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Old 11-01-2006, 12:22 PM   #11
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Northern California
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This is not as creative or imaginative as other responses, but it is very useful.

I use a melon baller to core apples. I slice the apples in half and then take out the seeds and seed membranes with the melon baller. I then use it to scrape the blossom and stem ends out.

I also sometimes use my tea kettle to water my plants.

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Old 11-01-2006, 01:03 PM   #12
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I use those soft, rubber jar openers to keep my SS bowls from spinning when I whisk things together with one hand. This comes in most handy when making a vinaigrette: one hand for whisking and one for pouring oil.


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Old 11-01-2006, 01:49 PM   #13
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I think everyone does this, but I use plates to cover pots that are missing lids, or my skillets. I have a lot of hand-me-down stuff so I'm missing many lids.
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:00 AM   #14
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I use drawer liners (the rubber ones from the dollar store under my bowls and cutting boards to keep them slipping and sliding away----and I use a soft, clean baby hair brush to clean mushrooms with. Works great and cheap!
The only difference between a "cook" and a "Chef" is who cleans up the kitchen.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:21 AM   #15
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I keep a metal ruler on my utensil rack. When I'm reducing sauces or stocks all I have to do is dip the ruler in to see the level of the liquid, say 4 inches. If I want it reduced by half, I just cook until it measures 50% lower or to 2 inches deep.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:22 PM   #16
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Location: Memphis, TN
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Here are the top ten tool abuses in my house.
  1. An ordinary hack saw can be used to divide shank end ham bones into two or three pieces for beans.
  2. A very large wooden mallet for pounding stuff hangs next to the hack saw. If asked, I say it is for splitting peas.
  3. The thick, wide rubber bands that sometimes hold two or three broccoli heads together can be used in multiples on the ends of a dowel type roller to ensure an even specific thickness.
  4. A push pin type thumb tack is handy to poke a hole in the end of an egg before boiling.
  5. The spaghetti insert in a stock pot makes removing the larger solids from a pot of stock easier.
  6. Masking tape is a cheap easy way to label stuff in the ice box.
  7. Cooling racks can be suspended from the fluorescent kitchen ceiling fixture to grow small pots of herbs.
  8. $2.99 stock pots make good trash cans.
  9. A nylon spaghetti lifter/server is the perfect back scratcher. I have one in the night stand only for this purpose.
  10. A toaster oven grate propped a couple inches above the large burner on an electric stove is the best way for me to char peppers.
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:28 PM   #17
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I don't like to be limited by the length of the cord on our electric mixer oo I use a cordless drill instead.

The blades for the mixer work OK in the drill but I adapted a baloon wisk to use by tapping an electric screwdriver drill bit into the rear of a cheap metal baloon wisk I bought at Wal-Mart.

I have an electric drill for kitchen use only.
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:50 PM   #18
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I use Post-it notes to label containers for freezing. Easy on. Easy off.
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:12 PM   #19
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I have to think of a unique way to use something, but in the mean time, I'm getting some great ideas.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:52 AM   #20
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I use a wine bottle for my "Rolling Pin". Don't do a lot of baking, so it's more than sufficient. I fill it 75-80% of the way with water and freeze it when making crusts for pie to keep the butter cold (I cork the end of it). Works for me anyways...
I'm also a post-it note fanatic. I keep one on the fridge for recording things I run out of. It's a self-generating grocery list for staples.

I also love those Ziploc containers. I must have 50-60 various ones in one of my cupboards neatly stacked. I like the ones with the screw-top lids, as both sizes use the same lid. Use them for freezing stocks/sauces, leftovers in the 'fridge, and even to bring bowls of cereal to work with me.

Stainless steel cups are another of my favorites. I use them as prep cups, to hold leftovers (covered with wrap/foil), and they're oven safe so I can warm up lots of things in the oven when I have it on. They're great for steaming in waterbaths too.
My 8" Chef's Knife. I'd be lost without it. Use it for almost everything!

Nick ~ "Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators." - MacGyver
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