As the kids return to school and the temperature begins to drop, I am eager again to turn on the stove, tie the food-stained apron around my waist, and awake my cast-iron soup pot from hibernation.
I was making squash soup the other day, using my kitchen glove to roll the garlic cloves to loosen the skin and thought about how many tricks I've developed, modified, and stolen during this whole COVID-19 thing!
Here are 11 fun hacks for your enjoyment.
1. Use a rubber band to take tops off jars.
Put the rubber band around the lid of the jar (thicker rubber bands work best), and turn. The band adds grip. (For more hacks for hard to open containers and jars, see here)
2. Use a rubber glove to peel garlic
Put a glove on, roll the clove on a board, pressing down firmly with the heel of your hand, the rubber on the glove easily loosens the skin.
3. Use salt to clean cast iron pans
Sprinkle the salt in, add a little bit of water, a quick scrub with a scrub brush and you're done.
4. Use salt to clean up greasy stuff like cheese
Let's say you've grated cheese and your 2-year-old grabs a handful and tosses it on the floor.
Because of the grease, it is impossible to sweep up, so sprinkle some salt onto the cheese (which absorbs the grease) and you can sweep it up/wipe it up, immediately.
5. Put oil on your fingers when using goat cheese in a recipe
You can now handle the cheese without it sticking to your fingers. Nice!
6. If you cut a melon before it is ripe, it WILL continue to ripen
Just put some plastic wrap over the cut area and let it sit another day or so.
But melon, unfortunately, won't un-ripen. So if you're going to err, err on cutting too early.
7. Use the round lid of a plastic deli container for cutting multiple cherry tomatoes
Lay them flat in the top of the plastic lid (eight or so tomatoes), lay your hand across the tomatoes to hold them firmly, and using a serrated knife, slice cross-sectionally.
One slice and you're done. (This one I love and stole from Wonky Pie!).
8. Basil keeps best in a tightly sealed bag
If the basil had roots, I used to store it in a flower vase or glass, but it keeps best for about five days if sealed super tightly in a bag in the fridge.
9. You don't need to pre-bake a piece crust.
I used to and have found no difference. Plus, not pre-baking it saves time. Pretty Sweet!
10. Press the cling wrap tightly ONTO the food not just on top of the bowl
The food will keep far better if there is less air circulating around the food.