April 21, 2014

Elyria
Mostly clear
51°F
test

Make Your Own Kitchen Compost Pail

By Sara Noel

I’d never thought to make a large kitchen compost bucket. I reuse a plastic coffee canister. But if you’d like to make fewer trips to the backyard compost bin, this would work well. It’s a great way to reuse a kitty-litter pail, too.

HOMEMADE COMPOSTER: On a few of the “green” sites, I saw cute little green kitchen compost pails and thought, “I can make that!”
1 empty kitty-litter pail
    (square with handle)
a drill
1 carbon filter made for
    litter boxes
Wash pail. Drill a circular pattern of holes through the lid. Keep the pattern of holes in the center. On the underside of the lid, hot glue on the carbon filter. Use small dots of glue so you can remove the filter after five months to be changed. There you go — instant kitchen compost pail! Mine works great, and it keeps the odors at bay until it’s dumped into the compost pile outside. Paint it green or the color of your choice. Don’t paint over the filter, though. — Pam, Alabama

HOMEMADE NAPKINS: Yesterday, I was at the local St. Vincent de Paul, and it had 30 white new pillowcases for $3, so I bought them. I figured I would find a useful idea for them. I now have more than 50 nice white napkins, and the scraps will be used for rags. And I still have more pillowcases that I will make into small tablecloths for the end tables. With the napkins, I’m going to set some aside and make nice monogrammed ones for my family to use during the holidays. Just a little idea. — D. Marie, Oregon
SLOW-COOKER BROTH: I prefer homemade chicken stock/broth to canned. It’s cheaper, tastier and has less salt. I also don’t like making broth on the stove. It’s messy (boils over every time), you have to mind the pot, and it heats up the kitchen. So why not make it in the slow cooker? It works, and works well. For the broth/stock, I use either a chicken carcass from a roasted chicken or other parts, such as wing tips or bones from a chicken breast. Put your chicken in the slow cooker, and just add water if you’re making broth. If you are making stock, add a quartered small onion, a stalk of celery cut into three pieces, whole peppercorns to taste (10 to 20), a bay leaf or two and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon thyme leaves (or fresh thyme sprigs if you have them). Cover the contents with water. I fill mine to just below the ledge, where the lid sits. Turn the pot on high, and let it go all night. In the morning, you’ll have a big pot of first-class chicken stock/broth. It freezes well in canning jars. I use my stock for risotto and soup. — Christy, Texas

MAKESHIFT INDOOR CLOTHESLINE: I use spring-loaded shower rods in the doorways, hang the clothes on hangers, and hang the hangers on the rods. — Denise, Illinois