Deep Fryer Dilemma

My deep fryer has bugged me for years.  After use, I empty it of the used oil and hand wash the removable basin, wipe down the exterior shell and the heating element.  The baskets and handles I either toss in the dishwasher or hand wash in a sink of dishwater, depending on the room available in the dishwasher (and what might be stuck to the basket wires that may require a soak).  But try as I might, there was always a slightly tacky, rough area along the oil line.

The basin is big, and black, so it’s really hard to tell if this was substance stuck (fried?) on or if the finish had been damaged by use. I’m not one to really care that my pots and pans look seasoned.  But the possibility that this was an old oil deposit–or a break-down of the finish (both serious sources of carcinogens)–very much disturbed me.
imageI confess, in early years of its use, I was not aware of the shelf-life of oil (it goes rancid faster than I’d have thought) nor the dangers of reusing oil.  Peanut oil, though cheaper than olive oil, is still pretty expensive in the quantity needed to fill this large of a fryer.  [Note:  don’t by a deep fryer larger than your usual use would require.]  I’d bought the largest one to accommodate the possible occasions for use when I host my whole huge extended family.  The thought of tossing an industrial-sized vat of oil after a single use was enough to make my frugal soul consider giving up Christmas Zeppole–for a couple of seconds.  Plus, I was taught at my mother’s elbow that frying potatoes cleaned up used oil.  So… a batch of french fries, and voila, your oil is good to fry your next batch of chicken or calamari.  But I know better now.  So I’ll store the strained used oil in the refrigerator and re-use once if I have need to within a short period of time. For more about reusing oil, check out:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/532582-the-hazards-of-reusing-cooking-oil/

Because I’ve never been able to get the basin completely free of whatever is on the surface, I dread cleaning it.  Yesterday, I determined I would figure out how to get it off.  I started using dish soap on a Spirisponge – which is safe for almost all surfaces.  When that didn’t work, I pulled out the Cleaning Paste and coated my Spirisponge.  This combination works fabulous for getting off the cooked on food on my ceramic gas stove-top, so I had high hopes.  Alas, oil line – 1, Spirisponge/Cleaning Paste combo – 0.

As best I could tell, this basin was not non-stick (why would it be? — the stuff floats in baskets), so I pulled out my Mighty Mesh Pot Scrubber — which is NOT recommended for non-stick surfaces — and thru it into the mix of dish soap and Cleaning Paste.  As I scrubbed and scrubbed, I considered my next option.  I was considering trying my luck at putting in my oven, heating it up, and using the Oven & Grill Cleaner to let the enzymes safely dissolve the … gunk.  That had worked well on the tougher spots of my stove top and on my toaster oven.

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Then I noticed the bottle of Lemon essential oil on my counter from having added to my batch of blackberry Preserves.  I’d recently read 101 uses for this oil and recalled it is a degreaser and removes sticky stuff.  So I sprinkled a 1-2 drops onto the Pot Scrubber. I gave one side a good scrub and checked.  It DID seem to be smoother!  Eagerly I continued scrubbing the rest of the oil line and lip of the basin.  When I rinsed away the suds, I was thrilled to see  there were only a couple of spots of gunk remaining.  I hit those with another pass and now my basin, for the first time in years is as perfect as the day I bought it.

While I was at it, I grabbed the almond butter jar I’d removed the label from and washed in the dishwasher in order to refill with a homemade nut butter.   I hit the exterior with a few scrubs of the lemon EO infused spirisponge, and away went the remnants of the glue from the label, easy-peasy.

My heroes!
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Winter Weather Causing Increased Static In Your Laundry?

If you haven’t done so already, DITCH THE EXTREMELY TOXIC FABRIC SOFTENER AND DRYER SHEETS!  Please!  It’s one of the top 3 most toxic household items!  Use save, natural wool dryer balls instead.  (and get yours free).

Wool dryer balls enable you to dry your laundry more efficiently — with shorter cycles and decreased heat.  If you’re still drying on high heat for longer times, that will increase static cling.

As the weather gets colder,  you may experience static cling despite reducing your settings.  In that case,  add a safety pin to your dryer balls to minimize it!

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How/why does this work? It creates a “grounding” effect within your dryer.  Different fabrics rubbing together create electrostatic charge. The wool balls collect charged electrons during the drying cycle, which spread out onto the metal safety pins which are highly conductive. Your dryer’s metal drum is also conductive and when the metal pin touches the metal of your dryer drum, the built-up electrons are discharged into the drum and away from your fabric.

Get your wool dyer balls

The REAL Cost of Norwex

If you’re like me, you may have looked at Norwex’s catalog of products and thought, “$17 for a cleaning cloth?!?  It better be freaking magical!”

