Monday, October 25, 2010

Pantry Potpourri - Savvy Uses for Ice Cubes

Chill Out With Ice Cubes

Ok, so ice isn’t really a pantry item or a shelf stocker unless you’re in charge of the annual neighborhood snow cone party, but ice cube trays are definitely worth being filled on a regular basis (or water lines plugged in, for the fancy ice-in-the-door folk). Practically free, ice certainly has more uses than soothing the occasional goose egg or cooling down your summer drinks. This ordinary product can do extraordinary things and even save a headache or two.  Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to help break the ….

1.  A spoonful of ice makes the medicine go down: Ugh – trying to get kids to take medicine can be a chore in and of itself.  But try this, have them suck on an ice cube before taking the medicine. Ice numbs their taste buds and allows the medicine to be swallowed without the fight.

2. Water your plants:  If you struggle to water hard to reach plants, or even the Christmas tree for fear of making a sopping mess just use ice cubes.  Toss a couple ice cubes into the pot (try not to let them touch the foliage) and watch them melt to perfection.  The water is absorbed slowly and there’s less chance of a run-over..

3.  Put moisture back into rice:  If you’ve tried reheating rice without success add a few ice cubes. Put an ice cube on top of the rice when you put it in the microwave.  Gently set the lid on top of your reheating container with a little venting room and the ice cube will melt as the rice warms up giving your rice its’ desired moisture.

4.  Remove dents in carpeting: You may have tried this trick before!  If you’ve moved the furniture in your home, you know that couch feet and piano legs can leave ugly indents in your carpet. Get rid of furniture dents by placing an ice cube on the hole. Let the ice melt and then gently brush the carpet to revive it like new.

5.  Get the gum out:  If your 3 year old somehow snuck a piece of gum from the pantry and now it’s stuck in their curly locks, get it out with ice.  Remove as much excess gum by hand as possible and then use ice to get out the rest.  Put a handful of ice cubes into a plastic bag, hold the bag over the remaining gum until it freezes and hardens and then gently break away the hardened gum.

6. Stop sauces from curdling: If your perfect sauce has curdled, add an ice cube to the saucepan and stir the sauce back into shape!

7.  Tweeze a splinter:  If you’ve ever tried to tweeze a splinter from the foot of a 2 year old you know how hard this task can be! Before you start, numb the area with an ice cube to make the removal less painful.

8. De-fat soups:  If you have excess fat in your soup or stew remove it with ice.  Remove soup from heat and add a layer of ice to the pot.  Wait about 3 minutes and then stir.  The fat will stick to the ice cubes.  Want to remove the fat but not water down your soup? Fill a metal ladle with ice cubes and skim the bottom of the ladle over the top of the soup.  The fat will collect in the ladle and no extra water will be added to your broth. 

9. Clean the garbage disposal:  Combine two cups of ice cubes and a cup of vinegar to dispose of garbage disposal odors once and for all. Fill the garbage disposal with the ice cubes and then pour the vinegar over the top. While running cold water, turn the garbage disposal on for approximately 10 seconds.

10. Remove gum from clothing:  If you sat on gum at the movie theater and now your favorite jeans are ruined – think again!  Just rub an ice cube on the gum to harden it and scrape it off with a spoon.

11. Make creamy salad dressing: Put all the ingredients in a jar/shaker and add one ice cube. Close the lid tightly and shake well. Spoon out the ice cube and pour out a creamy perfection.

This ordinary product certainly can do extraordinary things!  Try out a few of these cool solutions in your home today!

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