Freeze packaged coconut for later use
I have access to about a dozen bags of coconut. I’ll be using some for an Easter treat, but I wondered if I can freeze the rest without it clumping or drying out. — Kim, Alabama
I’ll assume this is a brand such as Baker’s Angel Flake. Angel Flake and premium shreds can be frozen successfully before they reach their expiration date. Place the product in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use. If it dries out, you can restore moisture to it. According to Kraft, to restore moisture to your coconut you should place the coconut in a sieve or strainer and steam over boiling water. Be sure the coconut does not come in contact with the boiling water. An alternative to steaming the coconut is to soak it in milk for a short period of time in a cool place.
I inherited some wonderful Bundt cake pans from my grandmother. Besides the great sentimental value, they also make the best cakes! But now the non-stick coating is wearing away. Is it possible to get them recoated with Teflon? — Lisa, email
You should look for replacements for baking purposes. Even if you happen to find any spray-on coating repair products, I would not use them for bakeware. Most of these products seem to have been discontinued, for good reason. Even Teflon’s manufacturer, DuPont, doesn’t offer re-coating services, and they don’t recommend it. I understand the sentimental value. You could use them in your home decor and get new or new-to-you Bundt pans for baking. You might enjoy The Pampered Chef stoneware fluted pan.
I have a two-year-old Kenmore refrigerator with a shiny black crinkled surface (it seems to be a hard plastic), which I find very hard to keep clean. When the late afternoon sun comes into the kitchen, all the streaks and swirls from cleaning it show up. Soap and water is not effective for hard-to-remove spots. The refrigerator came with no instructions for exterior care. What can I use that won’t harm the shine? — Rose, Pennsylvania
You can call the manufacturer and ask them for their recommendation. I wouldn’t use any harsh or abrasive products. Soap and water or vinegar and water mix is a good idea, but I would use a damp microfiber cleaning cloth and then dry with a dry cloth. This will remove any soap residue and the microfiber cloth will give you a bit of scrubbing action. Drying is the key to a streak-free appearance.
Do you have any tips for removing grease/oil off walls and surfaces? I have tried dish soap, Magic Erasers, spray cleaners, etc. to no avail. — Stacia, Maine
Try Pine-Sol, Simple Green, Greased Lightning or a vinegar and hot water mixture.
I recently purchased fabric at the flea market and found some small rust stains on it. I have attempted to remove the stains using a lemon juice and salt scrub, but they still just won’t come out. Do you have any other suggestions? — Nancy S., email
Lemon juice and salt is usually a good way to remove rust. You can try a salt and vinegar paste, salt and lemon juice paste or a cream of tartar and hot water paste. Allow it to dry and then pour boiling water over the stains. If none of the homemade pastes work, you can try harsher products such as Barkeeper’s Friend or Whink, too. Be sure to read product directions and try to test on an inconspicuous area first.
photo by jaygooby