Show Notes: Heating Up the Kitchen?
Thanksgiving may have just passed, but that kitchen is just heating up! There are more holidays to come, and with holidays comes food and with food comes cooking and baking!
Have you checked your oven?
Stay tuned for some good ways to prepare your home (and your oven) for the holidays!
Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here.
9 Tiny Time Savers You Should Always Have On Hand At Home
Running out to the hardware store every time some little problem comes up—say, a wobbly table or a scuffed wall—is almost more annoying than the problem itself. Instead of turning every fix into its own massive chore, spend a little time prepping your home repair kit so it’s well-stocked to deal with small things as they come up. Here are the items you should always have on hand.
Spackling compound and a putty knife
Spackling compound is ideal for repairing small holes, cracks, and damaged surfaces. Use it for situations like accidentally ripping your drywall if you get too aggressive in peeling a Command strip off, or for filling in nail holes as you finalize your gallery wall. Get one with primer already in it to make touch ups even quicker—and don’t forget the putty knife.
Speaking of touch-ups, keep a small sample size of your wall paints to quickly cover spackle. Paint samples usually come in stackable containers with easy-open screw tops so you don’t have to worry about lids rusting while in storage. Pro tip: Keep a digital list of your paint colors and finishes so when you’re trying to get a sample match, you’re not left deciphering an old paint label that’s been caked over.
Painter’s tape can be used in plenty of ways outside of painting. Use it to map out your gallery wall before creating holes, mark level drill holes without ever drawing on your walls, and lay out furniture dimensions before committing to any new pieces or trying to rearrange your room.
Scuff that wood dresser dragging a nightstand into the guest room? Two words: Wood marker. Wood markers or wax sticks are specifically formulated to match different kinds of wood and seamlessly hide any bumps, scratches, dings, or marks.
We’ve talked about our love for ratcheting screwdrivers before and continue to sing its praises. What makes it different from the standard screwdriver is that its head only exerts force in one direction; i.e. it either only turns to the right to tighten or it turns to the left to loosen. That means you’ll never have to reposition your hand as you’re screwing; instead, you can fasten a screw all the way in fluid back-and-forth motions. Get one with a bunch of different heads to suit all projects.
Ah, wrenches. This tool is one of those you don’t need frequently, but when you do, it’s an emergency (think: leaky pipes). Be prepared and stock your repair kit with an adjustable wrench that will work for most home repair situations.
No one likes being caught in a sticky situation. Goo Gone is known for removing adhesives, but did you know it works on a ton of other messes? The official Goo Gone site actually has an entire “Will this work on that?” guide to break down everything it can tackle and the surfaces it’s safe to use on.
You already know to keep duct tape around, but do you have super glue? This adhesive is stronger than craft or school glue and can be used with more materials. It’s great for fixing peeling cabinet laminate, securing a loose tile in a pinch, or puzzle-piecing broken lamps.
Get Your Ovens Ready For More Holiday Cooking!
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the turkey has been cooked, it’s time to give your ovens a good cleaning.
Ready to get cleaning this weekend? From how to clean oven racks to the right way to clean your oven door, here’s what I’m taking into consideration before rolling up my sleeves.
How Often Should I Clean My Oven?
While it depends on how frequently you use your oven, most of us should really clean our ovens every few months. That may sound a bit frequent for those of us used to seeing last year’s Thanksgiving turkey drippings hanging around through spring, but it’s important. Build up not only makes ovens less efficient at reaching the correct temperature, but it can also impact taste. Plus, if oven cleaning becomes a regular part of our routine, it shouldn’t be quite so overwhelming each time.
Does the Self-Cleaning Function Work?
Sure, some friends might tell you that using an oven’s self-cleaning function isn’t worth the smell, but there’s a reason this setting is built in. After you wipe down any loose bits of food and remove your racks, this cycle takes your oven to a high enough temperature to burn off food and grease. If you don’t do it regularly, you can expect all of that burning build-up to give off a bit of a smell. If it’s been a while, consider giving the inside a good clean with baking soda and water first. Next time you can add self-cleaning into your regular routine without a year’s worth of gunk to burn.
Can I Clean My Oven With Baking Soda?
You can skip the chemicals and make your own oven cleaner by mixing baking soda and water. As Jessica Samson, the spokesperson for The Maids told Real Simple, “The baking soda acts as an abrasive and the water softens baked-on crud and loosens food particles.” To do it yourself, coat the inside of your oven with a paste made from 3 parts baking soda and 1 part warm water. Let it sit overnight, scrub off the paste with a non-abrasive pad, and wipe down with a damp cloth.
