Archive for October, 2007

Yummylicious Japanese Snacks

Good evening, dear friends 😀

 

My daughter posted such delicious Japanese snacks in her blog that I just had to copy it here (with her permission, of course) for you to read and drool over… 😆  Here is what she has posted…..

“Considering that Japanese food is my one of my favourites (or currently on top of that list), it’s natural I should come up with a list of some of the must-try Japanese dishes! These are a few of the various snacks/dishes that I’ve tried and loved every single bite of it. ^_^

Yummy Takoyaki
TAKOYAKI

Takoyaki, which literally means “fried octopus”, is one of my favourite (and popular) Japanese street food. It’s a dumpling ball with a soft outer layer of batter, and inside is filled with diced octopus, tenkasu (tenpura scraps), red pickled ginger, konnyaku, dried shrimps and green onion. Not only that, it’s served with a topping of mayonnaise, chopped aonori (green laver, or seaweed) and shaved katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna). When eaten freshly cooked, it melts in the mouth and the combination of all the ingriedients in the takoyaki really creates a dynamic flavour!

Chawanmushi
CHAWANMUSHI

I’ve eaten chawanmushi for years and still never stop loving it! Meaning “steamed in a tea bowl”, it is an egg custard dish served as an appetizer, what’s so special about chawanmushi is that it’s steamed in a Japanese teacup-like bowl. The trick to making chawanmushi is to allow the egg to be steamed until it just barely sets, giving the custard a soft, silky texture. The custard is made from a mixture of egg, soy sauce, dashi (traditional Japanese cooking stock) and mirin (think of it as a Japanese version of the salt and pepper you find on diner tables). The custard is also steamed with sliced shitake mushroom, kamaboko (like those cute pink and white Japanese fish cakes) and shrimp. Really, really delicious. Seriously!

Sukiyaki
SUKIYAKI

You don’t know sukiyaki if you haven’t tried Japanese food! Sukiyaki is a steamboat dish, Japanese style (called nabemono). It may sound like an ordinary steamboat, but its preparation method is unique. The essential ingredient in the soup is mirin (which I bet you don’t put in your chicken soup!), and various types of raw food (tofu, shitake and enokitake mushrooms, leafy vegies and most important of all – beef) are cooked in the skillet. When the food’s cooked, it’s commonly dipped in a bowl of raw, beaten eggs (though I haven’t tried that). One thing I love about sukiyaki is that my mom always cooks it at home! xD My mom alters her sukiyaki by boiling the eggs in the soup itself, and replacing the beef with salmon, which isn’t a bad choice! xD

Unadon
UNADON

I’m sure you come across unagi in the sushi you find in Japanese restaurants, but there’s more to that unagi sushi! Unagi, which is a Japanese eel, is also eaten as a donburi dish (rice and various dishes served in one large rice bowl), called unadon. The name “unadon” is taken from the words Unagi no Kabayaki (grilled eel) and donburi. Unadon is served with the usual Japanese rice with the unagi on top. It may just be rice and unagi, but the unagi is specially grilled with a sweet sauce that is simply scrumptious. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s eel (as lots of people do when I introduce unagi to them), because you won’t know unless you taste it!

Yakitori
YAKITORI 

Yakitori, if you translate into English, literally means ‘grilled bird’, but it’s actually a Japanese dish of chicken meat skewered onto sticks! Chicken meat is cut into bite-size pieces, skewered onto a thin, bamboo skewer and barbecued over charcoal and smoke. (Think Malaysian satay, or shish kebab). Yakitori can be eaten just like that, or with taretare sauce is made up of mirin, sweet sake, soy sauce and sugar. The smoke flavour in the meat is mouth-watering, and a fun snack to munch on! The sauce (sweetened sauce marinade) which is brushed onto the yakitori during grilling, and also as a dip.

Onigiri
ONIGIRI 

I’m sure any anime otaku knows what an onigiri is! Onigiri is a popular snack of Japanese rice formed into a triangle shape (sometimes oval), and wrapped in nori (edible Japanese seaweed). Traditionally, onigiri is filled with umeboshi (pickled ume fruit), salted salmon or katsuobushi. Various fillings are used, like fish and pickles. Onigiri is popular because it’s convenient, tasty and simple. It’s very commercialised too! Some people think it’s too cute to be eaten, too. 😆 !

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Simple Delicious Mint Soup To Remove “Wind” In Body

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Good evening, dear friends 😀

After I posted the nutritious Watercres Soup, I remembered that my healer lady has taught me a simple soup that helps to remove “wind” from our body.

