Bamboo skewers? Yeah!

Posted by Gail Gabrielson at 20 December 2011

Category: Memoir

Tags: ,

I’m a sucker for a bargain, so when I saw bamboo skewers on sale at Walmart for 75 cents, I couldn’t resist. It was well past the season for barbecue, but I just knew when I saw them that I’d find a use for them. It’s not like they’d go bad or expire in some way. I justified their purchase, and HighGuy, as always, said something like, “Well, it’s only 75 cents.”

I put them on the kitchen counter next to some other barbecue implements. In fact, we have a tall white ceramic jar that I keep all of HighGuy’s barbecue tools in. That includes numerous spatulas, tongs and lighters. His favorite spatula, by far, is the one that has a golf club handle. It’s a heavy-duty tool and the handles make sure you don’t lose your grip.

We’ve had grilled kebabs before, but HighGuy bought them prepared from the meat counter at Cashwise Foods. They usually put meat pieces on skewers, along with hunks of green and red bell peppers and onions. Yum. Who knows? Maybe we’ll make our own kebabs sometime.

Then one day, I was washing dishes when I came upon HighGuy’s “sippy cups.” That’s what I call his thermal-lined cups for coffee. You’ve seen them. They’re double-lined plastic glasses that keep cold drinks cold without sweating. HighGuy loves to have iced coffee in the morning. Yeah, even now that the weather is colder.

He has three or four glasses that he rotates in and out of his car when he’s on the job. And sometimes all four glasses are in his car, and he has to bring them all in before he can make a cup of coffee. By the time they end up on the kitchen counter to be washed, some of them are pretty grungy or sticky. HighGuy’s iced coffee features flavored creamer, too, so sometimes the glasses are stuck shut.

HighGuy can open them for me, so I can soak them last. But how do I get the coffee remains out of the plastic straw? I don’t have any pipe cleaners long enough or small enough. Ah-ha! That’s where the bamboo skewers come in! I just rattled a skewer around in the straw, turning as I went, and the coffee stains came off on the skewer! Ta-da! I now keep a bamboo skewer by the sink just for cleaning those straws.

Last week I tackled another home improvement project: recaulking the tub. We’ve redone this more than a couple of times, and each time, I swear it’s going to last longer. This time I was going to do the project entirely by myself, so that I could be sure that it was done to my stringent specifications.

I painstakingly scraped off the old caulking, using a tool designed for that purpose. Then I went back over it, making sure I had every last morsel of silicon off the tub edge and tile. I looked around for rubbing alcohol, but didn’t find any. I found witch hazel instead, and figured an astringent would work just as well. I applied it to a sponge and wiped around the edge of the tub and then ran my finger along it.

Nope, that was definitely NOT going to work. The witch hazel left an oily residue. (I’m going to have to google the uses for witch hazel sometime. I don’t know why I have two bottles of it, but I do.) So I asked HighGuy where the rubbing alcohol was, and he went right to the spot and handed it to me. OK, I admitted, sometimes a guy CAN find things.

I poured rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and went back over the tub and tiling. Now it could dry and I would be sure that the new silicon would stick. I brought out the caulking tube, and realized that the application tube was plugged. Ah-ha! Another use for my bamboo skewers!

I used the skewers to push the old caulking out of the application tube, and I was good to go. All that preparation time for such a simple project. When I was done, I cleaned up the application tube with the skewer and put away the silicon for the next time. The skewer was done for, so I threw it away. Hey, for only 75 cents, I can do that. I think the package had 20 or more in it.

And who knows? Maybe by next summer, I’ll actually use the skewers for their intended purpose: kebabs! But until then, I’m going to keep finding more uses for bamboo skewers.

2 Comments

  1. Gail Gabrielson says
    Avatar of Gail Gabrielson

    I also used a skewer to open up a clogged drain!

    Reply
  2. Sue says

    Hi Gail,

    I have many packages of wooden skewers. Sometimes I think we collect them. Every time we BBq, my son has to open a new package. Don’ ask.

    Anyway, I managed to locate many of those skewers today and am tinkering with the idea of making a decorative birdcage. I do quite a bit of carpentry work, as moms have to know how to do everything:).
    Have you ever thought about creating something with the skewers or is cleaning with them your main focus?
    I always look at simple things and wonder what I can make with it.

    Just an idea

    Reply

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