Well, first off, other than cleaning all on its own like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, they are pretty darn magical — be sure and catch a live demo if you ever get the chance.

sorcerers-apprentice1

But, even if your budget doesn’t allow for virtual magic, take a look at the savings you rack up by what a one-time cost of Norwex microfiber replaces of recurring grocery list:

Saving With Norwex

 

What Cloth For What Job

What Cloth For What Job

Peppermint and Spearmint Oils

According to http://www.organicfacts.net:

“The health benefits of Spearmint Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, emenagogue, insecticide, restorative and stimulant substance.

The Essential Oil of Spearmint is extracted by steam distillation of flowering tops of the spearmint plant, whose scientific name is Mentha Spicata. The main components of this oil are Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene, Carvone, Cineole, Caryophyllene, Linalool, Limonene, Menthol and Myrcene.

Although its aroma is similar to that of peppermint, due to the presence of menthol, its menthol content is negligible as compared to that of peppermint oil. Spearmint oil has been a substitute for peppermint when it is unavailable, and possesses similar medicinal properties, due to the presence of similar compounds in its essential oil. Instances of its use in ancient Greece have even been found in historical records.

spearmintinfo

***

The health benefits of peppermint oil include its ability to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms, as well as for pain relief. Due to the presence of menthol, menthone and menthyl esters, peppermint and peppermint oil find wide applications in the manufacturing of soap, shampoo, cigarettes, toothpaste, chewing gum, tea and ice cream.

Peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint and is native to Europe. Historically, the herb has been known for its medicinal uses, and its impressively long history often gives it the prestigious title as the world’s oldest medicine.

Unlike many other herbs and essential oils, numerous health benefits of peppermint and peppermint oil have been studied and proved by the scientific community. As a result, peppermint oil is also sold in the form of capsules and tablets, and is even prescribed by doctors of alternative and modern medicine.

Peppermint oil can also be used as a flavoring agent. You will find very few people who find peppermint unsuitable to their palate. Peppermint oil contains numerous minerals and nutrients including manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, and copper. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

peppermintoil

Few Words of Caution: There are no reported dangers of using Spearmint essential oil, but as an emenagogue, it should not be taken by pregnant women.

There are some risks in using too much peppermint oil, including allergic reaction, heartburn, and headaches. Basically, the same rules apply to using peppermint oil as to any other alternative supplement or dietary change; speak to a doctor, and if you don’t consult a professional, start with small topical doses or skin patch tests to see how it affects your system.”

You can read more about these oils here and here.

Caring for your microfiber

Practical Uses for Essential Oils

As I’m learning, I thought I’d catalog all the various practical uses for EOs I find. I’m pinning this post to the Menu under “My Education in Essential Oils” since I plan to keep updating it. It will serve as my, and perhaps your, EO Reference.

First, NEVER ingest EO that is not pure, or Therapeutic-Grade.

Ganglion Cyst – 5 parts Lemongrass, 4 parts Oregano, 3 parts Thyme, and 3 parts Frankincense. Dilute with a carrier oil and consider applying with a roll-on applicator for ease of use. Alternatively, blend of Oregano, Thyme, and Cypress, apply 2-3 times daily.

Sore Throat – Combine Melaleuca, On Guard, Frankincense, and Ginger. Place 1 drop under the tongue. (It’s spicy, so if you can’t tolerate the heat, then rub this
combination on your throat and on your feet.)

Fight Colds (use this when exposed illness — like Airborne or Echinacea Supplements) – Put 30 drops each of Lemon, On Guard and Oregano in a roller ball
and top with fractionated coconut oil.

Cold and Flu Prevention – Combine Thyme, Lemon, Protective Blend, Melaleuca. Rub 1-2 drops on the bottom of each foot.

DIY Big Flu Bomb – Combine 15 drops each of  On Guard,  MelaleucaLemon, and 10 drops Oregano in a glass roll-on bottle.  Fill the remaining space with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to bottoms of feet or along spine every hour if you are sick or twice a day for prevention.

Balance HormonesClary Sage, or rub Clary Calm over ovaries or on bottoms of feet

ScarringFrankincense (prevents) Helichrysum (reduces)

AgingImmortale Blend, Frankincense, Lavender, Myrrh, Geranium (rub directly on the area of concern)
Sun Spots, Age SpotsFrankincense or Immortale Blend

Mood Enhancer – Rub Elevation essential oil over your heart, temples, or wrists for an almost immediate boost

Soothe TensionLavender, Serenity and Balance, Ylang Ylang, Focus Blend, Wild Orange

Calm EmotionsJoyful Blend, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile

RelaxingCalming Blend, Lavender, Bergamot

Anxiety Reduction Blend I – Diffuse Balance and Elevation
Anxiety Reduction Blend IILavender, Balance and Wild Orange

Stomach Ache – Rub 2 drops of Peppermint, DigestZen, Ginger, or Fennel directly on the stomach

DiarrheaPeppermint, Geranium, Ginger

Constipation – rub DigestZen blend clockwise on stomach.

