Well, Ol' Man Winter is upon us yet again, blasting us with his icy breath. When I was a kid, I loved wintertime because it meant the prospect of sledding, snowball fights & missed school days in which to enjoy both. Now that I'm 45, however, my attitude toward the season has taken a complete 180-degree turn: I find myself dreading it because of the likelihood of being snowed-in for days on end, and the certainty of being forced to endure the frigid temperatures.
My feet (my toes, to be precise) suffer terribly this time of year: the slightest chill in the air makes them miserable. As the old saying goes: "If your feet hurt, everything hurts." For years I relieved this discomfort with those foot warmer packs made with iron powder that produce heat through rapid oxidation: while they certainly do work, they can also get too hot for comfort - and at the price of about $1 a pair, the cost really adds up.
So I decided to cut out the expense and gain greater control of the heat level by making my own microwaveable foot warmers - and as cheaply as possible, too. Here's how:
Step 1 Cut toes off an old pair of cotton socks.
First, I took an old pair of cotton socks with holes in the heels and cut the intact toe portions off, about 3 inches back.
Step 2 Fill with dry rice or dry beans. Sew them back up.
Next, I took some dry rice from the cupboard to use as filler (this is what I had at hand; others recommend using dry beans and especially feed corn for filler). I filled the little pouches with rice - but not so much as to make them hard & inflexible - then sewed the open end tight.
Step 3 Microwave for 30-35 seconds.
That's it. I microwave them on high for 30-35 seconds, and they stay warm for about a half hour. Others who have made them say that the feed corn (available at farm feed stores and at Walmart) holds heat the longest, but I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say.