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Old 08-16-2014, 04:34 PM   #481
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When a recipe calls for grated zest, I get the last remnants from the grater out by using a clean toothbrush.

Descaling fish: I tend to do this by placing the fish inside a large plastic bag and descaling with a knife in the sink area.

Recrisping a baguette. Often I find it is not crusty enough for me so I preheat the grill, lower the rack and place the baguette under the
grill, having lowered the setting. It needs to be watched carefully as it can quickly burn. If the baguette is a day old, I find that very quickly handling it with wetted hands affords a softening effect which refreshed the bread when grilled.
Good tip re: the baguette. Just for clarity, British grilled = American broiled.
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:53 PM   #482
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Bicarbonate of soda/"bicarb"/baking soda is the 8th wonder of the world.

- removes smells from thermos flasks, the 'fridge, carpets when puppies or kittens or babies have accidents (put it on the dry carpet if smells linger after normal cleaning) and if someone in your household has stinky feet a scattering of bicarb will make their shoes more family friendly
- scours tea or coffee stains from cups, stains or burn marks on enamel surfaces or anywhere that would be damaged by harsher methods and cleans the inside of the fridge or freezer without leaving a chemical smell.
- a paste made with water soothes bee stings and insect bites (but not wasp stings), ulcers in the mouth (honey does this as well) and minor burns including sunburn (NB I said minor burns! - don't put anything other than cold water on any burn that needs the ER)
- it boosts the action of your washing machine detergent
- freshens up stale smelling sponges, cleaning cloths etc.
- clean your teeth with it if you run out of toothpaste, a mouthwash of bicarb & water deals with bad breath, soak your dentures overnight in a solution of bicarb and water to clean and remove nasty niffs
- a paste of bicarb and water will serve as an underarm deodorant in an emergency
- if you live out in the sticks and off mains drainage you can safely use bicarb to clean and deodorise your sink drain as it doesn't upset your septic tank
- It's cheaper than and as effective as any cleaner you can find on the supermarket shelves and does less harm to the environment.

I could go on all night about the marvels of baking soda.!
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:57 PM   #483
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Great list Mad Cook!

I would just add that using bicarb instead of a toothpaste also helps to whiten teeth (it is an ingredient in many tooth whiteners). Also helps rid of teeth stains from drinking tea and coffee. Tastes disgusting but does the job.
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:06 PM   #484
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Great list Mad Cook!

I would just add that using bicarb instead of a toothpaste also helps to whiten teeth (it is an ingredient in many tooth whiteners). Also helps rid of teeth stains from drinking tea and coffee. Tastes disgusting but does the job.
And I forgot - dissolved in a glass of water it's a cure for heartburn.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:52 PM   #485
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My best tip is to marry someone who is willing and cheerful being your Sous Chef. I used to envy people on cooking shows who made it look so effortless to cook when they had their own Sous Chef chopping and cleaning up after them. It's sure a new cooking world to me since I married my Steve. No, he doesn't have a brother. He kills spiders for me too.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:16 PM   #486
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I'm average height, but can't spend a lot of time on my feet, so I have a pretty bar stool I sit on at the peninsula (like an island, but sticks out from the wall) for prep. It's always something, eh?
We are in the same boat. But I have a beautiful Cosco stool, the kind that has steps that come out. I got it as a gift from a DC member. I love that stool. Saves my legs many days.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:33 PM   #487
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Been doing this for so long I just never thought to pass it along.

In my area it's canning season and I do a lot of canning, which can make the kitchen hot and humid.

In my quest to tone the heat and humidity, I use my induction unit (eye) to heat the water bath canner for water bath canning and to use same canner to sterilize the jars for pressure canning.

Another of my kitchen tools I use to reduce the heat in the kitchen, is to use my electric "hot pot" to heat water that must be added to the food in the jars.

Last week I canned 20 quarts of green beans, done in two batches over two days, in no time and with little or no heat and humidity in the kitchen.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:44 AM   #488
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Been doing this for so long I just never thought to pass it along.

In my area it's canning season and I do a lot of canning, which can make the kitchen hot and humid.

In my quest to tone the heat and humidity, I use my induction unit (eye) to heat the water bath canner for water bath canning and to use same canner to sterilize the jars for pressure canning.

Another of my kitchen tools I use to reduce the heat in the kitchen, is to use my electric "hot pot" to heat water that must be added to the food in the jars.

Last week I canned 20 quarts of green beans, done in two batches over two days, in no time and with little or no heat and humidity in the kitchen.
I heat water using an individual burner on the deck. That way, I keep the heat out of the house. The DH has a stove outside in one of the outbuildings. It is the canning stove and where we roast turkey or other things in the summer to keep the heat out of the house. I also do my tomatoes out on the deck when I'm using my tomato strainer. Makes cleanup a lot easier--I just take the hose and spray down the area. Back in the olden days, many a home had a summer kitchen where canning was done. The first farm house we rented had one, it was great for canning. Our farm has an enclosed back porch, not quite a canning kitchen, but we've done a lot of cooking out there. My dad has one of those propane corn/crab pots and that is used for heating water in the summer for canning projects.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:23 AM   #489
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I heat water using an individual burner on the deck. That way, I keep the heat out of the house. The DH has a stove outside in one of the outbuildings. It is the canning stove and where we roast turkey or other things in the summer to keep the heat out of the house. I also do my tomatoes out on the deck when I'm using my tomato strainer. Makes cleanup a lot easier--I just take the hose and spray down the area. Back in the olden days, many a home had a summer kitchen where canning was done. The first farm house we rented had one, it was great for canning. Our farm has an enclosed back porch, not quite a canning kitchen, but we've done a lot of cooking out there. My dad has one of those propane corn/crab pots and that is used for heating water in the summer for canning projects.

