Old-fashioned methods best for top results

I BOUGHT a beautiful glass vase but it is cloudy inside. How can I restore the sparkle? – EK, Port Elizabeth.

First, you can try filling the vase with a strong bleach and warm water solution. Leave overnight and rinse out in the morning.

If that doesn’t work, use an old-fashioned method to clean glass decanters. Fill the vase with warm water and add a tablespoon of baking powder and crushed eggshells.

Leave for 12 hours, agitating it from time to time. Rinse with warm water to which you have added a little ammonia. That should do the trick.

One of my old books contains a more precise recipe – one tablespoon of crushed eggshells or two tablespoons of coarse sand; one tablespoon salt; some used tea leaves; half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of warm water. Here again the mixture must be left for several hours with periodic shakings.

I THOUGHT I would let you know about my success against ants with Tempo CC Crack & Crevice Spray, which was recommended by a reader of your column last July. I got some from Greenfingers, North End, on Saturday, and we sprayed on our problem areas. The result? Dozens of dead ants. So far (on Tuesday) there’s not an ant in sight. – LR, Port Elizabeth.

Thanks for the endorsement of what is obviously a very effective product.


HOW does one achieve rice timbales? I followed the Royal Hostess recipe and placed the hot cooked rice into small, slightly buttered moulds. Then it says: “Stand in a pan of hot water in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Then turn out carefully”. No success. The rice does not remain in shape – it spreads. – TC, Port Elizabeth.

I don’t normally handle cookery problems but I was intrigued by this one. Following my maxim – “When in doubt, speak to the professionals” – I sought out a local chef, whose neat rice domes often appear on stylishly presented plates of food at his restaurant.

He offered a seemingly simple answer: mix a little Parmesan cheese into the rice before putting the moulds in the oven. This will improve the binding of the grains.

As I have never thought that his rice had a cheesy taste or was sticky, he obviously does not use a heavy hand.

I asked whether 10 minutes in a hot oven was sufficient and he had no problems with that. So good luck with your next batch of timbales. May they all stand up perfectly!

THANK you for the advice on cleaning the camphor kist. I spent a busy morning cleaning it. One thing I did differently was to wrap cotton wool around a sosatie stick for the crevices. As you mentioned raw linseed oil or meths, I used a furniture cleaning mixture of raw linseed oil and surgical spirits in the proportions 1:4. The mixture separates on standing and I dipped the stick in the upper layer so it was mainly oil that I used. It was a lot of work but the kist is now clean. Incidentally, I use Shell Vitrea oil, also known as Helix 5, to polish a blackwood kist. I was given the tip by Fechters of Knysna. – VB, Port Elizabeth.

You certainly are diligent. Thanks for the feedback and the additional information.

Home market

Does anyone know where I can get celery salt in PE? – Andrew Joseph, tel 079-796-8625; andrewjoseph57@gmail.com.

Six Egyptian geese have taken over my garden and pool in Walmer. They arrived in September and refuse to leave. The chicks have grown and are messing everywhere.

Guinea fowls have now joined them. What can I do? Animal Welfare could not help me. – K Rana, tel 082-824-3268.

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