Home remedies for housekeeping

Grandma's method of pouring boiling water over grape-juice stains or wedging that pair of Levis with the gum on them into the freezer to make removal easier may be the best advice you ever received. Deborah Tukua shares her family's secrets in "Pearls of Kitchen Wisdom" (The Lyons Press, $19.95). Here's a sampling:

* Thaw frozen fish in a pan of milk.

* To retain nutrients, don't cut the tops off strawberries before freezing.

* To keep cheese fresh in the refrigerator, store with a sugar cube to avoid mold formation.

* Lightly grease a skillet or griddle by rubbing it with a potato half. It won't smoke, as oil or shortening can, at high temperatures.

* Rice won't get mushy if cooked in water with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice added to each quart of water.

* Peaches will ripen faster if placed in a box covered with newspaper.

* Keep brown sugar soft by refrigerating it in a glass jar or plastic bag with a piece of bread or apple.

* Put a bay leaf into canisters to keep pests out of pasta, flour, rice, and dry mixes.

* Keep your kitchen scissors sharp by periodically cutting a piece of sandpaper with them.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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