What Extra Tools Can Help?
Don’t want to scrub? Can’t blame you. Grab a power tool instead. With the right cleaning attachments you can turn your drill into a cleaning lifesaver. Don’t want to mix your own cleaning paste at home? That’s what they invented oven cleaner for in the first place. There’s a reason Amazon shoppers can’t give Easy-Off Professional Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner, a $5 bottle, enough 5-star reviews.
How Do You Clean Oven Racks?
Your oven racks need special treatment. Always take them out of the oven (especially if you’re using the self-cleaning function) and leave them to soak in dishwashing liquid for several hours to loosen up grease. Scrub with a pad, rinse, and dry.
How Do You Clean an Oven Door?
That greasy glass window you’ve been struggling to see through for the past month might be the ultimate cleaning finale. You can use the same baking soda and water paste as the rest of the inside of your oven but be gentle. Glass is more susceptible to scratches from scrubbing. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water.
What About the Knobs?
Just because they’re on the outside of your oven doesn’t mean their immune to grease. To clean, remove your knobs and soak them in white vinegar for 5 minutes. Clean the stove where the knobs normally sit with a water and vinegar mix. Rinse the knobs under water and dry before putting them back on. Pro tip: If you’re one to wonder if your oven is off while vacationing, be sure to take a picture of your knobs before leaving. It’s sure to set your mind at ease.
Holiday Light Dangers You Need to Know
This holiday season don’t forget about the potential hazards your Christmas tree lights can present in your home. U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires each year from 2013-17 with an average of three deaths, 15 injuries and $10 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Lighting equipment and electrical distribution accounted for 44 percent of Christmas tree fires.
Here are the holiday light dangers you need to know.
Don’t Use Electric Lights on a Metal Tree
Electrical shock and fire are risks with this combination.
Don’t Leave Lights on Overnight or While Gone From Home
Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. If you have these holiday decorations.
Be Aware of Fire Hazards
Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.
Verify Proper Rating
Be skeptical of discount Christmas lights and make sure they have an Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) logo on them or an Intertek (ETL Semko) logo.
Check for Fraying
A lot of things can happen in a year when you store your Christmas lights. Depending upon where you store your Christmas decorations, you could encounter some damage to your lights.
Use Indoor Lights Indoors and Outdoor Lights Outside
It seems pretty obvious but people sometimes think they’re interchangeable. They’re not. Lights designed for outdoor use are made to withstand cold and wet conditions. Indoor lights are safety tested so they’re not a fire hazard for trees.
Never Use Staples, Tacks or Nails to Hang Lights
Staples, tacks and nails can pierce Christmas light strands and create a potential electrical shock. It’s best to use insulated holders designed to hang Christmas lights.
Make sure they’re in good shape and don’t overload them. Place them in a place where they won’t be a tripping hazard and they won’t topple your Christmas tree and decorations. Don’t try to emulate Clark Griswold this winter.
It’s dangerous to plug in a strand of Christmas lights with an empty socket, so it’s important to test your Christmas lights with a bulb tester.
Know How Many Strands You Can Connect
The rule of thumb is that you can only string three strands of lights together safely. Any more than that and we’ve created a potentially dangerous electrical situation.
Keep Your Tree Hydrated
Dry trees burn quickly so you need to keep it watered. Use these Christmas tree safety tips to make sure your tree stays hydrated.
Use GFCI Outlets for Outdoor Lights
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) reduce the danger of deadly shock from faulty plug-in cords and devices. It will detect dangerous ground faults and immediately turn off power. .
Don’t Run Lights Through Windows or Doors
It should go without saying but you shouldn’t run lights through doors and windows because the cord can become damaged, creating a dangerous electrical situation.
Put Fall Leaves To Work In Your Garden
Improve your soil and yard the organic way with a valuable garden booster that grows on trees
Why Are Leaves Valuable to the Gardener?
It’s simple. When incorporated into soil, fall leaves:
- Add nutrients, including phosphorous and potassium
- Increase the soil’s microbial life
- Boost its water-holding capacity
- Improve its structure, known as tilth
Leaves are free! It takes little effort on your part to get them working for you, so instead of sweeping them to the curb, here are a few ways to use leaves in your garden.
Mow Them Into the Lawn
Together, shredded leaves and grass clippings add carbon (leaves) and nitrogen (grass) to the soil, reducing your need to add store-bought fertilizers later.
