19 Kitchen Hacks

When it's time to cook for you and your bird, conquer the kitchen with these tips.

We used to call them “tips.?Now they are known as “hacks.?Either way, if you spend any time in the kitchen whether cooking for your birds or your family, you might find these time-saving hacks useful.

Bathe fresh berries in vinegar water to prevent mold (also helps remove pesticide residue)

Store apples and potatoes together: Ethylene gas from apples keeps potatoes from sprouting.

Wrap celery in foil: It?l keep for up to a month this way. Works for broccoli too.

Measure sticky stuff without the mess: Coat a measuring cup or spoon with hot water or a dab of cooking oil (or spray) before measuring sticky substances such as molasses or honey. The heat or oil will help it slide right off and into a mixing bowl without leaving any behind.

Deal with hard-to-open jars: To open a stuck jar lid, wrap the lid with a rubber band and give it another try. The band will provide extra traction. If that? still not enough (or your hands hurt too much), cover the rubber-banded top with a dishtowel, and try again.

Prevent pots from boiling over: Prevent over boiling by placing a wooden spoon across a pot. Because wood is not a good material for conducting heat, the hot water won? boil over.

Save fresh herbs for later use: Use an ice-cube tray or muffin tin to freeze fresh chopped herbs in water, olive oil, or stock for later use as a seasoning agent.

Extend nuts?shelf life: Freeze shelled nuts to preserve their natural oils (which may go rancid at room temperature over time).

Clean cast iron without causing rust: Scrubbing cast iron with soapy water is a no-no (it?l strip away the seasoning on the pan built up from all those recipes you cooked). Instead, clean cast iron with a salt scrub to remove stuck on bits of food.

Bring new life to wooden spoons: When wooden spoons don? exactly look (or smell) like they used to, boil them in a pot of water and leave them lying in the sun to dry.

Keep wooden cutting boards looking new: Scrub a wooden cutting board with coarse salt and massage with half a lemon to clean away food particles and food smells. Rub the board with food grade mineral oil (find it at a hardware store) to condition the wood once a month.

Keep sponges dry: Use a binder clip (upside down) to keep a kitchen sponge upright so it dries faster and stays ick-free for longer. Decreasing moisture in the sponge means germs, mold, and stink have less of a chance to build up.

Put an end to slippery cutting boards: Place a damp (not sopping) dish towel underneath a cutting board to keep it from slipping and sliding across the kitchen countertop.

De-crust a microwave: Soak a sponge in water, pop it in the microwave, and let it cruise around the turntable for a minute. This double-whammy hack loosens all that gross caked on stuff inside the microwave (making it easier to wipe away later) plus it helps disinfect the sponge.

Clean fruit and veggies without harsh chemicals: Scrub fresh produce with a mixture of baking soda and water to remove grit, grime and pesticides.

Hull strawberries: Use a straw to hull strawberries. Press a straw through the bottom of a strawberry until it breaks through the top and takes the hull ?or the white part of the center of the berry ?with it. Remove any remaining leaves with your fingers.

Pit cherries with ease: Place cherries on top of an empty beer bottle, one at a time, and use a chopstick to push the pit into the bottle.

Easily scoop out squash seeds: Scoop seeds from vegetables such as squash and pumpkin with an ice cream scoop. Because the edge of the scoop is sharp, it cuts through the fibery, gooey stuff inside the squash easier than your hand or a regular spoon.

Avoid plastic wrap disasters: Had enough of wrangling plastic wrap? Store the roll in the fridge to store leftovers with less of a hassle. Chilling the wrap makes it easier to transport it from the roll to your bowl.

If you have any great hacks, please share them in the comments section!

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