We watch hosts on cooking shows and see them going through a number of fancy looking dishes without looking harried…and you wonder how you cannot get through a simple meal of rice without have starchy water spilling on your cooker, or your fingers from feeling the burning sensation after cutting fresh peppers, or the disaster of breaking eggs over fancifully sautéed mixed vegetables to impress someone special, and the rotten smell of eggs puts a damper on your day. We know, it happens to several other people too! However, what reduces the risk of kitchen ‘incidents’ happening to these TV personalities, and even our more experienced mothers and grandmothers is years of mastery and acquisition of tips and tricks learned from others. Here are a few tricks that would give you less things to be upset about!
- Rubbing salt and oil on your hands before cutting hot peppers can prevent you from getting hot pepper hands.
- To test the freshness of your eggs, drop them in about 4-5 inches of water. The fresher ones will sink to the bottom, while the less-fresh ones tip up or get floatier (based on how stale they are.
- One other way besides cocoyam, to use to thicken your stew is with good ol’ oats. Yes, those same oats. Just stir it in a little in the watery base and keep cooking your soup as usual.
- In your Abacha dishes, you can substitute your Akaun with baking soda.
- To reduce the stress of hand peeling beans, you can use your blender or food processor. Fill your blender with half level, and half level water. Just soak your beans for about a minute, then transfer to your blender. Pulse for about 2-3 seconds on average speed about twice or thrice…Then rinse out and repeat process till your satisfied.
- Drop raw potato(es) in salty dish to absorb saltiness
- Mistakenly blended your akara with too much water. Fret not, just add a bit of semovita to preferred thickness and carry on as usual.
- Pick up pieces of egg shell that have made it to your bowl of raw eggs with anther egg shell. What happens is the shell in the egg stick to the one outside the bowl, helping it perform pretty much like a magnet
- Put cut slices of yams and potatoes covered in water to prevent it from turning brown before cooking.
- Plug an ant hole in your kitchen or window sill with some petroleum jelly. Or ‘vaseline’ as we like to call it
- Keep some potted Aloe Vera plants handy in your kitchen as first aid for kitchen burns
- Store your potatoes with apples (about 1 apple to 2.5kg potatoes) to keep them from budding or sprouting
- To prevent having to heat up an entire big bowl of soups or stews each time you want to have some, batch them in zipper bags in the quantity you would ordinarily consume before freezing. If you don’t want to spend money on Zipper bags, small nylons would do.
And just because you’re that special, here’s an extra tip
- To reuse oil without any hint of previous flavor, drop in a piece of ginger.