If something stronger is needed: drink Lemon oil in warm water.  Or..

The Poop Fairy Blend – 5 drops coriander, 7 drops wild orange, 4 drops lemon, 2 drops ginger, 4 drops Digestzen all in a 10 ml roller bottle and fill with FCO. Rub clockwise as needed.

GasLavender, Ginger

Mild Heartburn or Acid IndigestionLemon, Peppermint, DigestZen

AcneImmortale Blend, Frankincense, Lavender, Melaleuca and Geranium (combination of Frankincense and Melaleuca recommended)

Bowel Inflammation – Rub Peppermint on area of concern or on feet

Under-active Thyroid – Combine 1 drop each of Peppermint, Clove, Lemongrass and rub topically on thyroid and on feet
Overactive Thyroid – Combine 1 drop each of Myrrh, Lemongrass and rub topically on thyroid and on feet
Thyroid Support Blend – Put 30 drops each of Frankincense, Myrrh, Basil and Lemongrass in a roller ball vial and top with fractionated coconut oil.

Itchy or Flaky ScalpMelaleuca, applied directly to the scalp or add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner

Detox – Dilute Helichrysum, Juniper Berry, Rosemary, or Coriander as recommended and apply to liver, intestines and reflex points on feet.
Daily Detox – Put a few drops of Lemon in water and drink each day.

Sleepy-Time BlendSerenity and Lavender
Sleeplessness – Diffuse or apply Roman Chamomile, Wild Orange, Cypress, Ylang Ylang to neck and bottoms of feet
Sleeplessness for Children – Spray Lavender on their favorite stuffed animal, diffuse, or rub on their feet
Sleeplessness for Baby – 1 drop of Serenity on bottoms of feet at bedtime.

SunburnLavender and Melaleuca

Sun Protection – Add 5-10 drops Helichrysum or Arborvitae to 1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil and apply to the skin

Sinus Relief Melaleuca, Lavender or Lemon
Sinus Blockage – rub DigestZen on bridge of nose and on bones behind ears to “digest” the built-up mucus in sinuses.

Sinus Support – Breathe Blend

Allergies 1 – Diffuse Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Breathe and Frankincense or apply to feet and/or chest

Allergies 2 (Dr. Axe) – mix 2-3 drops each of LavenderPeppermint, and Eucalyptus with 1 tsp fractionated coconut oil and massage into temples, behind the ears, and into the bottoms of the feet.

Snoring – Rub Thyme* on big toes before going to sleep

Snore Relief Throat SprayWintergreen, Menthol, Peppermint, and Anise.

Tension HeadacheTension Blend, Peppermint

Throbbing and Intense Headaches – Apply 1-2 drops of Deep Blue, Frankincense, and Basil to temples, back of neck and forehead

Healthy Cell Support (Created by Season Johnson, Founder of the KickCancer Foundation) – Put 30 drops each of Frankincense, Sandalwood, Myrrh in a roller ball and top with fractionated coconut oil

InflammationFrankincense, Eucalyptus, Soothing Blend (can use daily if dealing with chronic inflammatory issues)

Cuts and ScrapesLavender and Melaleuca

BurnsLavender

Ear Canal – Rub Melaleuca and Oreganos behind ears

Bug Bites or StingsPurify

Boost EnergyLemongrass, Wild Orange or Elevation

Cellulite – Combine 2 drops Grapefruit with some fractionated coconut oil and apply to area of concern daily

Pain Reliever – Apply Peppermint to area of concern

Behavioral Issues – Diffuse Balance, Elevation, Vetiver, Serenity, Lavender, or rub on feet, or make a rollerball

ToothacheClove

Weight Loss – Put 1-2 drops Grapefruit or Metabolic Blend in ice water and drink throughout the day
Weight MaintenanceThyme, Wild Orange, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, and Fennel

Maintain Healthy Cholesterol LevelsLemongrass, Clary Sage, or Helichrysum

Cardiovascular System SupportWild Orange, Cypress or Sandalwood

Varicose Veins – 2 drops each of Cypress, Wild Orange and Lavender applied topically 2x a day

Joint Pain Frankincense, Rosemary, Marjoram

Arthritis, Bursitis, Gout, and Tendonitis – Combine 10 drops Basil, 8 drops Wintergreen, 6 drops Cypress, 4 drops Lavender, 3 drops Peppermint. Use with fractionated coconut oil for large areas of the body or for sensitivity.

Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar LevelCinnamon, Rosemary, Geranium, Basil or Eucalyptus as part of your diet.

Contraindications

Thyme should be avoided by those with Hypertension