On a lazy Sunday a few months ago, our dear Heather posed an idle question the Foundry-Universe via the wild ethers of the internet:
Do you have any HOT TIPS for Ruby? Little homemaking tips and tricks maybe your grandma taught you, or your funky uncle, or your neighbor down the street?
She asked and you, darling geniuses of the Foundry-verse, DELIVERED. The old-wives/new-partners/beloved-grandmas/next-door-neighbor/funky-uncles tales literally came pouring in and we were absolutely gobsmacked, overcome with joy and possibility!
Our first installment of community-sourced tips'n'tricks focused on cleaning. You can find them all here—and they were so great we adopted some of them into our routines immediately (see: snow-cleaning wool blankets). But, in the ways of wise tipsters/folks who love bacon *almost* as much as Ruby does, reams of ingenious kitchen + cooking tips also wafted into our DM's like the smell of small loaves baking in perfectly seasoned pans. As we're all exhausting our pantries and spending endless hours being our own restauranteurs these days, it felt like the perfect time to share your crowd-sourced helpful time-savers and deliciousness maximizers:
HOT COOKING + KITCHEN TIPS STRAIGHT FROM THE FOUNDRY-VERSE
We received many variations on "Make Bacon In The Oven + Save The Fat"
- use a broiler pan so that the grease drips into the reservoir and bacon gets crispier faster
- use a metal cooling rack in a sheet pan to get the same effect
- or, for those looking for more specific instructions: put the above pan set-ups in a cold oven, set to 400 and set a timer for 20 minutes
- or just broil it for, like, 5 minutes
- put brown sugar and chili on bacon in the oven
- save bacon fat for crisping tortillas
- save the bacon grease for Ruby
- save bacon grease to pop stovetop popcorn
- grill bacon outside if you can't stand the smell in the house (Ruby does not approve this message but Anna might).
DON'T BE BITTER:
- Putting a pinch of salt in coffee grounds before brewing takes the bitterness out.
- Putting cucumbers in milk gets rid of bitterness.
- Adding salt to a grapefruit neutralizes bitterness.
KEEP THINGS FRESH:
- Put the stem of vegetables (like broccoli or asparagus) in a glass of water in the fridge like they're a bouquet of flowers to keep fresh longer. The same goes for cilantro and parsley (bonus points for covering with a plastic bag to keep from wilting), also works with basil on the counter.- Put vegetables like carrots, radishes, and celery (sans greens, not potatoes) in a bath of cold water to revive and keep crisp.- Save fresh herbs by finely chopping them and putting in ice cube trays with olive oil and freezing (the same works for pesto, put hot pasta on top of a cube, mix, and voila!)
- Add a piece of bread or a marshmallow to the top of your sugar/brown sugar container to keep the sugar soft and scoopable.
- Our CSA taught us to put a paper towel in a bag of leafy greens! Keeps 'em fresh longer! Foundry Note: for those cutting down on disposables, using a linen napkin/cloth definitely works as well as a paper towel, but, full disclosure...the greens can occasionally stain.
- Store hard greens (kale, collards etc) in a pillowcase (or rolled up in a tea towel or cloth) in the fridge to keep them fresh.
- Store leftover avocado/guacamole with the avocado pit in the fridge to keep it from browning.
- Keeping the onion root intact when chopping minimizes tears and also helps it hold its shape while dicing and slicing.
- Chop and freeze onions and throw them right into the pan as you need them.
- Store scallions with roots in water near sunlight, even after cutting. They'll re-grow and you'll get more scallions.
- Treat bread pans like cast iron: don't wash them with soap. The seasoning helps bread pop right out.
- Crumple your parchment paper to get it to lay flat in cake pans.
- Never throw out butter wrappers, keep them in the fridge and use them to grease pans.
- Reheat pizza in a covered, dry cast iron or dutch oven on the stovetop.
- Invest in a pizza cutter. Or, cut pizza with scissors.
- Use leftover pizza to make croutons.
- Don't cook your lasagna noodles before making lasagna. Layer up dry and pour water around the edges and in corners.
- Massage raw kale plain (or add oil and salt) to make it tender.
- Puree a peeled garlic bulb in a tablespoon of olive oil and keep in a jar in the fridge for whenever a recipe calls for chopped or minced. Lasts for 2 weeks.
- Buttermilk substitute: 1tbs lemon juice in a cup of milk. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Peel ginger with the blunt edge of a spoon.
- Put a matchstick in the boiling water when making soft boiled eggs (Foundry Note: we had to look this one up because what?! and YES super old-school advice! A wooden matchstick helps keep whites from oozing out if an egg happens to crack while boiling).
- Flick an apple to tell how crunchy it is. The higher pitched the sound, the better.
Are you inspired? Hungry? BOTH? Sending blessings for quick, delicious dinners and produce that lasts for weeks!
Also, if you have a burning HOT TIP to share and didn't get a chance to share on the original post, drop it for us here in the comments! We're collecting useful favorites for future necessary reference!
Want more? We've got some longer-form how to's/tips + tricks right this way...