Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Food Week


By Reena Nerbas


Be a Chef without Chef School, with the help of these easy tips!

·        To prevent eyes from tearing while cutting onions; run the tap water beside where you are standing. Or fill your mouth with water while chopping. Or hold an unlit wooden matchstick between your teeth while cutting onions.

·        After cutting green onions, save the bulb ends. Drop the bulbs into water and they will regrow three additional times.

·        You have noticed that the homemade soup you are cooking is too salty. Drop a tablespoon of honey into the soup to reduce saltiness. Or drop a raw potato into the soup pot to absorb salt; mash the potato into the soup after it is cooked or remove the potato and compost.

·        Less work before serving time. Mash potatoes about an hour ahead of time. Then put them into a slow cooker, on low.

·        Liven up garlic mashed potatoes. Add a heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa; mash into a pot of 10 boiled potatoes. Delicious.

·        Substitute water with the same amount of warm orange soda when baking bread. The bread finishes with a delicious taste and rich color (great for pizza crust as well).

·        Before company arrives; freeze lemon slices and water into ice cube trays. When guests are thirsty, pop a lemon cube into each water glass.

·        Before company arrives; pre-scoop ice cream. Place scoops onto cookie sheets and store in the freezer. When dessert time comes around, serving is a snap.

·        Cook pasta one minute less than the given instructions. Drain pasta and pour sauce into pan, add pasta and cook for one more minute.

·        Make rich, creamy salad dressing a little healthier. Substitute half of the mayonnaise with Greek style yogurt.

·        Add flavor to any meat by preparing it with a sprinkling of sugar (among additional spices).

·        Marinade pot roast in balsamic vinegar before cooking. Tasty!

·        Warm up unflavored gelatin mixture only until the gelatin dissolves. If the mixture boils, the gelatin will not set.

·        Save leftover cooked salmon and add it to breakfast scrambled eggs the next morning. Add dill or chives for extra flavor.

Feedback from Reader:

Dear Reena,

In reference to the question Maney had about repairing rope. It wasn’t clear what type of ‘rope’ (hemp/ sisal, nylon, polyester) he was asking about. During my time in the Army, ‘ropes’ of nylon or a combination of polyester/nylon were repaired by burning/ searing the end.  First you used duct tape to wrap the last bit of rope (the good portion) above where you were going to cut it, make the cut at the tape, and then using a match, lighter, or torch, sear the end closed. The rope will burn like a candle so rotate it to keep the flame even and once the end is blackened and appears sealed blow the flame out.  Cheers, Hugh

P.S. I liked the shoe-stretching idea in the same column.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

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