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Trading can get a person what she wants or good ideas

October 31, 2010
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

There's a woman in Iowa City who has a 20-gallon crock with "Manufactured in Fort Dodge" stamped on the front of it that she wants to trade for a laptop computer.

"My husband died in 2002," said Kate Bolender. "It was in his family for a long time. I think they just bought it somewhere. It's a beautiful crock. It's really in good shape."

Bolender said her computer just went down, and that's why she wants to trade the crock for a laptop. If anyone is interested, she may be reached by calling (319) 855-2372.

She is disabled, she said, but writes and is an artist. Since it's impossible to write on a crock, she's willing to give it up in a trade.

Speaking of trading, a lot of people trade e-mails with good information in them. At least it sounds like good information. Such as:

Take bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, the bananas will ripen faster.

Store opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and won't mold.

Peppers with three bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with four bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking. (What I wonder is who figures stuff like this out.)

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe for a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover Snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Chop them with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples and place them in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Heat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on medium-low on top of the stove. The crust stays crispy.

For easy deviled eggs, put cooked egg yolks in a Ziploc bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal and keep mashing to mix it thoroughly. Cut the tip of the baggy and squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away for easy clean up.

Expanding frosting. When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with a mixer for a few minutes. You can double its size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up small shards of broken glass you can't see easily.

To reduce static cling pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip. The same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place a pin in seam of the slacks.

Before pouring sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill the cup with hot water. Dump out the water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes out.

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser. That works better than a cloth.

There you are. Take it or leave it.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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