Make your own signature blend
photo by scholastica_ees
DEAR SARA: I bought two large containers of Folgers a while back when the product was on sale. I recently opened one and found it is a very mild flavor. Can I get a stronger coffee and mix with the mild? Will it improve the flavor, or would I be wasting my time and money trying to fix this? I hate not to use what I got on sale, but unless I can improve the taste, I know it will be wasted. — Hope S., North Carolina
DEAR HOPE: You can blend your own. Flavor improvement depends on your own personal taste. You’ll have to adjust it to your liking. If you prefer the stronger flavor, I’d start with higher than 50/50 mix. You can blend more than two types, too. Consider it your own “house blend.”
DEAR SARA: What can I use to prevent moths from eating my clothing in my dresser? I hate to use mothballs because they make the clothes smell. Thanks. — Janet R., e-mail
DEAR JANET: Happy to hear you don’t want to use mothballs. Not only do they make clothes smell; they’re also toxic. You can use eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, mint, cloves, cinnamon and/or bay leaves. Place them into a fabric pouch (you can sew or buy cotton-muslin sachets) so the natural oils don’t come into direct contact with your clothing and damage them. You can use cedar blocks or shavings, too. Make sure that clothing is completely dry when storing it and is placed in an area free from dust, lint or pet fur. For long-term storage, use an airtight container.
DEAR SARA: Superstore has a rice cooker on sale this week. I bought rice last week that needs a rice cooker in order for it to be good. Have you bought a rice cooker and found it to be a good investment? — Tisha, Canada
DEAR TISHA: My rice cooker was a gift, so I didn’t buy mine. Also, it wasn’t brand-new. My mom gave me her old rice cooker when she received a new one. I absolutely love it. I can make my own rice without it, but I really like not having to babysit rice as it cooks. Plus, it makes perfect rice every time.
You can use the index-finger method of measuring for both rice cookers and traditional rice cooked on the stovetop. You simply add the amount of rice you want to cook, keeping in mind that 1 cup of uncooked rice equals 3 cups cooked rice. Slowly add water, and place your index finger into your cooking pot so it touches the top of the rice. Continue to add water until it fills to the first joint on your finger. This equals about 1/2 inch of water above the top of the rice.
So, to answer your question, you can make your own rice without a rice cooker and save your money. I don’t know of any rice that requires a rice cooker. Or at least consider how often you eat rice and whether or not you’d eat more if you owned a rice cooker. Assuming you have money to spare, I think now would seem to be a good time to buy it, since it’s on sale. However, before buying, I’d compare reviews online and check garage sales and thrift stores, too. Maybe you can get one as a gift.