Yes, CWS, our grill has a side burner and we also have a separate propane pot cooking unit we use for frying lots of fish, etc. We also have a great 60-foot-long roofed porch, but it's so hot here, even in the shade, that it's more comfortable canning inside. And, with my few refinements, it's not an unpleasant task.

My old house (built in 1880) that I lived in before Glenn and I married had a summer kitchen. Those structures are quite common here.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:56 PM   #490
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Lightbulb

Here in the middle of the desert, your trash could get mightily rank.
When I have garbage that can't go down the disposal
(bones, wrapping from the meats, etc.),
I put it into a plastic grocery sacks
(sometimes I forget to take my reusable bags)
tie it up good and tight
and put in the deep freezer chest until trash day.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:46 PM   #491
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I heat water using an individual burner on the deck. That way, I keep the heat out of the house. The DH has a stove outside in one of the outbuildings. It is the canning stove and where we roast turkey or other things in the summer to keep the heat out of the house. I also do my tomatoes out on the deck when I'm using my tomato strainer. Makes cleanup a lot easier--I just take the hose and spray down the area. Back in the olden days, many a home had a summer kitchen where canning was done. The first farm house we rented had one, it was great for canning. Our farm has an enclosed back porch, not quite a canning kitchen, but we've done a lot of cooking out there. My dad has one of those propane corn/crab pots and that is used for heating water in the summer for canning projects.
We had one on the farm also. It had a wood burning stove with windows on both sides that opened out and up and you put a stick there to hold it open. When canning wasn't happening, we sometimes would play in there. Of course our job was to fetch the wood that was already cut up. It was not attached to the house in case of fire.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:53 PM   #492
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Here in the middle of the desert, your trash could get mightily rank.
When I have garbage that can't go down the disposal
(bones, wrapping from the meats, etc.),
I put it into a plastic grocery sacks
(sometimes I forget to take my reusable bags)
tie it up good and tight
and put in the deep freezer chest until trash day.
We are very fortunate here regarding trash. Each floor has a trash room with five very large lined garbage cans. On the first floor is the largest trash room as it also contains the different containers for recycling. Most of the residents here do recycle. But it can be difficult at times for me to go down there on my scooter, get the door open and haul any stuff into the room. The only thing I do recycle are plastic soda bottles. I give them to my neighbor since she cashes them in for Christmas money for her grandchildren. Every morning at six a.m. the maintenance department collects all the trash from the three floors and takes it all to the very large dumpster. Even on Sundays. About two years ago we had a mouse problem. So Sunday collection was added. End of problem.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:01 PM   #493
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Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
Here in the middle of the desert, your trash could get mightily rank.
When I have garbage that can't go down the disposal
(bones, wrapping from the meats, etc.),
I put it into a plastic grocery sacks
(sometimes I forget to take my reusable bags)
tie it up good and tight
and put in the deep freezer chest until trash day.
From one desert dweller to another, I do the same thing! Been doing that for decades.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:07 PM   #494
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From one desert dweller to another, I do the same thing! Been doing that for decades.
I do that with bones after I make soup...and I'm not a desert dweller. We only have garbage pickup every other week. I compost most of my organic stuff, but not the bones because of the dogs and don't participate in the green bin program because I compost (green bin holds chicken feed). I don't want the vet bill that accompanies a dog eating turkey bones and having one pierce the intestines.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:00 AM   #495
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Question

Re: bones when making soup....mentioned in the post directly above this one - I have heard different methods. There is the 'browning' of bones in the oven method first (presumably gives a stronger flavour) but I tend to just simmer them as they are.

Anyone tried both methods? If so, how do they compare?
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:53 AM   #496
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Yes, browned bones, whether by frying, or roasting, have more flavor. With poultry bones, it is important to crack the bones, as this allows the marrow, collagen, and minerals to be released into the broth, making it both healthier, tastier, and better feeling in the mouth feel. Also, adding chopped celery while simmering the bones helps to extract nutrients and minerals, as it raises the acidity of the broth just a little bit. The celery also adds flavor. It can be removed when the broth is complete. After the broth is made, strain it, pick the bones of any remaining meat and add it back into the broth. Add the other ingredients for your soup.

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Old 08-18-2014, 01:45 PM   #497
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... The celery also adds flavor. It can be removed when the broth is complete. After the broth is made, strain it, pick the bones of any remaining meat and add it back into the broth. Add the other ingredients for your soup.
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I save the bits, roots, peelings, basically the pasts of veggies like carrots, onions, celery and parsley stems, in the freezer in ziptop bags.
When ever I make broth/stock or even poaching something, I add in those leftover veggies that might have not been used otherwise.
This imparts extra flavor.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:37 AM   #498
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I was taught by a chef to roast bones first (and crack the bones). I was also told to add a bit of vinegar when roasting the bones to extract the calcium. Not sure if it is true or not. The threads on how to make stock cover this topic. Making stock for soup is a two-stage process in my world. If I do make broth, I use one of those mesh bags for washing delicates to hold the bones...makes removing them from the broth much easier.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #499
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Just to clarify, a flavorful, nutritious liquid made by simmering meat, poultry or fish with aromatics and vegetables, or aromatics and vegetables only, is broth; when you add bones, it's stock.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:08 AM   #500
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24 Essential Kitchen Tricks and Tips from Serious Eats. Lots of great ideas here, and in the comments.
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