EPISODE #16 -
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2009
nearing the end of summer and that means the cold
weather will soon be here. Fusion is just the place to
be as the seasons change. We will help you keep your
house and your belly warm with this weeks topics!
Here is an idea for a piece of art that can also be a
family heirloom. We met with Linda Gemal of
Rejuvenate Your Home (503-803-8000) to see how she
had her kids make a wonderful painting for their family
room. She first had her kids make a drawing of a scene
they wanted to paint. Then she went to the art store and
picked up a canvas that would fit the space on the wall
that she wanted to fill. She also picked up some nice
bright acrylic paints. These are better for kids because
they are easier and cleaner to use. You can also pick up
some cheap brushes of different sizes to use. Put some
coverings down and let them go at it! Of course Linda
had them add a couple of features for her. She asked
them to use their hand prints and foot prints on the
painting so they had a memento of the kids in the
painting as well. You can easily copy this for your own
home and you will have a custom piece of art that your
family will treasure.
What is more ĎAll-Americaní than a good apple pie? And
at this time of year you are going to see a lot more
apples in the stores as they come into season. David and
Robin walked us through the process of doing an apple
pie step-by-step. First David had his ingredients for
his crust set out. There was flour, sugar and salt that
were added a food processor and quickly mixed. You can
also us a pastry cutter to mix your ingredients as well,
but donít use your hands. The reason for that is because
it doesnít work as well and it will warm up your
ingredients. You will be adding chilled butter and
shortening next. These need to stay chilled because you
donít want them to melt and the chilled pieces make for
a better consistency in your crust. You will add these
pieces to the processor and lightly mix them until you
get a cornmeal like consistency. Add a little chilled
water and mix that in until you can make a ball out of
it. You donít want too much water and have it too mushy.
Make 2 balls of dough that are equal sized and put them
in the fridge for about an hour or so.
Now is a good time to peel and slice your apples. David
likes to use an apple that has a little tartness and
firmness to it. He used a Granny Smith apple for this
pie, but you can use just about any type of apple. Mix
about 5-6 cups of sliced apples in a bowl with sugar,
flour, cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.
Next we rolled out the dough. David rolled it out by
using 2 sheets of waxed paper. You can use just about
anything, but this was the best for transferring it to
the pie plate. He started rolling from the center out,
and kept it to a minimum so he wouldnít heat up his
butter and shortening. He placed the dough in the pie
plate, added his apple mixture and put a few chunks of
butter on top. Then he covered the top with his other
rolled out dough, crimped the edges, made vent holes in
the top and placed foil on the edges to prevent burning.
Finally he placed the pie on a cookie sheet to prevent
any possible boil-over from making a mess in the oven.
It turned out great! If you would like to try this
recipe on your own, check out the video and get the
instructions by clicking here.
There is nothing like the flavor of fresh
garden herbs in your best dishes. A twig of this, a
sprig of that, and your meal has more zest and zing. We
Drakes 7 Dees (503-256-2223) to learn about growing
herbs in your kitchen from Lynn. First, the choice of
herb is important. Some herbs do better outside and
others are perfect for indoor use. Lynn recommended
using Italian parsley, peppermint and thyme. She also
told us that basil was a good indoor herb that you will
find many uses for. The important thing is to remember
the growing conditions that are required by each plant,
mainly enough sunlight and enough water. Check with your
local garden center to find these plants and more, so
you can bring zest to your kitchen creations.
The cold days are soon to be upon us and
if you are looking for a quick fix for cold drafts and
other Ďheatí leaks in your house, weather stripping may
be your answer. David and Robin tackled 2 of the areas
where you can make a difference really quick; your doors
and windows. If you have an older door you will want to
close the door and run the stripping along the sides and
top of the door, making sure that there are no gaps
between the door and the foam. Make sure that you
measure well so you donít cut your pieces too short. You
can also install a door sweep at the base of the door to
complete the job and cut the heat loss under the door.
If you have a newer door you may just need to replace
the old, worn out tubing in the frame around the door.
If you have questions, take a piece to your local
hardware store to get some help.
Your windows can also use a little help. Newer windows
are pretty well built, but you can still look for cracks
in the weather stripping or the seal around the window.
Older windows can also use a quick fix with the foam
stripping. It can be a simple as running a piece under
the window. Pick up a pack at your local hardware store
and simply follow the instructions on the package.
Fix it or replace it? If you have an
appliance that is on the fritz, that may be your most
important question. In these tough economic times it is
a tougher decision. Tony Gayaldo from
Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) tried to
help us make the decision. If the repair is easy and
cheap it may be a no-brainer. If it a more expensive
repair it may make sense to buy a new energy efficient
appliance. If your appliance is over 10 years old it may
be cheaper to get a newer model. For example, a newer
dishwasher may use one third the amount of water of your
older dishwasher. Many newer models do a great job
cleaning with just 5 gallons of water; hand washing
could use up to 27 gallons of water. The most important
factor in deciding what type of appliance to choose
comes down to your families needs. Pick the appliance
that works well for your situation. Donít just get one
because it looks cool. To find out if a newer appliance
will save you money you can check with the experts at
Standard TV and Appliance or you can check out the
Energy Star website at
Cleaning Your Gutters
As the fall approaches you will want to
get your gutters ready for the falling leaves and other
issues that come along with that. If you donít clean
your gutters you can have them plug up and overflow, and
that can create some structural problems in your roof.
The problem is that it can take quite a while to clean
if you have to move the ladder a lot just to get the job
done. We found that using a leaf blower is the best way
to do the job quickly and efficiently. Start at the
downspout and blow away from it. This will prevent stuff
from falling down the spout and plugging it up. You will
also do want to do your gutters first before you clean
below. You donít want to clean below twice! Donít forget
your ear and eye protection and finally be aware that
the City of Portland has new rules for leaf blower use
within the city limits. You can
find the quietest approved models listed here, but
the best rule of thumb is to be a good neighbor when you
use a blower.
The weather is warming and that means
that the flowers are blooming, it also means the
appearance of a common pest in the kitchen, the ant.
Robin told us about some of the ways you can use to get
rid of them or at least deter them. First we talked
about the commercial products that are available.
ĎGrantís Kills Antsí is a product that has been
around for many years and it is VERY effective. Another
commercial product is Terro. This one is a borax based
product that is also very effective. There are other
more organic solutions to repel them. You can use a
white vinegar, pepper, cinnamon, and a bay leaf to mask
their trails, and that can also send them away.