Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coffee is Versatile for Spring Cleaning

By Cal Orey

SPRING CLEANING

Coffee boosts the mind, body, even spirit

Drinking coffee in the springtime for its healing powers is healing, but did you know that you can use coffee for healing your personal environment, too? Welcome to the world of coffee uses in the home, another perk of the coffee tree. Before I entered Coffee World, I didn’t know coffee grounds were eco-friendly and something to use. But now I know uncommon grounds can be home-friendly.  God bless nature’s little dark coffee grounds for their multi-purpose uses indoors and outdoors.

INDOORS
Kitchen
Use An Abrasive Cleaner. Use grounds as a scouring agent to tackle any greasy or dirty surface. It also can get rid of pungent odors from pans and your hands.
Go for a Deodorizing Buzz. Dry coffee ground (not soggy used ones) placed on a cookie sheet and put in an open container in your fridge or freezer can be an instant way to help absorb odors. Also, fill a sachet with dried grounds paired with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves and place it in close drawers (baby and pet-proof).

Living Room/Dining Room/Bedroom
Furniture Concealer:  Coffee grounds can do away with smells and unsightly scratches on furniture, too. Steep grounds and apply the dark brew to wood furniture with a cloth. I tried this household treatment on an antique dark chest in my bedroom and it worked. I thought, “If coffee stains cups, coffee pots, and teeth, it has to work on brown furniture.” And it did just that. Flavored coffees provide a nice aroma unlike commercial types with strong, undesirable scents.
Fireplace Dust Buster: Ever notice that when you clean out the ashes from the fireplace that dust gets in your eyes and nose? You can control the dust by using wet coffee grounds on the cool ashes because they keep the dust down and not in the air. Note to self: Try to see if this method works.

Bathroom
Ant Repellent: In the mountains I don’t see ants but in the city I did. And if they weren’t in the kitchen they took over the bathroom, especially around water. Rather than using a chemical spray, try using coffee grounds on the area thirsty ants go to. (Be sure kids, cats and dogs are not around as the natural ant eater does its job.)

OUTDOORS
Plant Fertilzer: Plants that like acidic soils will like your coffee grounds. Use grounds on the top layer of soil, or mix it with potting soil before planting. I started dumping coffee grounds on the aspens in the front yard.  It could have been the late summer rain and/or the green grounds that helped the trees perk up.
Compost: Grounds not only feed your plants and trees, but they can feed your compost bin (if you have one). Simply add compost piles to increase nitrogen balance. Coffee filters and tea bags (yes, I have both, especially if my youngest Brittany doesn’t scarf down the chamomile tea bags) will also break down fast during composting. I still don’t do the compost dance it but it’s on my list of to-do changes and coffee grounds and filters will be included. I continue to sprinkle grounds on one wilted aspen in the front yard but so far it’s not showing signs of being a coffee lover…
Insect Repellant: But tossing coffee grounds on the deck, dirt, or sidewalks may have a faster effect. Again, it’s a risk to do this if you have indoor/outdoor dogs or cats, because you don’t want a sequel of the Ethiopian goat herder’s dancing goats. And that’s not all…

