I recently read and reviewed two practical use books. Both were written by author Vicki Lansky, who offers nuggets of useful information in, Baking Soda, Over 500 Fabulous, Fun & Fugal uses You've Probably Never Thought of and Vinegar Over 400 Various, Versatile & Very Good Uses You've Probaly Never Thought of. While the titles may seem overly long, they are just right for these informative and helpful guides. The cute and funny illustrations by Martha Campbell are delightful.
In her Vinegar guide, Ms. Lansky gives a brief but detailed history of vinegar, including consumer use history. The short chapters are filled bulleted vinegar use tidbits.
The first and longest chapter, “Cooking with Vinegar” is a plethora of information. The chapter includes things you may already know, such as ‘vinegar tenderizes meat’, to things you knew but had forgotten, and things you never knew but are happy to know now. For instance Ms. Lansky suggests, “creating a nice sauce for serving over hot cooked fish by combing 2 teaspoons white vinegar with ½ cup of heavy cream.” I had not heard of this use, but do plan to give it a try. Have you ever heard of vinegar pie? The recipe is in the book.
You are given hints for vinegar use for cleaning your home from top-to-bottom. There are chapters on beauty and grooming, suggested health remedies, pet clean-up and more. You also get storage guidelines and, if you want to learn more about vinegar Lansky shares a list of books to read. All of this on less than 100 pages.
Lansky's Baking Soda guide gives readers the how and why of baking powder, how does it work, why does works as it does. If you made a baking soda volcano in grade school you will be enchanted with the Chapter Ten, “Play Projects for Kids”. Much like theVinegar guide, the Baking Soda guide shares baking soda’s many practical uses in cooking, cleaning, hygiene, gardening and a myriad of old and new uses. I was delighted to see some of the uses I learned at my mother’s knee and later when I became a bride. I also found uses I wish I had known about at an earlier date.
Both practical use handy guides are lovely to have for yourself. They make a great gift for young people who are setting up their first apartment or newlyweds. Keep in mind that useful information does not have to be new, just handy. I believe that Vicki Lansky’s practical Vinegar and Baking Soda guides will be much appreciated by anyone who receives them.
Available from Amazon:
Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of
Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of
Also, see my article titled, Household Hints for Vinegar, Salt and Baking Soda,