Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Vinegar is an important storage item. It is very versatile. Here are some of the uses of vinegar that you may or may not have tried along with using it in your cooking:
1) Use vinegar as a window cleaner
2) Use to get rid of hard water
3) Add a cup a vinegar in your wash water along with an old towel to wash your shower curtains
4) Use undiluted as a spotter for suede
5) Put ¼ cup white vinegar in the final rinse of your laundry to soften clothes
6) A great final rinse for your hair
7) White vinegar in a spray bottle to remove soap scum on showers, tubs and sinks – let soak 10-15 minutes
8) For mineral deposits on shower heads, put a baggie with vinegar around the head and attach with rubber band – leave overnight. Rinse. *Note: remove baggie before your husband’s shower :)
9) Add 2-3 T. white vinegar to hot water along with regular soap to cut grease on dishes and crystal
10) Clean stainless steel sinks with baking soda and vinegar paste
11) Cleans drains – ½ cup soda and ½ c. white vinegar poured down drains once a month
12) Polishes chrome
13) Clean mirrors with solution of half vinegar/half water. Buff.
14) Spray underarms of clothes and let soak 15-30 minutes to deodorize and minimize underarm stains
15) To clean toilets pour 1 c. vinegar over stained area of toilet then sprinkle 1 c. borax over vinegar. Soak 2 hours, brush and flush
16) Kill weeds and grass growing in sidewalk cracks by pouring undiluted white vinegar on them
17) For cuts and scrapes, use vinegar as an antiseptic
18) Clean the microwave: mix ½ c. white vinegar and ½ c. water in a bowl. Bring to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.
19) Clean shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half & half solution of water and white vinegar.
20) Cut the grime on the top of the refrigerator with a paper towel or cloth and full-strength white vinegar
21) Avoid the smell of a newly cleaned oven by using a sponge soaked in diluted white vinegar for final rinse.
22) To clean a grease splattered oven door window, saturate it with full-strength white vinegar. Keep the door open for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping with a sponge.
23) Remove soap buildup, hard water buildup, and odors from the dishwasher by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through a whole cycle. Do monthly.
24) Easily clean mini blinds by wearing pair of white cotton gloves. Dip gloved fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, and run your fingers across both sides of each blind.
25) To clean tarnished brass, copper, and pewter, use a paste of equal amounts of white vinegar and table salt.

There are hundreds more where these came from – believe me. My favorite use of vinegar is definitely making pickles and relishes. I love, love, love sweet pickles – the kind that sit in the crock for 2 weeks but that’s a story for another day.

Today I want to share what I call summer pickles. These are not canned although they keep in your fridge for several weeks, and if you have an excess of summer squash in your garden this recipe is what you need. I like these pickles so much I often buy summer squash just so I can make them. They are so good. I have given many jars of these away and never yet has anyone failed to ask for the recipe after they tasted them. They are quick to make and taste so good this time of year.

3 small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced thin
1 large sweet red or green pepper cut into ¼” strips
1 T. salt
1 c. sugar
¾ c. white vinegar
¾ t. mustard seed
¾ t. celery seed
¼ t. ground mustard
In large bowl, combine squash, onion, peppers and salt. Cover and chill 1 hour; drain. In a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Add squash mixture; return to a boil. Remove from heat. Cool. Store in airtight container in fridge for at least 4 days before eating. May be stored in fridge up to 1 month.

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