HEALTHY COFFEE FENG SHUI TIPS
Welcome your home sweet home to the art of feng shui—the ancient Chinese art of placement—with a twist of coffee. By putting stuff in the right spots in your kitchen and other rooms it can enhance the flow of positive energy and zap negative vibrations, bringing you good health, happiness—and even fortune.
Declutter Your Coffees. If you’re a coffee lover, chances are you’re going to have more than less java beans and gadgets in your home. Rather than stuffing it all in one place, such as your pantry, I suggest storing it in a variety of places just in case of a blackout. You’ll find cans of coffee (these have expiration dates) in my pantry. Plus, they are sealed so I feel safe and secure that my fur kids won’t get into the java. Also, when I open my freezer, there is an array of well packaged coffees lined up in rows. It makes me feel safe in case there is a shortage on coffee. And, in my fridge, I also have concealed containers filled with coffee in use, from day to day. It’s clutter free but coffee definitely has its place(s) in my kitchen.
Clean the Coffee Pot(s) to Coffee Grinder. This is a chore but it’s good chi to have a squeaky clean pot (or two) and grinder. For the pot, use vinegar, water, and lemon (use hot water, let soak). As far as the grinder goes, day by day cleaning will keep you and yours healthy coffee drinkers.
Brighten Up with Lighting.  In your kitchen, you’ll want to have neutral of earthy coffee colors, from a tan, light coffee or wood paneling.  Fresh, white curtains will lighten up the room and your energy.
Scent It Up. And, of course, the constant aroma of fresh brewed coffee will linger from room to room.
Boost Your Mood with Coffee Mugs. Select your favorite coffee mugs and place them together or in a mug holder on the counter. This is inviting for you or coffee.
Use Coffee Art. Framed coffee prints can give your kitchen a nice visual effect, especially if they boast Mediterranean colors: red, brown, gold, and blue.
Flaunt Coffee Companions. Glass canisters filled with biscotti to coffee candy, look inviting and are your friends whenever you decide to brew a cup of java.
Bring Out the Fresh Fruit. Seasonal fruit in lucky numbers, such as eight, is good for you both physically and mentally. Citrus fruit, such as oranges goes well with coffees—and the shelf life is good.
Conceal Knives and Scissors. These are a must-have item so when you open a new bag of coffee you can do it the right way and without going on a hunt through the house or using your nails or teeth.
Hide the Gadgets. Too many coffee makers will give you clutter. So, choose your coffee toys and store the others in cupboards. Recycle these to fit the season and your mood. 
Place Coffee Books in Piles. Cookbooks are attractive and show that you like being in the kitchen. Line these up in an appealing way or pile books in stacks. Either way it will give a nice coffee literary feel and will be on hand to inspire you.
A bonus tip: Purchase a coffee calendar. It will keep you up-to-date on seasons and holidays—a great coffee lover’s tool so you can plan meals and coffee accordingly. And, of course, with your coffee-ized kitchen, what better way to celebrate than to have a cake, like this heavenly recipe, baking in the oven?
[SHADED BOX]
Heavenly Coffee Angel Food Cake
* * *
1 cup sifted cake flour                              2 tablespoons instant coffee, ground
1 teaspoon cream of tartar                              fine powder in a coffee grinder       
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                              1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon coffee extract (or                         1 ½ cups egg whites (10-12 large eggs)
½ teaspoon salt substitute almond                at room temperature
extract

     Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees. Sift the flour and ground instant coffee together onto a sheet of wax paper, then resift it with the sugar and salt onto a second sheet of wax paper. In a large grease-free bowl of an electric mixture, add the egg whites and cream of tartar and mix on low speed till foamy. Increase speed gradually to medium and beat until whites are stiff and shiny, but not dry. Stop the mixer and add the vanilla and coffee extracts, whisking in once or twice by hand.
     Carefully lift the wax paper holding the dry ingredients and sprinkle the flour mixture gently into the egg whites. Using a spatula, carefully fold the dry ingredients into the whites till just incorporated. Do not stir hard or the batter will deflate. Very gently turn the batter into an ungreased tube pan and smooth the top lightly. Place immediately in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or till well risen and golden on top.
     As soon as the cake is done baking, invert (if your tube pan doesn’t have “feet”, hang the pan upside down over the neck of a bottle). Allow the pan to hang upside down for several hours until completely cool. (If it cools right side up, gravity will make it sink and become dense.) To remove pan, slide a long thin knife around the edge of the pan and the center tube to loosen it. Top the cake with plate, invert and lift off the pan.
(Source: Courtesy Coffee Science Source.) 

— Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Coffee 
Cal Orey, M.A.  is an author and journalist. Her books include "The Healing Powers" series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. (The Healing Powers of Honey and Coffee were featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) 




2 comments:

  1. With two young children, I find it hard to keep our car clean! I usually throw everything into a basket before I clean!

    ReplyDelete