Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Couple Tips From the Day

I learned a couple things today. More, actually, but these are worth passing on.

For diabetics and weight watchers: Stevia is a sugar substitute that you can actually bake with! I jumped on the Splenda bandwagon a few years back, and quickly became disappointed that baking with it produced a gooey lump of whatever-it-was. Mostly now it gets used on cold things like fruits that need a little something, or occasionally in jellies. I'd run across the name stevia a couple times, but hadn't gotten around to doing anything about it after the Splenda experience. Today it got recommended as a real sugar substitute for baking, and as a result actually picked some up at the store. I also had Rich haul up a box of unsweetened cocoa from the basement to use in a favorite but abandoned brownie recipe. I am so-o-o-o-o looking forward to giving it a try this weekend.

As a side note, the recipe is already adapted from a previous one which makes you melt down blocks of unsweetened chocolate. My late mom-in-law worked out how to use cocoa and butter to get the same result, simpler, faster, and likely cheaper. Now all I'll have to do is figure out the carbs in the flour and I'll know how much I can eat at any given time.

More to come.

* * * * *

A second item of note to me came in the painting aisle of the WalMart in Pine City, where I wound up after my last drop of the day. I could go into this long explanation of what the project is requiring stripping off wallpaper and the plans for after, but it's late and that'll wait. Suffice it to say the paper is old, nasty, and must go. It currrently, uh, decorates the two largest rooms of the Sun City house, so quite a chore. I was picking up the tools that somebody (else) will need to score and strip the wallpaper, when a friendly clerk stopped and asked if I had questions.

Of course! When don't I? I started with how does one refill the blades on the scraper? They weren't in the store. (Try internet or hardware store. And WalMart, you're missing a sale here.) Then she offered advice on wetting down the paper, when one doesn't want to use - as in rent - a steamer. There is, of course, a bunch of bottles of stuff they sell, or that Home Depot sells, or anybody else with an interest in making an extra buck sells to the do-it-yourself crowd. They seem awfully small. And pricey. So the tip I got from her - who shall remain nameless in the interests of her keeping her job - was to go get a big jug of cheap liquid fabric softener, mix it with really hot water, and spray it on with a spray bottle.

I'm guessing that tip will save me about $30 for the chore, something better spend on painting supplies.

Probably smells better too.

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