These tips will help make your time in the kitchen much more pleasant and hassle-free.
by Cassandre Cadieux
Here are some simple rules that I’ve learned from my family and friends over the years to keep food fresher, kitchens cleaner, and cooking disasters to a minimum.
- It is easy to test whether eggs are fresh by placing them in a bowl of lightly salted water: the ones that sink are fresh and the ones that float are bad.
- If you want bread to stay fresh longer, put it in the freezer. If you make your sandwich in the morning with the frozen bread, it will be thawed and fresh by the time lunch rolls around. The texture of frozen bread also makes it easier to cut and spread sauces on in the morning.
- Use more coconut milk. It can replace dairy in many breakfast foods, such as pancakes or muffins. It can also be used instead of cream of mushroom soup in casseroles or even as a meat marinade to change things up a bit.
- Cut your onion by the sink with the water running. The water should soak up the vapours from the onion to prevent itchy, watery eyes.
- Clean your kettle. To rid an electric kettle of calcium build-up, boil an equal mixture of water and vinegar and empty when the boiling point is reached.
- Invest in a plastic knife. This inexpensive tool allows you to chop lettuce without having the knife oxidize and turn brown.
- To avoid shrivelled bacon, run some cold water on the raw meat before frying it.
- Buy a salad bowl with a lid. Having a lid on the bowl makes it easy to mix salad ingredients and evenly distribute dressing throughout by simply shaking it.
- Bring your wilted vegetables back to life by soaking them in two cups of water and one tablespoon of vinegar.
- Isolate your bananas. They emit a gas that causes other fruit to ripen quickly. Also, if you separate the bananas from each other, they will stay fresher longer.
- Looking to save some calories this week? Substitute two meaty meals for vegetarian or fish options.
- Make finger stains disappear. If carrots, beets, or food colouring have temporarily stained your fingers, rub them with a slice of raw potato and watch the discolouration fade away.
- Separate egg white from egg yolk with a funnel. As long as you carefully crack the egg into the funnel, the egg white will fall into the bowl below and the yolk can easily be removed.
- Instead of keeping buttermilk on hand for baking, simply make your own by adding one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Let your brown sugar stay fresher for longer by putting a slice of white bread or an apple slice in the container. Make sure to regularly change them as the sugar draws their moisture. You can also purchase inexpensive terra cotta disks, which work to keep the brown sugar fresh, from almost any baking supply store.
- Make your pots and pans look like new again by removing stuck-on foods. Simply fill the pot or pan with enough water to cover the bottom and add a drop of dish soap. Bring the water to a boil and watch as the scraps come off the bottom with just a bit of easy scrubbing.
- Save burnt rice by placing a slice of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burnt taste. The rice will still look charred but will taste much better.
- To keep salt from clumping together, put some white rice in the shaker or container.
- Get rid of a strong smell on your hands, like remnants of onion or garlic, by rubbing the area carefully with stainless steel—a butter knife works well.
- Keep your fruit from browning by putting some lemon juice on the peeled area.
By following these simple tips, your kitchen will become a much more enjoyable place to share with your family and friends.