Add Them to Vegetable Beds
You can incorporate whole or chopped leaves into any cleared-out vegetable beds. They will mostly decompose over the winter, then in spring you can mix in whatever is left. If you don’t want to see leftover leaves in your beds, shred them first.
Make Leaf Mold
Leaf mold is simply wet leaves that have decomposed into a rich, black, soil-like substance that makes a perfect mulch for plants. Pile the leaves in a spot where they’re out of the way and won’t blow away. Or make large (3- or 4-foot) circles of chicken wire, 3 feet high, and pile the leaves in them. Wet the leaves as you go so they’ll rot. Turning the pile a few times during the winter will accelerate the process.
Protect Outdoor Potted Plants
When the weather turns cold and potted plants (the hardy ones, not houseplants or tropicals, which must be brought indoors) go dormant, pick a sheltered place on the north, west or east side of your house. Cluster the pots together against the house, ideally beneath an overhang. Pile dried leaves over, under and between the entire grouping of pots.
How Eco is Your Christmas Tree?
We have the answer!
We interviewed Monica Hudson, the owner of Rent a Christmas Tree!
Learn more at her website rentxmastree.com
Rent a living Christmas tree
- They are eco-friendly and convenient. With nothing going to waste, a living tree is an environmentally friendly way to bring the spirit of Christmas to your office or home.
- Not only they keep growing after the Holidays, but they also return to their natural habitat in our forest nursery, where they continue to produce oxygen and serve as an ecosystem for the wildlife habitat.
- They look and smell nicer.
- Our trees are potted early in their lives and their roots are undisturbed. The result is healthier, better looking and happier trees, expertly hand-trimmed for that beautiful Christmas tree shape.
- They also lose fewer needles and allow better decoration thanks to more flexible branches.
- They require minimal maintenance.
There is one single step to keep your Christmas tree beautiful through the Holidays: Water every day. That’s it. Our trees are already potted and fertilized, leaving nothing to dispose at you office or home after the Holidays.
Preserving the natural resources of this part of our country was the inspiration for creating our tree renting program. Trees are a crucial element in creating clean air and supporting the ecosystem around us.
This is why our renting program focuses on zero waste and employs a minimal footprint operation through efficiency and conservation.
Family owned and operated
Monica started the renting program in 2009. Since then, it has grown to become a Holiday’s success with thousands of trees in the Monterey Peninsula nursery, which is cared for by Roland, our “tree man”, an expert in keeping our trees healthy, happy and ready for rent.
During off-season, Monica, a renowned local tour guide, returns to her passion: sharing her vast knowledge of this beautiful area with visitors from near and far. You can learn more about her at calegacytours.com
The Fairmont’s 25-Foot Tall Gingerbread House Party
Gingerbread Open House
Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 10:30 am to 3 pm
The Fairmont, 950 Mason St., SF
For more than a century, Fairmont San Francisco has enchanted guests with holiday festivities and exuberant ambiance. This season, Fairmont’s elves are once again working overtime to create a dazzling, unparalleled winter display.
Starting on Saturday, November 30, 2019, the hotel transforms into one of the world’s most beloved holiday destinations, where moments are turned into cherished memories. Fairmont San Francisco’s two-story, life-sized Gingerbread House in the hotel’s grand lobby has become a must-see attraction for guests from near and far.
Fairmont San Francisco’s talented culinary and engineering teams have joined forces to meticulously plan construction of this year’s enormous Gingerbread House, which will be even larger than last year’s stunning, two-story-high Victorian. Once complete, the impressive, edible abode will stand more than 25 feet high, 35 feet wide and 10.5 feet deep and will feature more than 6,000 house-made gingerbread bricks (largest bricks to date), 1,650 pounds of candy and 3,300 pounds of royal icing. The gingerbread house’s railroad track also delights guests of all ages, who happily gaze upon this favorite feature.
- Tiny Time Savers: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/home-repair-kit-36671476
- Clean Ovens: https://www.southernliving.com/home/how-to-clean-oven?
- Holiday Light Dangers: https://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/holiday-light-dangers-you-need-to-know/
- Leaves: https://www.houzz.com/magazine/5-ways-to-put-fall-leaves-to-work-in-your-garden-stsetivw-vs~18433959
- Rent a Christmas Tree: https://rentxmastree.com
- Fairmount Gingerbread House: https://www.fairmont.com/san-francisco/promotions/gingerbread-house/
~ Thank you~
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
- Rico Figliolini – Digital Master
Thank you for tuning in to this hot kitchen! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“Heating Up the Kitchen” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired November 30, 2019.