A short time ago I posted a nice list of helpful cooking tips and kitchen tips right here on this blog. And you, the public, responded with a plethora of e-mails, cards and letters demanding "More! More!"
Well, actually, it was more like a stray comment here or there. Something more akin to: "What? Is that it?" or "Is that all you got?"
My answer? A resounding NO! Here's eight more!
Now, keep those cards and letters coming.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO USE THE WORD 'PLETHORA'
You can pretty much discount the credibility of anyone who uses the word 'plethora' in any form of written or oral communication. If they use it twice in the same communication, you will be absolved if you hunt them down and beat them repeatedly with a Roget's Thesaurus.
When microwave ovens were introduced they were supposed to revolutionize our culinary lives. Manufacturers claimed they would do everything except crush garlic and wash dishes. I have owned a microwave for over three decades and am convinced it is good for only four things: popping bags of popcorn, defrosting or cooking frozen veggies, reheating last night's dinner for lunch, and taking up three square feet of precious counter space. (Reports that it can also dry wet cats are purely speculative).
WHEN DINNER GUESTS SHOW UP EARLY
Many of us make a real effort to show up for a dinner party a little later than when we are told to arrive. This is good form. However, there is a very small minority who insist on showing up early. Sometimes very early. When these socially-inept morons arrive while you are finishing a sauce or fluffing the rice, throw some sliced onions in a skillet with some olive oil and saute them. The aroma will drive them nuts and they will drool uncontrollably, which is always good for a few laughs. (Oh, and be sure to pour some of your cheap wine in a carafe and set it out. Save the good stuff for those guests who have the good sense to show up at the right time).
KEEPING YOUR FRIDGE SMELLING FRESH
Placing an open box of baking soda in the back of the fridge to keep it odor-free is a strategy that has been handed down from great-grandparents to grandparents to parents. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work. Here is the best way to keep your fridge odor-free: Make sure all of your food is tightly-wrapped, throw out the veggies that are starting to rot, and clean the refrigerator every now and then with soap and water. I know it's more work than putting a little yellow box on the shelf, but this technique actually works.
Removing chicken skin with your bare fingers works just fine with the first piece. After that they get so slimy you may as well have had them dipped in oil. Instead, use a paper towel to grasp the skin and then toss the paper towel when you're done. No muss. No fuss.
QUICK THAWING STEAKS AND CHOPS
The quickest way to thaw frozen steaks and chops is to place them unwrapped in a heavy aluminum skillet or baking pan (the heavier and thicker, the better) at room temperature. You'll be amazed at how quickly they defrost. Of course, thicker roasts and chicken should only be defrosted in the fridge.
COOKING FRESH SPINACH
A pound of fresh spinach looks like it could feed a small army but when it cooks down it only yields about one cup. Keep that in mind when you're out shopping.
LATE NIGHT GADGET INFOMERCIALS
The effectiveness of any gadget advertised on a late night infomercial is diminished in proportion to the amount of airtime said infomercial expends.