Farming Advice: Airtight Freezing, Eliminating Burnt Flavors From Food and Free Samples During Illness

Farming advice from MOTHER and her readers, including a manual way to create airtight bags for freezing, eliminating burnt flavors from food and sending free sample coupons to friends in the hospital.

| September/October 1982

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including creating airtight bags for freezing, eliminating burnt flavors from food and free sample coupons to brighten a hospital stay. 

Before Barbara Black freezes her bags of freshly baked bread and muffins, she puts one end of a drinking straw into each sack and gently sucks the air out. Then the Woodbridge, Virginia baker twists the ties to seal the bags . . . and pops the goodies into the freezer. Barbara claims the extra air-tightness helps keep her frozen treats fresh.

Next time you're looking for an easy way to "pop" the bead from a tire rim, you might try Dale Isackson's trick. Dale, a reader from Two Harbors, Minnesota, uses a pick-mattock — minus the handle — for the task. He first runs a 5-foot steel bar through the hole provided for the handle of the tool . . . and then places one end of the bar in a hole in his garage door frame. By placing the blade between the rim and the bead, and then taking the valve out of the valve stem, Dale can pop the tire's bead by simply pressing down on the other end of the steel rod.

Mary Markland makes her own breast shields by folding a cloth diaper into six to eight thicknesses. The Sebring, Floridian then cuts out a circle, using pinking shears, and sews the multiple layers together. Mary says the shields are a help when she's breastfeeding, because they prevent milk from staining her clothing.

Another of MOM's readers — Mary Hagemann of Douglas, Wyoming — also sent us instructions for making homemade shields. This Mary uses an old dish towel, and sandwiches a layer of clear plastic wrap between two terry cloth circles. Once they've been sewn together with a lock stitch, Mary reports, the shields will withstand several machine washings.

If you scorch a pot of pinto beans, peas, or some other legume, don't despair. Instead, take a tip from Jeanne Bolick of Hickory, North Carolina. Jeanne simply adds a peeled raw potato to the pot, eliminating burnt flavors from food . . . which, she says, quickly absorbs the scorched flavor. (An uncooked spud will also soak up the excess salt from an overly seasoned pot of beans.)

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