Foiled Again! - Lost jobs and the art of shopping Blog at - 328789

Lost jobs and the art of shopping

Foiled Again! 
Jun. 16, 2014 10:26 pm 
Updated: Jan. 2, 2015 9:43 pm

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?!

top of the cabinets ...toss it once a year and refoil!

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 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.

Tarnished silver

Bubble, bubble, no toil, no trouble

Clean again!


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.

Wrinkles no more

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)

Reynolds greenhouse

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!

foil.....instead of painter's tape

Sharpening scissors

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.

Scissor sharpener

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.

Wood packets for smoking on the grill

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!

icky, messy goo

Anti Gamma rays and mind reading 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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Deb C 
Jun. 17, 2014 2:58 am
Great tips Julie! I'll pass on the gamma rays though.
Jun. 17, 2014 3:34 am
Your Mom sounds like a very wise lady. Learned some tips today.
Jun. 17, 2014 3:41 am
I use small pieces of aluminum foil and wrap them around bananas (just the top part where the raw edge is.) Makes the bananas keep much longer. Wish I could find a roll of "tin" foil!
Jun. 17, 2014 4:24 am
"Anti Gamma Ray?!" I think I'm taking that personally )=
Jun. 17, 2014 4:24 am
Jun. 17, 2014 4:25 am
By the way, they do not pay me enough to read minds - LOL (=
Jun. 17, 2014 4:27 am
Love your tip for covering the top of the kitchen cabinets. Why haven't I ever thought of that? lol Next time my son is over, having him scrub the heck out of the top and then lay down a sheet of foil for me. Thanks. Interesting blog.
Jun. 17, 2014 4:54 am
Great pictures, mauigirl! Some good info here.
Jun. 17, 2014 5:08 am
Great tips! Not your usual cooking/grilling tips.
Jun. 17, 2014 5:11 am
I love the ironing tip. :) Great blog, thanks!
Jun. 17, 2014 7:12 am
Great blog and great tips! I definitely want to try the smoking tip, as I inherited a gas grill when I moved! Thanks for sharing!!
Jun. 17, 2014 8:12 am
Great blog and tips. I so glad you are back.
Jun. 17, 2014 8:39 am
Love the cabinet tops tip.
Jun. 17, 2014 9:06 am
I learned a few new tricks! When I was a child we had a strange man who also wore a tinfoil hat to protect himself from ETs, airplane radio transmissions and other vague dangers. He was strange but harmless. Apparently, it was quite a movement during the 50s and 60s!
Jun. 17, 2014 10:23 am
I can honestly say that the first time I saw tin (aluminum) foil was on the rabbit ears (antenna) of our TV to enhance the picture.
Jun. 17, 2014 12:47 pm
Wonderful blog and great tips. Thank you!!
Jun. 17, 2014 1:07 pm
great blog Julie! agree with your take on company promos. I don't know why they need the exposure, because I'm foiled too :) I do happen to walk around on the beach at the southern round-up with my head wrapped in foil...and no I didn't do it on purpose. be careful who has access to your room!
Jun. 17, 2014 6:53 pm
Hi Julie, I like the foil on top of the cabinet idea. I will have to to try that!
Jun. 18, 2014 3:49 pm
I like your writing style and sense of humor! Thanks for taking the time to blog.
Jun. 18, 2014 7:15 pm
Wonderful ideas and great blog!
Jun. 19, 2014 7:38 am
Loved your tips and pictures! I learned some new things. :)
Jun. 19, 2014 10:11 am
You're not supposed to run with scissors ? B-)
Aug. 2, 2014 6:41 am
Great tips and an enjoyable read. I'm going to use the tip for cupboards. Brilliant!
Jan. 2, 2015 9:43 pm
Oh this was fun, glad I came across it, even though so late in the game.
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About Me
I have been married for 43 years to the most amazing man on the planet. He is quiet and deliberate and I am NOT. We have one grown son (and his partner) that we adore. Because they work for the airlines they drop in on a flight frequently and we feel so lucky for that. We retired after 30 years at our careers from our native Olympia to Maui and now most recently retreated to Las Vegas to try to ride out this horrendous economy. We bought a small home here and I gutted it and am putting it back together, so I spend most of my time fine tuning the decorating and now I am plunging into a full tropical landscaping to remind us of our beautiful Maui. I miss the PNW, but NOT the weather. Miss the razor clams and the wild beaches of Washington and Oregon. Miss my friends too. Happy to have my friends from Allrecipes though. The four legged critter you see on my profile is a five year old yorkie/bichon who is the greatest little (9 lbs) girl ever. Quiet and calm, but so excited about life.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook just about anything...just mostly like the art of cooking and baking and sharing my art with friends and families. Love the smells that emanate from my kitchen and the familiar memories that come flooding back. The scents from my kitchen are probably my favorite thing in the house.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother used to like to make a big deal out of almost any holiday, so I have followed through with that tradition. Valentine's Day, Christmas, St. Paddy's day, Thanksgiving, Easter, Oscar night are just a few of my favorite cooking traditions. Birthday parties for all my loved ones are something I love to do too.
My cooking triumphs
The first time I mastered sauce bearnaise, or raviolis from scratch or my first perfect cheesecake or my first wedding catering job or meeting Julia Child (about 25 years ago).
My cooking tragedies
(See above) Well....Julia was so cranky and rude it ruined my love of I sold all my Julia Child cookbooks (some of them signed) at a garage sale for $1.00 apiece. Now I wish I would have kept them of course. I guess Julia was just having a bad day:( & I was foolish of course.
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