Julies Blog

Using the oven griller

by Julie Finch-Scally

Where I am staying at the moment there is no toaster in the kitchen.  To make toast we have to use the griller element at the top of the oven.  As the oven door, when open, just touches the opposite wall there is a certain amount of danger in making toast. 

Thankfully hubby was happy to take on this job. But it does mean when toast is being made only one person can be in the kitchen, and if items are required from cupboards sitting on the other side of the oven, we dare not try and reach them due to the heat from the oven.  Neither of us want to be burnt. 

But I have discovered the beauty of using the griller for toasting.  Because it is bread that is being toasted there are crumbs.  Lots of them.  They fall on the bottom of the oven and onto the door when the shelf is pulled out.  They could be left there but the next time the oven is used for cooking the crumbs will bake and burn.

As the temperature inside the oven is cooling down after the grill element has been turned off, is the perfect time to wipe out the oven and remove the crumbs.  Of course one still has to be careful.  The temperature cannot be too hot on the floor of the oven otherwise no matter how thick or damp the cloth being used, the heat can still penetrate onto the fingers and create a burn.  If the cloth is particularly wet the heat can turn the water into steam which could cause a nasty scald.

The best time to wipe down the oven is while washing up the breakfast dishes.  We leave the oven door ajar after turning off the griller element to allow the cooling process to occur quicker. 

By wiping over and collecting up crumbs shortly after they have been generated, makes them easier to remove.  The damp cloth, which can sizzle slightly as the water hits the heated metal and glass, easily picks up the crumbs which can then be rinsed out of the cloth and down the sink. 

Be careful when you wipe the oven door.  Crumbs can get caught in the rim of the metal that holds the glass is position.  If crumbs do get stuck the best way to remove them is to take a round nosed knife and with the knife tip wrapped in a tea towel or cleaning cloth, run the knife around the edge of the glass between the metal and the glass.  This should dislodge any caught up wayward crumbs.

There is another benefit to all this.  I have been promoting for years that it is easier to wipe out an oven shortly after use.  But, if you have cooked a meal in the oven and placed all the used dishes in the dishwasher, to wipe out the oven is a little inconvenient.  Wiping over the oven the following morning after using the griller element is the perfect way to keep the oven clean.


Keeping holiday apartments clean

by Julie Finch-Scally

We are away and have just moved into a one bedroom apartment for a few weeks.  As we arrived we actually met the lady who had been cleaning the property so we knew it was clean.  And on inspection is was.

As you know I am a pretty fussy lady when it comes to the cleanliness of a property so I did a careful inspection and was reasonably happy with what I saw.  The oven and fridge were spotless and although many of the floor tiles had water stains and were a bit chipped they were clean.  But of course nothing is perfect and after a couple of days those odd little things started to appear.

Firstly the bath was slippery.  For those of you who have been following my blog for many years, you will be aware that I am not overly keen on multi-purpose spray products for cleaning a bath.  I believe it leaves a residue on the surface of the bath, whereas a cream cleanser will cut back the soap or detergent residue and leave the surface clean.  In this apartment there was only a multi-purpose spray in the kitchen cupboards.  So it was off to the closest supermarket and purchase the cream cleanser.  As I cleaned the bath with the cream cleanser and the scourer side of a sponge/scourer I could feel the resistance.  Once I had given the bath a good scrub if felt a lot better. 

I have been in hotels where I could run my thumb nail across the surface of the bath and scrape up residue.  Not a very hygienic result in a hotel bathroom.  Thankfully, the bath in this apartment is now clean.

Secondly the toilet seat was too small for the pedestal.  Or it could be that the fastening screws were too far back on the pedestal.  Either way the toilet seat did not sit flush with the lip of the toilet.  And because the seat was sitting too far back, when the toilet was flushed the water spat up above the seat and left splashes of water all around the inside rim.  Most annoying when one went to sit down to use the facilities.

Unfortunately there was and is no answer to this problem, short of purchasing a new toilet seat which hubby and I are not going to do.  Hubby did suggest that contrary to all my best laid plan of when to leave the toilet seat up and down, after using the facilities it was wise to always leave the toilet seat up.  That way it does not get wet. 

This system seems to be working.  But has made me more aware of how people leasing properties should be more concerned about things that can annoy their tenants.  The two problems I have mentioned are a great example.  Slippery baths are a hazard and an accident waiting to happen.  Being sued by a tenant is not something any Landlord needs.  And the badly fitting toilet seat?  Only a small thing, but it wouldn’t cost much to replace and keep everyone happy.

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