I’m sorry it’s been over a week since I last blogged. I had a migrate headache.
No. Not migraine.
You see, my mind has a habit of wandering, but occasionally it migrates. Sometimes it migrates so far I often fear I will lose it. Such was the case this past week.
While my mind was gone, I had some time to reflect. Here’s what I realized: I promised my blog readers timesaving kitchen tips and helpful cooking hints.
See? It’s right up there in the masthead.
Unfortunately, I haven’t lived up to my promise.
Sure, I’ve dished up some winsome commentary, lots of buffoonery, and a couple of good recipes, but there’s been a dearth of tips.
But wouldn't you know it? When my mind returned, it had in it's possession a bevy of kitchen tips. Here’s a good half-dozen, in no particular order.
CHOPPING ONIONS WITHOUT TEARS
A good way to avoid tears when chopping onions is to use a very sharp knife. You see, when we chop onions we damage cells and release sulfuric compounds and enzymes that are normally separate when the onion is intact. These compounds and enzymes combine to create thiopropanal sulfoxide, the substance that irritates our eyes. Using a dull knife damages more cells and thus creates more thiopropanal sulfoxide. Using a sharp knife damages less cells, and, therefore, creates less thiopropanal sulfoxide. You'll also get your chopping out of the way quicker.
Of course, the best way to avoid tears when chopping onions is to have your spouse do it while you go out and get the mail.
TESTING THE HEAT OF A FRESH HOT PEPPER
Testing the heat level of a scotch bonnet, habernero, or even a jalapeno pepper by biting into it is not, and never will be, a good idea.
IF YOU DO BURN YOUR MOUTH ON A HOT PEPPER
Don’t reach for a glass of water; it will only make it worse. Instead, reach for some milk, yogurt or even ice cream. The casein in the dairy products attach themselves to the capsaicinoids in the hot peppers and haul them away (much like dish detergent does to grease).
SOY SAUCE, SALT, AND THE FIFTH TASTE
Contrary to the opinion of many, soy sauce is not just liquid salt. If you want to add a little 'something' to gravy, soup, or broth, reach for the soy sauce before you reach for the salt. A couple of dashes of soy sauce will add what the Japanese call umami, the fifth taste we can perceive after sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Give it a shot.
SAVING FRESH HERBS
So you bought a bunch of parsley for a recipe that called for 2 teaspoons. What do you do with the rest? One option is to place the remainder in a glass with water covering the roots. Set it in the fridge, replacing the water occasionally, and it’ll keep for a good while. If you don’t plan on using a lot in the short term, go ahead and chop all of your parsley (basil, cilantro, sage, etc) and place a tablespoon in each compartment of an ice cube tray. Add just enough water to cover and freeze. Then pop the cubes out into a baggie, label it, and toss it back into the freezer. Now when you need a ‘fresh’ herb for a stew, soup, or sauce, grab a cube out of the freezer and toss it in.
SEX AND CHOCOLATE
If someone declares that a certain brand of chocolate is better than sex, they are lying.