting inside it and pipe out the frosting onto the cupcake, you may also just use a knife or spoon to frost the cupcakes as well. Finally garnish with candied pumpkins or your choice of sprinkles. EnjoyJ
Knife Ready, Set, Go Carve That Turkey:
A sharp knife can make a carving job easier and safer – just ask your neighborhood butcher. Chances are that you’ll end up with an ear full and maybe even a chop or two to take home.
Many who cook expect a knife to perform miracles and will do little more than wash it. They spend hours in the kitchen preparing culinary delights only to massacre them with a dull knife.
One really can appreciate the benefits and satisfaction that come from using a razor-sharp knife. It can make a world of difference when carving the turkey at Thanksgiving or slicing ham during the holidays.
All knives are not created equal. Most are made of carbon steel. They hold an edge well, but they are tough to care for. When washed, if they are not promptly dried, they will easily stain. On the other hand they are the easiest to sharpen.
Knives constructed of stainless steel are easiest to care for. They are unbelievably wear-resistant and the chromium in their steel makes them virtually rust and stain resistant. In contrast to a carbon steel knife, the stainless steel knife is the hardest to sharpen due to its excellent wear resistance.
Always on the cutting edge, knife manufacturers have combined beauty with function to come up with a steel alloy known as high-carbon stainless steel. These knives of the future combine the sharpening properties of carbon steel with the stain-resistant qualities of stainless.
Simply stated, sharpening a knife involves grinding the steel blade against something abrasive like a sharpening stone. While there are a myriad of sharpening devices on the market, the most effective is the whetstone. It is an abrasive block make from natural stone, such as Arkansas or Washita. Some whetstones are made from manufactured materials such as ceramic, aluminum oxide or carbonium.
As with sandpaper, whetstones are made with varying degrees of abrasives. The smaller the abrasive material, the finer the stone and the smoother the finish.
A whetstone works best when lubricated with a touch of light-grade machine oil or water. Some stones work properly only when used with water. The lubricant acts to carry away metal particles as they are removed from the surface of the knife. The lubricant also helps to suspend these particles to prevent them from being ground into the stone’s surface. Don’t be greedy when using the lubricant. It can make all the difference in the finished product.
Knife sharpening is a lot like sanding wood wherein you start with a coarse paper and complete the job with fine paper. In the same manner start the sharpening process using a stone with a coarse surface and repeat the process on a stone with a fine surface. Separate stones can be used for each phase; however, a combination stone (one with both surfaces) is less expensive than having two.
A few essentials required when sharpening are above-average light, eye protection and a location where metal particles won’t contaminate food. Start by placing the whetstone on a stable surface with its end facing you and lubricate the stone with oil or water. Continue to add lubricant periodically during the sharpening process.
Lay the heel of the blade flat on the stone with the edge of the knife facing you. The spline of the knife should be slightly raised so that the angle between the blade and the stone is about fifteen degrees.
Gently draw the blade across the stone, making several passes and moving it from the heel toward the tip as you go. Be careful to catch the entire length of the blade. Next, switching hands, do the other edge, always making sure to draw the blade toward you. Periodically wipe the blade with a clean soft cloth or paper towel, and have a close look at your progress under ample light.
Don’t expect to be a pro immediately. It takes practice. With time and a bit of patience you’ll find that holding the correct angle will become easier and the back-and-forth motion will become natural.
The final step involves removing the waste metal, which is created when sharpening, but not ground off during the process. These particles are wire-like burrs along the knife’s edge. This “wire edge” is not readily visible to the eye, and must be removed in order for the knife to be truly sharp. The tool most commonly used to remove the wire edge is called a “steel” or steel-honing rod. These are generally available at most department stores and can be found in fine cutlery shops. Use a steel with a secure handle that is protected by a guard to avoid injury.
Just as with the whetstone, the angle between the blade and the rod should be maintained at about fifteen degrees. Beginning at the blade’s heel, draw the knife along the rod toward the handle, maintaining a steady, gentle pressure. Flip the blade over and repeat the process
The Quick And Easy Way To Clean A Microwave
Steam-clean the stubborn stains. If the splatters are caked on, try steam before you apply elbow grease. Using a microwave-safe container, heat about 1 cup of water on high for two to three minutes. Let it sit for up to five minutes, then carefully remove the water (it will be hot) and the turntable. Wipe down all the surfaces with a soft cloth, sponge or paper towel.
You can remove odors and disinfect during this process as well. Start by adding half a fresh lemon to your cup of water while it’s heating up. The lemon half will be hot when removed, but once it cools down a bit, run it through the garbage disposal to freshen that as well.
Follow up by using white vinegar as a natural disinfectant. Dip a microfiber cloth in a 50-50 water-vinegar solution, wring it out until it is slightly damp and use it to wipe down the surfaces.
In most cases, this will be enough to leave your microwave’s interior sparkling. If there are still some splatters, just repeat the process.
Removing Odors from Refrigerators and Freezers: