Friday Links: Tips And Tricks

Unitask no more!

Hot on the heels of last Friday’s quick dinners comes links to make your work in the kitchen more effective and more enjoyable.

And BTW, I refuse to call them “hacks.” We are not breaching a firewall or pulling a McGyver here. Just making kitchen life a little easier.

TIP: Salad Spinners – Unitask No More: My kitchen is pretty small, and storage is at a premium. Because we eat our weight in salad in the spring and summer, I have a salad spinner to make washing and drying greens easier. This link was a revelation. So many of these uses seem self-evident, but if that’s the case, why am I still not doing them? This link would have been a great reminder for the 20 pounds of basil I processed into pesto last weekend. #LessonLearned.

TRICK: No Link, But Hell YEAH: Use your microplane for grating ginger and garlic. It’s for more than grating cheese and zesting lemon!

TIP: Freeze And Grate Your Butter: I have been doing this for delicate pastry for years and have recently added it to crackers for more tender cooking and more time working with the dough. The key to flaky pastry is cold, cold water and cold, cold butter. This starts you out several degrees ahead of the game.

TRICK: Throw Away Your Pot Holders: This is one of my favorite articles from Cracked, and their first tip is something I have only recently starting doing: using side towels. I have a dozen (okay, not the lint free surgical ones, but chef quality towels), and I tuck them into my apron and use them like paper towels. Not having a laundry service to come pick them up is a pain, but I plan on getting more to store in the basement for the inevitable breakdown during “service” (the towel’s, not mine). Turns out, professional cooks know what they are doing. 

TRICK: How To Sharpen Knives…Without A Sharpener: If I had known this, I would not have spent the last three years with pitifully dull (and dangerous) knives. So revelatory for me that I snuck down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to try it when I found this link during a bout of insomnia.

I am not a fan of the listicle, so tell me in the comments: what’s your favorite kitchen tip or trick?

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