If you think this is going to be another thoughtless blog brought to you by an Allrecipes sponsor and shilled by an unpaid ambassador, you would be wrong. (except for the shilling for a roll of Reynold's aluminum part) Over the
last three years, I have done some sponsored blogs with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Well this isn't one of those. This is a product that I have used all of my life. It is a staple in my cupboard and in every other household cupboard I have ever been in.
I think our sponsor, Reynolds, wanted a blog about grilling recipes but that is just too common of a use for me to discuss here. We all know that it is handy for grilling & cooking but I wanted to share some of my favorite uses that have been helpful and handy
and frequently taught to me by my mama. I hope you have a few to add to this collection of tips too.
No more cleaning cabinet tops!
Now this one is from my mama. She has done this for as long as I can remember. Do you have those open cabinet tops above your kitchen cabinets? Maybe one of those shelves that soar above your great room to display artful arrangements?
Line those shelves with aluminum foil. It will keep all the grease/dust off the surfaces. (and no one will see it) Take it down once a year and replace it with fresh foil. How easy is that?!
Cleaning your silver jewelry
Line a shallow bowl with aluminum foil with the shiny side up. Do I "know" that it needs to be the shiny side? Not really, but it is just the way I always do it. Put a tablespoon each of baking soda, salt and dish liquid in the
foil lined dish. Add a cup or two of boiling water. (watch out...it will look like a science lab experiment with all the bubbling and everything) Lay your silver jewelry into the mixture and let the mixture cool. Fish out your jewelry and rinse then polish
with a soft dry rag. You will have some gleaming jewelry for the paltry cost of a few cents. I have been told that you can also use this method with your silver flatware. I will have to take their word for it cuz I gave away that high maintenance stuff when
I left the mainland for Maui.
One of my chores as a kid was to do weekly ironing. My mom gave each of us our pile of laundry and it was to be done weekly by each of us. (or the fur was gonna fly!) My mom shared these tips back then. When you have a particularly
stubborn wrinkled garment, put foil down on the ironing board and lay the clothing over the foil. She said it conducts the heat to both sides and it sure makes sense to me. She also taught me to put foil down on the board when doing an iron on patch in my
holy jeans. Sure beats the heck out of gluing your patch project to the ironing board cover.
Foil Plant Box
I lived in the dark and dreary Pacific Northwest for most of my life and growing seedlings or small plant starts was always a challenge in that ever grey environment. My grandma taught me this simple tip. Take a cardboard box that
is large enough to hold your plants. Lay it on the side with the opening facing you and line the entire interior with foil...shiny side up. Put your plants in the sideways box near a window and they will finally suck up the much needed sunshine and warmth
they need to thrive. Word to the wise, do NOT attempt this in the desert. (where I live now) You just might burn down the whole house with the scorching and unrelenting sun and that would NOT be a good thing. (as "Martha" would say)
Wrapping hardware or hard to cover items for painting
This is so darned easy and handy when you paint.....something I have WAYYYYY to much experience with. Loosen door knobs, locks, switch plates and cover item with foil. Paint away. When your paint is dry, carefully pull off the foil and wad it up in a ball
and throw it away. No mess and no paint slop over on hardware and best of all......NO PAINTER"S TAPE involved!
Well my mom says that if you fold foil a few sheets deep and cut through it with your scissors it will sharpen your scissors and who am I to argue with mama. So I have dutifully performed this simple fix many times through the years. Can't figure out if
it works but it sure beats running with scissors......another thing mama taught me NOT to do.
Here are my only two tips related to cooking with Reynold's wrap that you might not have heard of.
Smoking Meats on the Gas Grill
No....NOT that kinda smoking :) I no longer have a smoker or charcoal grill so I have found a really great way to achieve great smoked ribs and pork shoulder on my gas grill thank to good ol' aluminum foil. Get some wood chips for smoking meats. Applewood
is our fav. Soak the wood chips in a bucket of water for several hours or overnight. Lay out a sheet of aluminum. Lay a couple of cups of soaked chips in the center of the foil and fold into packets. Wrap the packet again so you don't have a burn thru. Poke
holes with a fork in the packets.(to release wood smoke) Light one half of your grill and put a packet on that hot side. Put you chosen meats on the other NOT LIT side. ( with a drip pan to catch drips) underneath the grill surface and close the lid. Add
a packet about every hour until your meats are the desired tenderness. You will have the most amazing smoked meats. We really can't tell the difference from our old smoker results.
Cleaning up goo and grease
So this is one of my favorites when cooking something greasy, gooey or just plain messy. Grab the foil you used for cooking/baking and put the offending grease, greasy liquids, meat trimmings and bones in the foil. Refrigerate it to solidify if it's too
messy for the trash container. Wad it up and throw it away. Grease be gone!
Anti Gamma rays and mind reading
Yep.....you heard me right. I grew up during the 60's in the quiet town of Olympia WA. We didn't have much crime. (unless you counted our crooked legislators) It was just kind of a live and let live town where we knew most everybody. We had this old character
who walked up and down Fourth Avenue with clothing and a hat made out of tin foil. I never talked to the dude, but everyone said he was afraid of the government using gamma rays and mind thought technology that was not even dreamed of during those days. I
always thought he was quite peculiar but now after having several minor skin cancers removed, I wonder......Was he onto something? Did he ever get skin cancers from the unknown UVA's that plague us now? I'm thinking he just might have prevented the skin diseases
caused by the sun or did he burn the heck out himself with all that shiny material? Heck....maybe the thought police were thwarted by his tin foil hat after all. Just thinking here. If you do see me with a tin outfit....well it's time to commit me but maybe
I have just discovered another use for aluminum foil :)
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