Thursday, December 23, 2010

Getting more from your oven

I love the forum at .  It's the greatest place to learn new stuff from some really hands on people.  The focus is on permaculture - alternative building and energy, critter care, wild crafting, that kind of thing.  Head on over there and plan on bookmarking that site as you'll want to check back.
Yesterday someone had posted that they kept their baking stone in the oven.  There was more even heat and the oven didn't kick on as much.  I have a large square baking stone that was re-gifted to me (hey, I'll take about anything).  I put it on the middle rack of my oven before I baked some vegetarian lasagna for supper.  I can't say that I watched or rather listened to know if the oven clicked on more or less, but what surprised me was how long that stone held the heat afterwards.

I always leave the oven door cracked after turning it off so the heat comes into the room.  I bet there was heat still coming from that baking stone half an hour later!  So that's the new storage place for that baby.  It won't help when you're baking something for a short period of time as it will take a while for that stone to heat up, so take it out if you're just browning a pie crust.  For long time baking, even half an hour, it makes sense that it would help.

Simple stuff, but it works!

Make your own Endust & Static Guard substitutes

My latest finds are substitutes for Endust and Static Guard.  I gave them both a try and they work great!  Saves me money, is earth friendly and I almost always have the ingredients!

The anti-static dusting spray is nothing more than one part of liquid fabric softener to maybe 5 parts water.  As usual, I tend not to measure, I just eyeball it.  Put it in a little spray bottle, give it a few shakes to mix, spray it on a cloth and dust away. I used this yesterday and by cracky, there is NO dust, and I mean NO dust on the furniture that I used this on.  Wahoo!  I wiped down one little table with a barely damp cloth so I'd have something to compare it to, and it shows some dust today.  I did some light sprays on the recliners and no static pops last night, too!  I do get a little nervous spraying fabric softener directly on upholstered furniture, so I'll probably get another spray bottle and water it down a bit more...maybe.  I'll see how long the anti static part of this trial lasts.  Label the bottle!

I also tried the homemade dust mop treatment this morning and I give that two thumbs up.  All that involves is 4 drops of olive oil (or any cooking oil, or lemon oil, etc) in one cup of warm water.  Again, into a little spray bottle, shake it up and spray on your dustmop, or in my case, a rag covered Swiffer.  It doesn't take much, just a couple of light mists, then dust those floors.  Worked like a charm!  Grabbed up cat hair and dust just like the purchased stuff.  I then took the rags outside, gave them a couple shakes and into the laundry basket. Label the bottle!

What's cool is that I'm not bring more plastic or aerosol cans into the house, thus keeping them out of the waste stream.  I'm almost out of spray bottles, so I'm going to ask friends and relatives to save them for me.  Some folks just don't want to get on board, but hey, they're willing to help out the eco-fanatic person they know and love.  Well, know, anyway.