Sometimes, our stomach is not working effectively in digesting food, or we eat too much food that causes bloatedness like beans, cabbage and as a result there is bloatedness or “wind” buildup in the stomach, all the way down our digestive tract. Even stress can lead to this problem when our  digestion gets affected.

Symptoms of this wind in our body are some funny sounds (not rumbling from hunger :roll:) coming from our digestive system, mild cramping in stomach, or when you knock lightly on your abdomen, there is a hollow sound like playing a drum. In children, the sign of them having a lot of wind in their body is when the whites of their eyes are bluish in colour.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), if left untreated, the “wind” can even spread to other parts of our body and cause other illnesses, like joint pains, headaches/migraines that won’t go away despite taking the right medication, lethargy. Once this “wind” problem is removed, then a person would feel more energised and alert.

In my case, last year I kept having tension headaches and I thought I was feeling “heaty”, and despite taking a lot of “cooling” drinks/soups to balance my health, my headaches persisted. After having gone to consult this healer lady, she said that my headaches were due to “wind” in my body and she recommended that I make this easy Mint & Egg Soup to get rid of the wind. Wow, my headaches were gone the next day, when I made this soup to drink! This soup is good for maintaining the health of our body as well. 😉

Mint & Egg Soup (for 1 person)

Ingredients –

2 cups of fresh mint leaves

2 eggs, beaten lightly

2 cups water (you can add in chicken or ikan bilis stock if you like)

1 tbsp chopped garlic, or sliced ginger (your preference)

salt and pepper to taste

Method –

1) Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a wok or non-stick pan. Fry garlic or ginger until golden and fragrant.

2) Put in the mint leaves, stirfry for 1 minute and then put in the beaten eggs. Stir lightly until it becomes an omellete.

3) Add in the water or stock and break up the omellete.

4) Bring to boil for 2 minutes or so, then season to taste.

5) Serve immediately. You can have have this soup on its own for lunch (that’s what I did), or have a bowl of hot, white rice to go with that. 😉

Bon Appetit! 😀

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Lung Cleansing, Nutritious Watercress Soup – Good For Smokers, Halitosis (Bad Breath), Body Heatiness

Watercress Soup 001 (Small)Freshly cleaned Watercress

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Good morning, dear friends 😀

Hehe, I forgot to post my recipe for Lung Cleansing Watercress Soup that I had promised earlier in my Lung Cleansing Breathing Exercise post CLICK HERE TO READ, until I was reminded by my very good friend, Rose. 😳

This easy-to-make and delicious soup is loaded with nutrition and was taught to me by a healer lady that I usually visit for my joint pains therapy. This elderly lady is a wealth of information on various herbs and soups for natural healing for our body, an art that she has inherited from her late grandmother. She strongly recommends this soup to smokers, those that inhale second-hand cigarette smoke and those living in polluted air environment as this soup is very effective in cleansing our lungs of toxins. She said never to underestimate the goodness of this simple vegetable and she told me to make this soup every 2 weeks for my husband, who is a heavy cigarette smoker.

Red Dates, Honey DatesRed & Honey Dates

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Nutritious, Lung Cleansing Watercress Soup (for 6 persons)

Ingredients –

1 kg of watercress, use stems and leaves

500 gm of pork ribs, or lean pork, or skinless chicken breasts

1 cup of dried honey dates (mutt joe in Cantonese), omit this if you can’t find this in your area (or you can use 1 1/2 cups dried red dates pictured above instead)

4 litres of water

enough salt to taste

Method –

Put all ingredients in a pot or slow cooker, bring to a boil, remove any “scum” that is floating at the top, bring down the heat to low and simmer the soup for 4 hours (minimum). Season to taste.

** Note – for a vegan version – omit meat and salt and double the amount of dried honey dates

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Watercress Sweet Soup 001 (Small)A pot of Sweet Watercress soup using just 1 kg watercress, 400 gm of dried honey dates, water

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Watercress Sweet Soup 002 (Small)A cup of sweet watercress soup (vegan type)

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This soup is very tasty and can be served with hot white rice, and your other dishes. Each of my family usually have a large bowl of this yummy soup, and I especially love eating the soft watercress.

** Note – it is important to use so much watercress and to simmer the soup for 4 hours so that the watercress’ strong “cooling” properties are removed, and the soup becomes very nutritious for our health, and it will have the potency to detoxify our lungs.

Otherwise, you can use a lesser amount of watercress, boil it in some chicken stock, add in your favourite meats (like shrimps, fish balls, sliced pork or chicken), season to taste, bring to a boil and the soup’s ready for you. In this method, this soup will be very “cooling” to your body but you can’t consume this too often. However, it will be very suitable when your body is heaty with symptoms of sore gums, sore throat, headaches, flu.

