Less Muss, Less Fuss with These Clever Time-Saving Ideas

It’s handy, dandy tip time, thanks to a brochure of great ideas I just received from the folks at one of my favorite magazines, Mary Jane’s Farm (www.maryjanesfarm.org). These are too good to keep to myself. See if there’s anything here you didn’t already know about:

Did you know you can make your own cooking spray? I didn’t realize this until I read this tip. We can forget chemical sprays, propellants, and those disposable cans. Instead, just mix one part extra-virgin olive oil with 5 parts distilled water. Place this mixture in a spray bottle (glass is best). When needed, shake the bottle well and spritz away!

Now that jamming and canning season is upon us, so are the fruit flies. Mary Jane’s Farm says to pour some apple cider or balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Poke some holes in this wrap and place the bowl out close to where these pests seem to congregate. This mixture will attract and kill them.

Here’s a timely tip for this barbecue season. Create a non-stick grill using a potato. Preheat a clean grill until it’s HOT. Spear half a raw potato on a long barbecue fork, making sure the tines don’t poke out through the cut side of the spud. Rub the speared potato firmly over the grill, coating as much of the metal as possible. The starch from the potato will form a barrier between the grill and food (both meats and veggies), creating an easy to use non-stick surface. Who knew?

Were you aware that an over-turned ceramic mug makes a terrific knife sharpener? The unglazed ring around the bottom of the mug is much like a pumice stone, and can give a sharp edge to most knives. Hold your knife blade at about a 45-degree angle against the ring and pull it firmly along the ceramic edge from base to tip a few times on each side. It’s amazing how well this works.

A nd another idea I’d never thought of: When you’re only using egg whites in a recipe, drop the yolks into a pan of boiling water and cook them until they’re no longer runny. Then lift them from the water, allow to cool, crumble them into a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. Now you have a tasty and ready addition for your summer salads!

Speaking of eggs, if you’re a camper and you like to use fresh eggs in your camp cooking, try this: Break them into a plastic, wide-mouth thermos jug. You don’t have to baby them; just keep the container cool. The egg yolks won’t break—they won’t even separate from their own whites.

Work quicker and smarter when measuring something sticky (such as peanut butter, honey, Karo® syrup, molasses, etc.) by first rinsing your measuring cup in HOT water. Whatever sticky ingredient you’re measuring will slide right out.

And keep working quicker and smarter when chopping dried fruits, by placing them in the fridge for ½ hour first. Then cut them with a knife dipped in hot water. Less muss, less fuss.

  •   www.maryjanesfarm.org
  •   www.naturesnurtureblog.com
  •   www.suburbanturmoil.com
  •   www.icreativeideas.com
  •   www.wikihow.com
  •   www.lovefood.com
  •   www.pinterest.com
  •   www.comfybelly.com
  •   www.shutterbean.com

    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

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