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Green Barbarians–Ellen Sandbeck

A Buddha A Day–Ellen Sandbeck


Dear Ellen,

What's the easiest way to clean my big roasting pan after Thanksgiving?

Jessie, Santa Cruz, California

Dear Jessie,

Baked-on turkey grease can indeed be difficult to scrub off. Luckily, most scrubbing isn't necessary. After you have refrigerated all your leftovers, and have waved all your guests out the door, scrape all the meat bits out of the roasting pan, and pour the turkey grease into a grease can. Then put the pan on top of the stove so it sits on top of a burner or two. Pour enough baking soda into the roasting pan to cover the bottom with a quarter inch thick layer. Pour enough water into the roasting pan so that the water level is about a half inch below the rim of the pan. Turn a burner on "low" under the pan and bring the water to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the grease lets go of the sides and bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and allow the water in the pan to cool before ladling it out of the pan. Carry the pan to the sink. Pour in more baking soda and use it to scrub the above-the-water-line part of the pan. Rinse. Wash as usual with dish liquid.

Environmentally yours,



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