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Using refillable cups on single-cup brewing systems

By on May 28, 2012


Dear Sara:

How much coffee do you put in your Keurig My K-Cup? I’d like to start using ours, but I’ve read horror stories from those who have overfilled and under-filled their cups. — Libby, Canada

Dear Libby:

I didn’t like the My K-Cup, but I’ve been happy with the Solofill reusable filter ( My experience with the My K-cup was that the brewed coffee would spew, leaving me with grounds in my coffee and three pieces to clean afterward. The coffee was too weak for my liking, and it overflowed once as well. I didn’t have that problem when I used the Solofill filter. I like my coffee strong, so I fill the Solofill filter to the fill line. I don’t feel the need to tap it like I did with the My K-cup, because the lid presses the grounds down. It’s not that I want the grounds completely packed; I just want to make sure there aren’t any stray grounds close to the top that might escape and make it into my coffee cup. The lid is attached and the filter is built-in, so there’s only one piece to clean. I just give it a little whack on the counter near my sink and the grounds are removed easily.

Dear Sara:

How do you get all of that glue off of mayonnaise, pickle and other jars? I can’t get some of it off, no matter how hard I scrub, even under scalding hot water. Also, I’d like to make a bunch of gift jars out of them, but I can’t seem to get the odor out. What do you use to make sure all of the smell is gone? — Carol, Nevada

Dear Carol:

Label removal is easier if you score the label and soak the jars in hot water, then use vinegar, baby oil or vegetable oil and a plastic scrubbie to remove it. To remove the pickle smell, soak the jars overnight in a solution made of vinegar, baking soda, a couple squirts of dishwashing liquid and very hot water. Afterward, run it through your dishwasher. If it still has an odor, put crumpled newspaper and a sprinkling of baking soda inside the jar and let it sit overnight.

Dear Sara:

I’d like to grow turnips in my garden, but I’m having trouble finding turnips in my canning books. One states that it’s not recommended. What do I do with the turnips if I can’t can them? — F.D., Virginia

Dear F.D.:

I’ve never canned turnips, but you can freeze them. Wash, peel and cut the turnips into roughly 1/2-inch cubes. Boil water and blanch the cubes for two minutes. Don’t overcook them. After they’ve been blanched, plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Allow them to cool, then place them in freezer storage bags. You can also cook them entirely, then mash and freeze them (must be consumed within six months).
You can dehydrate turnips, too. Frugal Village member Robin, from Oregon, shares: “To dehydrate turnips, peel and slice them 1/2-1/4-inch thick, blanch 3 to 5 minutes and then dry to a very tough to brittle state (125 degrees). To use in soups or stews, rehydrate and mash. Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar per cup of re-hydrating water to improve flavor.” They make a great snack when dried, too (think: potato chip).

photo by pjinomaha

One Comment

  1. Dr. Audie

    5/29/2012 at 7:32 pm

    Hi Sara,

    I am a coffee drinker. No cream, no sugar, just a strong hot cup of black coffee. I start drinking coffe around 4:00 AM and always have a cup next to me until I go to bed around 11:00 PM. (Old Marine Corps habit). Anyway my choice of coffee is the Samatra Extra Bold Dark Roast. You can imagine the expense incurred using the commercial K cups when you drink 14 to 16 cups daily.

    I found the same with using My K cup that a cup of coffee was just too weak for me. I have been experimenting with different brands of packaged coffee and still found it was too weak plus having to clean the basket each time I wanted a cup of coffee. I finally found the secret to getting a great bold cup of coffee with a $10.00 Black and Decker Coffee grinder.

    My wife discovered Perfect Pod EZ-Cup filters at our local Bed Bath and Beyond that fit right inside of the basket. Now they have a filter flap attached. Place the filter inside the basket, TEAR OFF the flap, and fill with your favorite coffee. If you try to leave the flap on and brew your coffee, it will catch the water and weakens the coffee.

    Now the coffee grinder, even a fine grind, if you can find it, still makes a weak cup, so even with ground coffee put it through the grinder. I usually grind a pint size container of coffee at a time (Rubber Maid) and have it next to the Keurig. I am now buying beans and grinding them. I have even converted my wife to using My K cup for her coffee. Even though she used both cream and sugar, she can taste the difference. She like Kona but most all ground Kona is a blend so we buy the Kona beans and grind them a little at a time.

    I hope for all the true coffee lovers they will give their My K cup another chance. And by the way, the paper filter eliminates the chore of cleaning the basket as well. Just pull the used filter and grounds out and put a new filter in. Dr. Audie Rhodes New Orleans LA

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