Cooking with Susie Q – Week of March 30, 2020

I would ask that you not panic buy at your local stores this week. Just buy what you need.  Companies are still making these products and trucks are still delivering these products. The shortage you perceive, is the shortage that is being created by “panic buying.” 

Hang in there, we’re all in this together. Maintain social distance of six feet when possible and try to have patience with your local retail workers. They are as nervous as you are and yet they aren’t in a position to distance themselves from people or to stay home. Have a great week and be respectful of one another. 

 This homemade natural disinfectant cleaner can be used on kitchen surfaces or produce without worrying about it leaving harmful residue or tainting food. And you need just two ingredients — vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. A college study found that misting one right after the other killed virtually all Salmonella and E. coli bacteria and was more effective than bleach.

Vinegar is an effective all-purpose cleaner for most cleaning tasks. But when trying to eliminate foodborne pathogens like E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella, natural cleaners can join forces to become even more powerful. Used correctly, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide kill bacteria, viruses and germs, and are 10 times more effective together than when used separately.

Don’t put vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together in the same bottle. It won’t have the same cleaning power, and combining both in the same bottle creates peracetic acid, which can be harmful. So it’s best to keep them separate!

Here are the things you will need. 

Natural disinfectant

Distilled white vinegar

3% hydrogen peroxide

Essential oil (optional)

1 spray bottle

Spray nozzle for the original peroxide bottle or a dark spray bottle

Directions: Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle. Add 5 to 10 drops of an antibacterial essential oil like clove or tea tree, if desired. Both oils are naturally antibacterial and can help reduce the strong scent of vinegar.

 As hydrogen peroxide starts to break down when exposed to light, keep it in its original bottle and add a spray nozzle, or use a dark-colored bottle with a spray nozzle.

 To disinfect surfaces like counters or cutting boards, first wipe them down and clean with soap and water. Mist the surface with vinegar and let sit for five minutes. Wipe down and mist the same area with the hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for five minutes or until it has stopped fizzing. There’s no need to rinse.

The order in which you spray vinegar or hydrogen peroxide doesn’t matter, as long as you let each sit for five minutes.

 I really enjoy this time with you each week and would love to hear from you. Do you have any requests? Is there a recipe you have been looking for or remember from your younger years? Can I help you find it? Do you have any recipes that are special to you that you could share with us? Please contact me at susieqcooking@outlook.com or c/o Pioneer Times, P.O. Box 456, Houlton, Maine 04730.

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