How to make your own oven cleaner

Conventional oven sprays contain some of the nastiest chemicals. Many are corrosive lye-based (sodium hydroxide) solutions that are dangerous to inhale.

Our green cleaner put the oven parts into the outside sink (which is larger and deeper then our kitchen sink) and soaked them for several hours. I wish I knew what she put in the water to soak off the grime.

I’ve had lots of success with using bicarb soda and vinegar for cleaning the top of stove and around the hot plates. The only problem was that I accidentally blocked up the gas hole and then one plate didn’t work properly until I gave it another more thorough clean.

Mix bicarb soda with water and leave the paste on for half an hour to loosen the grime, then wipe it off with a sponge or rag.

Karen Logan in ‘Clean House Clean Planet‘ recommends using a putty knife, razor and pumice stone to clean the oven.

Quick roasted tomatoes

We have harvested a few tomatoes already, although I’m going to confess these are just some bought ones. Tomatoes are called ‘pomodoro’ in Italian which means ‘golden apple’. This method of quick roasting leaves them retaining their shape. They were still watery and ideal as as a side served with the risotto.  They were like a fresh fleshy tomato sauce.

Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Place tomatoes on a lightly greased baking tray.
  3. Season with olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Alternative: If you have more time and would like to slow roast your tomatoes. Slice them in half. Change the oven temperature to 175°C, and leave them for 2-3 hours. Keep them moist with the olive oil. The liquid will have reduced and they will be crisper.