Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tips and Tricks

No one would describe me as handy in the kitchen, but I get by because I've learned some tips and tricks along the way that are infinitely helpful. Want to save yourself some aggravation down the line? Keep reading.

1. Freeze leftover wine into ice trays so that you have perfect cubes ready whenever you need to cook with wine. You also won't be wasting. (Then again, what is "leftover" wine? Does not compute).

2. You can do the same with fresh herbs if you have a lot but don't need them all at once: chop them up and freeze them into cubes of olive oil. Next time you need some fresh herbs, drop a cube into the pan, and voila!

3. To peel garlic easily, smash the clove with the broad side of a chef's knife. The paper will fall off.

4. If you have ants in the kitchen, find the source and encircle it with a line of chalk. The ants won't cross the chalk.

5. You only bake cookies once every two years or so, and your brown sugar has gone hard as a rock? Keep a slice of apple or a piece of bread in there to keep the sugar soft.

6. Rice in your salt shaker will help keep the salt from clumping.

7. Line your fridge crisper drawers with newspaper to absorb odours.

8. Want to make your home smell good? In a soup pot, boil water, sliced lemon, and pure vanilla extract. Add other favourites like chai or star anise. Let simmer all day long, add more water as needed. Unlike air fresheners, this method doesn't mask scents, it absorbs them.

9. To combat fruit flies, put a piece of ripe fruit into a jar and form a paper funnel in the mouth of the jar. The flies get in but they can't get out. Make sure you pour boiling water down your drain periodically, because they like to live in there.

10. If you're going to be using hot oil for frying or sautéing, keep a cup of bleach on the counter. It will absorb the deep-fried odour, and you can then discard it.

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