Clearing Smell Of Fried Fish With Potpourri

Posted: March 06, 1991

Dear Polly: I love fish, but my family does not. That's OK, except they always complain about the smell after I cook my fish. Is there some way to get rid of the smell of cooking fish? - J.P.

Dear J.P.: Baking fish in the oven rather than frying it leaves much less odor in the kitchen. If there is still an objectionable odor - or if you must have your fish fried - you can try a little simmering potpourri to clear up the air.

Put a little cinnamon, or a stick of whole cinnamon, in a pan of water and place it on the stove. Simmer for at least 15 to 20 minutes. The cinnamon's sweet aroma will replace the strong odor of the frying fish. You can add other spices and scents such as cloves and strips or orange peel if you're feeling fancy.

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Dear Polly: With reference to the lady who complained about "soggy" popcorn: I think her problem lies in the temperature she uses. You note she uses medium heat. Several of the new poppers have the same fault.

I have returned to the old stovetop popper with a crank in the middle of the lid. I use about 2 tablespoons butter-flavored vegetable oil with 1/4 cup popcorn at medium high heat or just below high on the big burner of a gas stove. The popcorn should nearly "explode" when it pops. It comes out crisp with 99 percent of kernels popped. - Paul

Dear Polly: To catch flies, mix 2 cups water, 1/2-cup sugar and 1/2-cup white vinegar. Pour mixture into a fruit jar. Punch holes large enough for the flies to get through into the cover of the jar and screw on the cover. Set this outside slightly away from your door. It will attract and catch flies that ordinarily fly through the door into your house.

For good drainage in the bottom of flower pots, use the peanut-shaped plastic foam packing pieces. - J.E.D.

Dear Polly: In my bathroom, I had several half-used bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Not wanting to just throw them out, I took them to the laundry room. I added 1/4- to 1/2-cup shampoo to lightly soiled loads of wash. Linens and lingerie come out clean and nicely scented. I also use leftover conditioners in the rinse water, which helps to remove soap residue and softens the clothes. - Lorraine

Dear Lorraine: Your saving ways are certainly helpful pointers. Just be aware that dyes in some conditioners could stain some fabrics.

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