Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kitchen Tricks

I like reading of little tricks you can use around the house so I thought I would share some of mine in case you learn something new.  And feel free to comment with a tip of your own.

One of the yuckiest, but necessary, things in our house is the organics bin, and what is worse than dumping something gross over top of some other gross thing and having the little flimsy bag fall down inside the bin? We use an elastic band around the top of the bin to keep the bag in place.  The fun part is trying to remove the elastic band when you've got a full bin, but it's doable.

I used to worry about finding a suitable way to store and display our spices, but now I just put them in the drawer and write on the top of them to see what is inside.  This method also eliminates the need to buy matching bottles.  When the top is black, I've identified it with a small piece of masking tape.

Speaking of elastics, we use these to close most of the bags in our cupboards from flour and sugar to rice and pasta.  Rather than using a flimsy twist tie or a fancy clip (although we do have some of those too), an elastic fits on everything.  We have an abundance because our cloth diapers are delivered bound in groups of ten with an elastic, but you can save elastics from flyer and mail bundles and produce.

For food in a box, like cereal and crackers, we will clip these closed too.  I used to throw out tons of stale crackers and cereal because I would just sort of fold down the bag before closing the box, but now everything stays fresher for longer.

Storing nuts, coconut, cornmeal, and graham cracker crumbs in the freezer is a good way to make them last longer.  I don't use these ingredients a lot and even though they do last awhile in the cupboard, the freezer is better, since they can go off a little bit in the heat of the summer.

When we buy berries, which we do a lot in the summer, I always rinse the entire box in a water and white vinegar mixture (I don't measure but a splash of vinegar in a bowl (big enough to fit the berries) full of water.  It won't taste like vinegar and this helps to clean off any sort of bacteria that might be starting to grow.  Then I just scoop them out of the water and let them dry off on a paper towel.  The ones we don't eat I put back in the container they came in (not trimmed if you're doing strawberries) and cover with plastic and secured with an elastic (of course!).  This also gives you an opportunity to weed out any that are too soft that could turn the whole container.

This isn't really a food storage tip, but still related to food, when a recipe calls for red onion that won't be cooked, like for a salad or sauce, soak the cut onion in ice water for ten to fifteen minutes before draining it and adding it to the recipe.  This will cut the strong flavour of the onion.

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I learned this tip while visiting friends. Keep the key card from the hotel (or an old credit card works, too) and put it by the sink. Use it to remove cooked on food, like scrambled eggs, from your pots and pans. It works like a charm, won't scratch your pans and is a sweet reminder of your vacation/hotel where you stayed.