photo by dayataglance
DEAR SARA: How would you use up oranges? I bought a big bag of oranges, and a few have gone bad on me. What can I do with the rest of them so they don't totally go to waste? -- Kimberly, Oklahoma
DEAR KIMBERLY: First of all, remove any spoiled or moldy oranges. You can cut them and run them through your garbage disposal, compost them or cut out the bad sections, slice them, peel them, and boil them with cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and water on the stovetop for a simmering potpourri. You can visit www.sunkist.com or www.floridajuice.com for orange recipes for any remaining oranges. I lean toward juicing them and freezing the juice in ice-cube trays, adding them to salad or gelatin, or squeezing juice onto poultry when cooking. How about candied orange peels? I'd give them to friends or family or donate them, too.
DEAR SARA: I see you can make your own brown sugar with molasses and white sugar. How do you do that? Do you just mix the two together, or do you have to combine them using some other process? -- Jan, Indiana
DEAR JAN: You can mix them together using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 4 minutes. If the molasses sticks to the sides of the bowl, use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides. For measurements, try 2 cups sugar to 1/3 cup molasses, and adjust (increase molasses) it to your own taste from there. If you don't have a stand mixer, use a fork to combine the two ingredients. I doubt you can make it cheaper than regular brown sugar sold in stores, but it is a good substitute, and you might discover you like the taste better.
DEAR SARA: How long does tofu keep in the fridge? I've opened some, and I am the only one here who will eat it. -- Michelle, Massachusetts
DEAR MICHELLE: Tofu lasts two to three days once opened and refrigerated. Change the water daily. It can be frozen, but the color will change to beige/yellow, and the texture changes. It becomes chewy. Most people don't mind the texture change. If you do freeze it, you can slice, drain, and package it in a freezer bag. Or you can freeze it and drain it after thawing.
DEAR SARA: What are your favorite cleaning products? -- Julie, Indiana
DEAR JULIE: My top three favorites are vinegar, baking soda and Dawn.
DEAR SARA: Do you have a good idea for labeling freezer containers? I have tried markers and masking tape. Both come off. I could just put everything together, but that would work until someone rooted in the freezer. -- P.W., Pennsylvania
DEAR P.W.: Most of the time, I use freezer bags and a Sharpie. There are various freezer tapes and labels on the market. I've seen dissolvable freezer labels by Store Safe. But they're not cheap; they cost roughly $12 for 100. Seems crazy when you can use freezer tape, blue painter's tape, Avery adhesive labels or a China Marker. Many readers have asked me where to find freezer tape. You can usually find it at a hardware store.