I heard that someone was sick in bed and drank this simpler version of watercress soup and she got well in a day! In other areas, watercress is good for anaemia as it has loads of iron (in this case, it is best to eat it fresh in a salad). 😀

With best wishes for good health,

choesf 😀

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Japanese Dosanko Cooking – Panfried Fish With Julienned Ginger

dosanko-chef.jpg

Good evening, dear friends 😀

There is a new channel on our cable TV programmes called Asian Food Channel and it is my favourite channel because it has all sorts of cooking shows 24/7! Wow, I just love this channel but there is a disadvantage for me – I get hungry all the time watching this channel. But good thing is that I get lots of ideas and inspiration on different types of recipes and cuisine. 😀

One of the shows that caught my attention is called “Dosanko Cooking”, which is hosted by Mrs Sachiko Hoshizawa (pictured above) who has won the Guinness World of Records for having the longest live cooking show (14 years running). She is famous in Japan and is a working mom with 3 children who are in their 20’s. Her recipes are very healthy and simple and are typical of the place that she is from ===> Hokkaido. “Dosanko” means a person from Hokkaido.

I watched her cooking this simple fish dish on TV just now and thought to post it here for you to try…as I will be cooking this dish tomorrow.

Dosanko Cooking – Japanese Panfried Curry Fish With Julienned Ginger

fish2.jpg

Ingredients –

200 gm of fish fillet, preferably with skin (sliced into 1-inch pieces. If using fish steaks like salmon – then cut into 1/2-in thick steaks)

1 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp cooking oil (or olive oil or butter)

2 tbsps ginger, julienned

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine, or replace with any wine that you have and add a tsp of sugar)

2 tbsps of grated white radish as garnishing (optional but Japanese dishes usually have this)

Method –

1) Put fish slices or steaks, curry powder, salt and pepper into a plastic bag, and shake all ingredients in it thoroughly to coat the fish.

2) Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan. Place fish slices or sticks together with the ginger and pan fry on both sides of the fish until almost done.

3) Add in the soy sauce and wine. Cook with fish for a further 30 seconds. Remove and serve in a plate with grated radish on the side.

This Japanese dish will taste very good with hot white rice! Yummmmy! 😀

According to Mrs Hoshizawa, this dish is very healthy as it uses very little oil and salt. The radish is to “cool” the dish as it is pan-fried. 😉

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Some Cute & Interesting Kitchen Gadgets 1

Good morning from KL, dear friends 😀

Hmmmm….., how many of you are like me? Absolutely crazy over cute and amazing kitchen gadgets? Whenever I go to the shopping malls, I don’t head for the fashion boutiques but for the household or kitchen outlets. Lucky for me, I have a good friend who has the same craze like me and we would go “window” shopping together going ga-ga over the kitchen gadgets, crockery, utensils, pots and pans on display.  Or on those occasions that my husband is looking at his favourite electronic gadgets, he will know where to find me ===>  in the household department! 🙄 😆

I have found some kitchen gadgets on the Internet and have posted them here as I am sure you would find them interesting as well. 😆 Please note that I am not advertising for the suppliers of these gadgets nor am I paid in any way to mention them! 😀

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Butter Wizard

Butter, at least in my house, is kept in the fridge. Whenever you want to use some, you generally take it out, give it a few seconds in the microwave, and it’s good to go. I never thought that was a lot of work, but the Butter Wizard aims to help me be a little lazier. It’s self described as a temperature controlled butter dish. Any stick of butter you put into the Wizard will be kept at the temperature of your choosing so that when you finally go to butter that toast, you’ll be all set.

No need to wait for the butter to thaw before spreading it onto our bread. Sometimes, the butter even gets too soft for my liking! 🙄 Whenever plugged in, the wizard will charge itself up for when there’s no outlet around, then it can provide about 2 hours of perfect butter for your enjoyment. I’m serious, that’s pretty much everything the Butter Wizard does. Oh, almost forgot, it’s dishwasher safe too. That’s always important.

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Hands-Free Can Opener

From personal experience, I know that using a traditional can opener to open a can takes way to long, and those under the cabinet ones look ugly and are tricky to use sometimes. It’s also a task for someone who is a bit older; they just don’t have the strength in them to do it.

This gadget is supposedly a hands free can opener. All you have to do is secure the opener on the can, hold a button for a second, and then the opener will travel around the can giving a clean cut. That means no sharp edges when it comes off, and the lid will come right off, there’s no pulling it and having half the contents come out on you.

