Shrimp sauce, cloudy glassware and tire inflators
Dear Mary: Recently you gave us some fantastic recipes to make our own sauces at home (“It’s All About That Sauce!”) But you missed one! How about the shrimp sauce that only Japanese restaurants seem to have? Got a recipe for that? — Matthew
Dear Matthew: You’ve really put me through my paces since receiving your message. And I have good news! I found it — shrimp sauce just about as close as you can get to that at home. I’m going to say it’s cheaper, faster … and maybe not better, but at least as good.
—2 cups mayonnaise
—1/2 cup water
—1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
—1/4 teaspoon salt
—1 tablespoon garlic juice
—4 teaspoons ketchup
—1 teaspoon ground ginger
—1 teaspoon hot sauce
—1 teaspoon dry mustard
—1 teaspoon paprika
—3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together. Allow this mix to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
Dear Mary: Not long ago, you had a comment about glasses coming out of the dishwasher with water spots and stains on them and what to do. I thought I kept it (as I do keep so many of your columns) but cannot find this one. I’ve used Jet Dry and that isn’t helping. We have very hard water. Any solutions would be appreciated. — Brenda
Dear Brenda: Water marks as you describe, or generally cloudy glassware, are usually the result of the minerals in hard water, but not always. If it is the buildup of minerals, you have the same thing on your dishes and the inside of the dishwasher only you cannot see it as well as you can on the glasses.
To tell if your glasses are plagued by hard water deposits, try soaking a glass in a pan of warm white vinegar for 5 minutes. If the cloudy deposits are removed, then hard water is your problem. Put all of your cloudy pieces through a white vinegar rinse to remove the minerals.
If the full-strength white vinegar does not make that glass sparkling clear, chances are great that the mineral buildup has, over time, actually etched the surface of the glass.
In this case, there’s nothing you can do to restore the glass, which has been worn away.
Because you say you have such hard water, I’m hopeful you will be able to restore your glassware by simply removing the minerals. Then in the future occasionally (monthly is good) add a cup of white vinegar to the final dishwasher rinse to keep the glasses sparkly.
There is a product on the market called Glisten, which will soften the water to keep hard water stains from appearing and will clean your dishwasher at the same time. I’d give that a try as well before giving up on your beautiful glasses. Let us know how it works out for you!
By the way, if you ever get tired of clipping columns, or if you misplace one, I maintain an online archive of past columns at my website, EverydayCheapskate.com. The search function works well. Just type in a keyword for what you are looking for. As a bonus you’ll probably come across a lot of columns you weren’t looking for, but will enjoy reading.
Dear Mary: After reading about maintaining proper tire pressure, I purchased the tire gauge. Now I need a good compressor to put air in my tires. Can you help me? — Joseph
Dear Joseph: If you need this compressor only for tire inflation, I recommend you take a look at the Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator. You carry this relatively small device with you in your vehicle. It plugs into the cigarette lighter, runs on 12 volts and has a reach of 12 feet. Here’s the best thing about it: You input your desired inflation number then it automatically shuts off when that psi is reached — perfect pressure every time. This compressor is not lightning fast, nor is it silent. But this is a highly rated and reliable tire inflation device for less than $30. Go with Slime!