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Tips and questions

Dear Reena,

I just discovered a method for freezing peaches and it is a wonderful time and mess saver. This works the same way as freezing whole tomatoes and it is so easy! Just freeze the whole peach, with skin and all, and when it is time to use it, run it under hot water and the skin slips off. You are left with a beautiful ripe peach with no discolouration. I’m doing my whole 25 lbs. this way.

— Val

Hi Val,

I love it! Thanks for sharing.

Hi Reena,

I caught your show on CBC a couple of weeks ago and was hoping you might be able to answer a question. I have a wooden chest that smells strongly of mothballs. I want to store linens in it but everything takes on the mothball odour. Any way to get rid of the odour?

— Thanks, Deb


Put an open bag of charcoal into the chest for a few weeks. Coffee grounds also work well. Or STUFF the entire chest with newspaper; the ink from the newspaper is great at absorbing odours.

Hi Reena,

This is a perfect solution for fruit flies. Just set an empty wine bottle on the cupboard. They get in but can’t get out. Rinse out the wine bottle and return for deposit. It works like a charm.

P.S. I enjoy your articles.

— Jim

Fantastic Jim,

Thanks for the great tip! I always use a vinegar dispenser; in fact I found seven dead fruit flies in my dispenser when I wasn’t even trying to catch them (glad I checked before I used it). I like your idea because many people have wine bottles hanging around the house. Thanks for taking the time to email. All the best!

Dear Reena,

I’m sending you this question on behalf of my mom. I have drugstore beetles in my kitchen cupboards containing: cereals, pasta and rice. These items are all stored in 500-ml freezable food containers. I throw out contaminated food and wash the containers and shelves but the beetles are back in no time. Any suggestions?

— Shirley


The simplest way to get rid of drugstore beetles is to locate the source of the infestation and quickly get rid of it. Use a flashlight or other light to examine all food storage areas and food products. Get rid of heavily infested foods by collecting them in heavy plastic bags or in sealed containers for garbage disposal.

When you purchase foods, check packaging dates to establish freshness. Stay away from broken and damaged. Purchase rarely used foods in small quantities to prevent storage periods of one month or more, (especially during warm months). Store foods in insect-proof containers; glass, heavy plastic or metal with screw-type lids, or store in a refrigerator or freezer. Properly ventilate the storage area to discourage these moisture-loving pests.

Foods with questionable infestations can be heated in a shallow pan in the oven at 120 F (48.9 C) for one hour or place in a deep freeze at 0 F (-17.8 C) for four hours; or heat in a microwave oven for five minutes. Heat dried fruits or vegetables by placing them in a cheesecloth bag and dipping in boiling water for 10 seconds. After removing all food, food packages and dishes from the cupboard, shelves or storage area, use a strong-suction vacuum cleaner with proper attachments to clean all spilled foods from crevices behind and under appliances and furniture. Pull out heavy appliances from the wall and scrub with soap and hot water. After shelves are dry, cover with clean, fresh paper or foil before replacing with food or cooking utensils. It is not recommended to use insecticides around food but if the infestation persists — clear out kitchen and put all food that may be affected into the freezer; spray Raid or call a professional pest control service to tackle the problem. If using a strong chemical be sure to wash all shelves and walls before returning the food to the shelves.

Dear Reena,

How can I remove Crazy Glue from my fingers?

— K.

Hi K.,

Crazy Glue has an active ingredient called Cyanocrylics, which makes the product a super bonder. Apply 100 per cent acetone and scrub with a pumice stone. Petroleum jelly or cold cream, soap, warm water and scrubbing with a green scrubber are also effective solutions.

Tip of the week

Capture the sweet, delectable taste of corn on the cob. Add a pinch of sugar when boiling corn to help bring out the kernels’ natural sweetness. Yummy!

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