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Electric Ice Cream Scooper

When you want ice cream at home, you want it instantaneously. Waiting for the ice cream to thaw, while only taking minutes, seems like hours. Or….the scoop gets too messy and it is difficult to get the ice cream out of it nicely. 🙄 You’re just impatient, but there is a solution, the Electric Ice Cream Scooper! All your troubles are gone, at least the ones relating to ice cream. . .

It’s like any other high quality scooper, it’s made of metal that will scoop thawed ice cream easily. The real beauty is the electric part, the scooper actually heats up to make scooping that much easier, you could scoop at a entire galloon in minutes.

The rest of the features are pretty standard and boring. It’s got a nonstick surface, which makes cleaning simple, and a drip guard to make sure you don’t get any ice cream on your hands or shirt.

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Tea Bag Timer

Ah, this is the perfect gadget for me as I am a serious tea drinker! 😆 There is a method of steeping the tea bag in hot water so that we get the perfect strength of tea….but I have never followed it and would just leave my tea bag in my mug. 🙄

The tea bag timer does what you’d expect with a bit of panache. You attach the tea bag to an arm which is lowered into the boiling water, set a timer for the required length of time you would like the brew to stew and when the time is up the arm lifts the tea bag from the cup leaving a perfect brew. Voila! 🙂

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Hot Diggity Dogger

Do you love eating Hot Dogs? If so you might be interested in the Hot Diggity Dogger, a toaster that has holes for the Hot Dogs’s wieners and buns! This is a fun and simple way of having a delicious Hot Dog at any time you wish. This toaster can make two Hot Dogs at the same time.

The Hot Diggity Dogger comes with an electronic time control, so you can adjust the heat to barbeque the Hot Dog’s wieners and the warm the buns in the way you like them best. The wiener basket can be easily removed to help cleaning, as does the crumb tray. The vertical toasting will give you a healthier Hot Dog, at least according to the company. 😀

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Eat Juicy, Yummy Apples For Great Health

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Good afternoon to all,

As I am typing this, I am munching on a really juicy and yummy Fuji Apple that was grown in South Africe. All this while, I know that apples are really good for us and almost everyone has heard of the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” 😀

Then I began to wonder exactly in what ways can the apples benefit us in our health, and after doing some reading in the Internet, I have found some very good news from the site, Washington Apple Commission….. and I have excerpted the information here to share with you. Wow, from now onwards, I am going to make sure that there is always an abundance of apples in my home and that my family members actually have at least an apple everyday! 😉

Apples Keep Your Family Healthy

Apples are Really Good For You!

Eating fresh apples is always good for you, but to get the full nutritional benefits associated with eating apples you should eat at least one fresh apple every day. The average U.S. consumer eats about 19 pounds of fresh apples a year – about one apple per week. Ongoing consumer attitude tracking in nine major markets across the United States has shown that Washington apples remain number one as far as consumers are concerned. According to a one report, 56 percent of those surveyed named Washington as the brand they look for when buying apples.

Whole-body Health Benefits

Lower blood cholesterol, improved bowel function, reduced risk of stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma. The disease-fighting profile of apples provides a multitude of health benefits, including a potential decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. Several recent studies suggest apples may provide a “whole-body” health benefit. A number of components in apples, most notably fiber and phytonutrients have been found in studies to lower blood cholesterol and improve bowel function, and may be associated with a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma. Preliminary research from Finland indicates diets with the highest intake of apple phytonutrients were associated with a 46 percent reduction in the incidence of lung cancer. Findings indicate that two apples a day or 12 ounces of 100% apple juice reduced the damaging effects of the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

– Interpoma 2002 Conference, Bolzano, Italy
– Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., University of California-Davis

Cancer Prevention

Over the past four years, apple consumption has been linked with reduced cancer risk in several studies. A 2001 Mayo Clinic study indicated that quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples, helps prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. A Cornell University study indicated phytochemicals in the skin of an apple inhibited the reproduction of colon cancer cells by 43 percent. The National Cancer Institute has reported that foods containing flavonoids like those found in apples may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent.

– Carcinogenesis (March, 2001)
– Nature (June, 2000)
– Journal of the National Cancer Institute (January, 2000)

Healthy Lungs

Two recent British studies indicated that eating apples can improve lung health. A study of Welsh men indicated that people who ate at least five apples per week experience better lung function. Researchers at the University of Nottingham reported that those who ate five apples per week also had a lower risk for respiratory disease. In the Netherlands at the University of Groningen, apples were singled out as a fruit that could cut smokers’ risk of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in half. Scientists believe antioxidants found in apples may ward off disease by countering oxygen’s damaging effects on the body.

