Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tip Tuesday

Today’s tips are all about vanilla. Personally, vanilla is my favorite flavor of cake, ice cream, etc. There’s something “warm and fuzzy” about the scent and flavor of vanilla that just makes me feel good.

Vanilla comes from an orchid, of the genus Vanilla. Originally from Mexico, by the early 1900s it was produced in many other tropical parts of the world. Some say the very best vanilla comes from Madagascar. The flavor and fragrance of vanilla comes from a compound called vanillin, and vanilla is wisely used both in food preparation and aromatherapy.

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron due to its being quite labor-intensive. The cost doesn’t keep it from being popular – Coca Cola is said to be the world’s largest consumer of natural vanilla.

Many compounds in vanilla have antioxidant benefits, but most of us do not consume enough to gain their full power. Now for a few tips:

1) Place a drop or two on light bulbs, turn on the light – it’s a lovely air freshener.

2) To freshen the microwave, place a small amount in a cup and heat on High for 1 minute.

3) To freshen the refrigerator, put a drop or two on a cotton ball and place inside.

4) Add 1 tablespoon to a gallon of paint to remove the strong paint odor.

5) Burned yourself while cooking? Rub a small amount of vanilla on the burn – as the alcohol evaporates it will cool the burn.

6) To repel bugs when outside, mix 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Rub on skin.

7) For a spray air freshener, mix a few drops of vanilla essential oil – not extract – in a spray bottle filled with water.

8) Place a whole vanilla bean in your sugar cannister. Not only will it preserve the bean, but you’ll have lovely vanilla-scented sugar.
This week’s “holidays” –
June 17 – 22 is Old Time Fiddler’s Week. I enjoy old-time and bluegrass music, and am amazed at the sounds they can make with those instruments!

June 20 – Dump the Pump Day and Recess at Work Day

June 21 – World Handshake Day*

June 22 – Great American Backyard Campout

June 23 – America’s Kids Day, Baby Boomers Recognition Day* and Pink Flamingo Day*

(* indicates holidays held every year on the same date.)
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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