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Store baking pans with ease

By on January 5, 2012


Dear Sara:

How do you store your baking pans and cookie sheets? — Karen, Texas

Dear Karen:

I have a double wall oven with a deep drawer underneath it. I place some in there and I keep others in the lower oven that I don’t use daily. If you don’t have a deep drawer, you can use a tension rod as a divider. Place it front-to-back in the cabinet, and tuck baking pans between the rod and the wall of the cabinet. Or place them vertically (2 per divided section) and slide baking sheets (on their sides) in between each set of tension rods. There are 4-sort dividers available at places such as The Container Store, too.

Dear Sara:

I have an old king-size comforter from my smoking days that I have washed many times but I can still smell cigarette smoke on it. I’ve even aired it outside on occasion, to no avail. The main reason I still have it is in case someone stays over. Should I just toss it, since I can’t seem to get the smell completely out? — Shoiji, New Jersey

Dear Shoiji:

If the only reason you keep it is for guests, then let it go. You could keep it in the trunk of your car for emergencies or donate it. Comforters go on sale often, so you won’t have a hard time replacing it. Smoke smells are very tough to get rid of. At home, you can try a white vinegar and hot water soak before a regular washing. If you really are attached to it, you can have a professional dry cleaner remove the odor with an ozone treatment.

Dear Sara:

Do you have a good cardamom substitute? — Marsha S., Wyoming

Dear Marsha:

There isn’t really a great substitute for it. You can find it cheaper at ethnic stores than at specialty stores. Be sure you know whether you need green, white or black cardamom, too. Green and white are typically used in baked goods, and black is typically used for savory dishes. Some people substitute equal parts ground nutmeg and cinnamon or equal parts ground cloves and cinnamon or nutmeg or cinnamon, but in some recipes, I’d either not make it at all until I bought cardamom or omit the cardamom, rather than trying to make substitutes that will impact the overall taste.

Dear Sara:

I’d like to wash my plastic shower curtain liner without putting it in the washing machine. Any suggestions? — Tina, Ohio

Dear Tina:

You can put it in the tub and hand-scrub and rinse it. You can use a bit of laundry detergent, vinegar and baking soda or a weak bleach and water solution. It works out nicely because your tub gets cleaned at the same time.

photo by NancyHugoCKD


  1. That Frugal Girl

    3/24/2012 at 3:29 pm

    The white vinegar tip really does help with smoke smell! Vinegar naturally draws out the odor.. just soak a bit before washing – TWICE!

  2. ashley

    6/5/2012 at 10:21 am

    My shower curtain seems to get yucky a lot. I’ve tried different cleaners and such but nothing seems to get that off. I am going to try soaking it in vinegar and hot water overnight and see if that helps.

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