– American Thoracic Society Meeting (May, 2001)
-Thorax (January, 2000)

Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention

A Finnish study published in 1996 showed that people who eat a diet rich in flavonoids have a lower incidence of heart disease. Other studies indicate that flavonoids may help prevent strokes.

-The British Medical Journal (1996)

Weight Loss

Apples are a delicious source of dietary fiber, and dietary fiber helps aid digestion and promotes weight loss. A medium apple contains about five grams of fiber, more than most cereals. Also, apples contain almost zero fat and cholesterol, so they are a delicious snack and dessert food that’s good for you.

UC-Davis: Apples are Heart Healthy

Researchers at the University of California-Davis recently reported that apples and apple juice may help protect arteries from harmful plaque build-up. In the first study conducted in humans, adults who added two apples, or 12 ounces of 100% apple juice, to their daily diet demonstrated a significant slowing of the cholesterol oxidation process that leads to plaque build-up – thereby giving the body more time to rid itself of cholesterol before it can cause harm.

Age-Related Memory Improvement Linked with Consumption of Apple Products

New Study Finds Consuming Apple Juice Associated With Brain Health In Older Animals

LOWELL, MASS. (January 19, 2006) – “An apple a day” now has new meaning for those who want to maintain mental dexterity as they age. New research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that consuming apple juice may protect against cell damage that contributes to age-related memory loss, even in test animals that were not prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“This new study suggests that eating and drinking apples and apple juice, in conjunction with a balanced diet, can protect the brain from the effects of oxidative stress – and that we should eat such antioxidant-rich foods,” notes lead researcher Thomas B. Shea, Ph.D ., director of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Cellular Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration Research, whose study was just published in the latest issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Although more research is needed, Shea is excited about these brain health findings, which are encouraging for all individuals who are interested in staying mentally sharp as they age.

US: Study Links Apples to Reduced Risk of Heart Disease in Women

American Heart Association new recommendations support increased fruit, vegetable consumption

Apples may prove to be a winner when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease, says a new study of more than 34,000 women. In this study, flavonoid-rich apples were found to be one of three foods (along with red wine and pears) that decrease the risk of mortality for both coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among post-menopausal women, The findings were published in the March 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Women of all ages are encouraged to consume more fruit and vegetables, including apples and apple products, for heart health. However, this study focused on postmenopausal woman, a group becoming more aware of the risk for heart disease. Using a government database that assesses the flavonoid-compound content of foods, the researchers hypothesized that flavonoid intake (in general and from specific foods), might be inversely associated with mortality from CVD and CHD among the women in the study selected for this research analysis were postmenopausal and part of the ongoing Iowa Women’s Health Study, each of which has been monitored for dietary intake and various health outcomes for nearly 20 years.

Bon appetit with your yummy apples! 😀

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Easy Way To Get Rid Of Odours From Tupperwares, Plastic Containers

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Good evening, dear friends 😀

 

How many of you are as crazy as I am over the Tupperware brand of beautiful and colourful plastic containers? 😆 Well, I have been buying and accumulating many types of plastic containers over the years and keeping them in my kitchen cabinets (not using most of them like I should! :roll:). During my kitchen decluttering 2 weeks ago, I decided to put some of them to use, and have my things in the kitchen cabinets organized into colourful containers. 😉

 

 

However, I have this Tupperware water jug that I have been using for 5 years without a lid, because the lid smells strongly of plastic! 🙄 So much so that if I were to put the lid on my jug, the water would smell strongly of plastic, too, thereby making the water undrinkable !

Anyway, I found this jug’s cover during my decluttering and decided to do a little experiment to remove the odour. Previously, I had tried boiling the lid, putting the lid in the hot sun for 1 whole day, and soaking it in vinegar…..but the terrible smell still persisted.

Added on 28 August, 2012 –

Try using “Homemade Orange Infused Vinegar

Because I love the vinegar-baking soda “magic” solution so much, I decided to try this way and this was what I did :-

1) dismantle the plastic lid into its various parts and put them in a bowl.

2) into the bowl, I poured 1/2 cup of white vinegar

3) and added 1 tbsp of baking soda

4) lastly, I poured 2 cups of hot water (not boiling), enough to cover the plastic lid. Stir to mix the solution thoroughly.

5) leave to soak for 2 days

 

…..Voila! The smell is completely gone and I am so happy that I can finally use the lid together with the Tupperware water jug. 😆 From now onwards, I will use this easy method to remove any odour from my plastic containers. 😉

Hope this works for you, too, especially if you have bought new plastic containers that have weird odours in them. 😀

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