Time-saving Kitchen Hints

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Blender Hint

This hint was discovered out of necessity.  I purchased a new blender, but the glass base was so top-heavy and spilled every time I tried to pour out of it.  Out of exasperation one day, I put the blender gasket and blade upside down onto a quart jar.  It fit!  I then screwed the base onto the mouth of the jar over the blade, flipped the jar upside down, and it worked beautifully on my blender.  What time saver for smoothies and salad dressings! 

Use caution if blending something hot - you need a lot of head space because of air expansion.  I have found that most blenders are standard size and work with mason jars.  If you can find two-quart jars with a regular-sized mouth, these work great for smoothies.

 

Stock Hint

Bone broths are a very nourishing food.  If you make and freeze stocks, you can freeze small quantities by pouring some stock into ice cube trays.  Store in the freezer in a ziploc bag, and grab when you only need a little bit of stock for a recipe.  Limited on freezer space?  Let your stock reduce on the stovetop until 3/4 of the water has boiled out, and then freeze.  A pint of frozen reduced stock can then be reconstituted with water to make 2 quarts of stock for soup.

 

Kombucha Hint

You can save yourself time if you only boil half the required water when making kombucha.  Just remember to add the full amount of sugar and tea.  Let steep for a half hour, then pour the concentrated mixture into your brewing jar.  You can then add the remaining half of the water, and your tea will cool much quicker.

 

Fresh Ginger Hint

Do you love fresh ginger but find that it goes soft before you can use it all?  Here are a couple suggestions.  Cut your fresh ginger into approximate 1-inch pieces.  Throw them into the Vitamix and puree with a small amount of liquid (no need to peel them).  Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and freeze.  When frozen, store in ziploc bags.  Or, if you do not own a Vitamix or other strong blender, you can peel your fresh ginger and freeze.  Then when needed, you can grate the frozen ginger with a hand grater - as much as you need, and put the unused ginger back in the freezer.