Have you ever made a mistake in the kitchen you felt you couldn’t fix? Have no fear… Help is here! These crafty, secret, generations-old family kitchen rescue secrets will sort out your most common cooking problems:
1. If you’ve put too much salt into your cooking all is not lost! Pop large chunks of regular white potato into the pot for 15mins… the potatoes will absorb the salt & then when you take them out you’ll have got rid of your extra salt! Clever, huh?
2. Want to stop your avocados from going brown? Squeeze some lime on or put them into ice water for a couple mins…
3. Has your champagne lost its sparkle? Pop a bit of sweet dried fruit into the bottle and the bubbles will come back! Those fantastic fruit sugars do the trick!
4. Secret Italian tomato tip: never put tomatoes in the fridge – the cold alters the texture, the taste and overall fabulousness of this fruity veg!
5. Cooking secrets: if your veggies have wilted… Fear not! Put them into cold, ice water which’ll rehydrate them!
6. Too much moisture causes your vegetables to rot… So to slow down the decomposition, put kitchen towels in your crisper! They’ll absorb the extra moisture.
7. Do your hands smell of onion & garlic? Put your fingers under running water while rubbing them on stainless steel. This binds the sulfur compounds that cause those pesky, long lasting smells.
8. Your limes or lemons not giving enough juice? Roll ’em on your counter top to get ’em primed for squeezin!
9. Top secret way to peel ginger… Use the sharp edges of a teaspoon it works!
10. Want your bananas to ripen quickly? Need to use them as soon as possible but they’re still green? Put them in a paper bag (not plastic) overnight with an apple. The ethylene gas will help them to ripen.
If you’re worried your bananas are getting too ripe and you need a way to slow down the ripening process… simply separate the banana stems. This works because the bananas alone also produce lots of ethylene gas that promotes ripening. When you separate the bananas, you reduce the amount of ethylene gas each banana is exposed to.
And what if you’ve missed the boat and your bananas are officially ‘overripe’? Take the skins off and freeze them. They’ll be great for smoothies later!
11. Kitchen cooking secret tip: if you want to brown something, don’t add any stock and don’t stir it! Liquid and movement don’t help browning or caramelization…
12. Before you serve hot food… Take a few minutes to heat your plates up in the oven! The same goes for cold food – put your plates in the freezer!
14. When you are freezing soup make sure you cool it before you put it in the freezer so it freezes more quickly. This’ll give you smaller ice crystals which makes for a better texture when you come to defrost and reheat the soup.
15. Clever way to quickly and efficiently wash baby ‘new’ potatoes: get a container with airtight top, put the tiny potatoes in and half fill the container with water. Once you’ve done that all you need to do is shake the container and hey presto… Clean baby potatoes!
16. Got old eggs in the fridge and you’re not sure if they’ve gone off? Put ’em in a bowl of water. If they float, they’re bad. And if they sink, they’re good and all’s well with the world!