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Finding Kitchen Solutions

Becky Low from the Dairy Farmers of Utah finds solutions for many of the problems you could encounter.

Frozen Cheese and Milk

Thaw milk in refrigerator, shake or stir well to mix in any separated cream

Cheese crumbles when frozen; shred before freezing or crumble after thawing for use in cooking

Keeping Knives Sharp

Use proper cutting boards (wood first, plastic next, ceramic or glass or stainless least preferred)

Proper cleaning (avoid dishwasher, strong chemicals, soaking, bumping the blade)

Proper storage (in a knife block, on a cotton towel)

Do not use knives as a screwdriver or hammer

Chopping Onions – without crying

Key – reduce the fumes from the bulb or root of onion

Chill onion in freezer before cutting; cut near a draft or fan; cut onion under water; soak onion in water before cutting; wear contact lens; remove the onion root or shoot first; wear goggles

Chopping Hot Peppers – without the burn

Wear plastic gloves – plastic disposable, sandwich bags, grocery bags

Turn plastic sandwich bag inside out, use bag to hold pepper while chopping, scoop chopped pepper inside and turn bag right side out enclosing chopped pepper inside.

Stop Cutting Boards and Pastry Mats from slipping

Place a damp paper towel under the board/mat

Place board/mat on rubber bands

Remove Excess Fat from Drippings

Pour drippings into a paper cup and allow fat to surface to the top of the cup. Hold cup over a bowl; using a skewer, poke a hole in the bottom of the cup and allow drippings to drain from the cup. When fat is all that remains in the cup, place skewer back in cup to plug up the hole until the cup and fat can be discarded.

Fresh Ginger, storing and grating

Freeze whole ginger, when ready to use remove from freezer and grate while still frozen

Spice Substitutions (for 1 teaspoon equivalent)

Allspice: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.

Apple Pie Spice: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom + 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice.

Mace: 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice.

Substitution chart for alternate spices

Herbs – Fresh vs Dried

Approximately 1 teaspoon dried herb for every 3 teaspoons fresh chopped herb

Eggshells in the Batter

Avoid getting shells in the batter – crack eggs in separate bowl (most preferred method)

Use a larger egg shell to scoop up smaller shells fragments from the bowl

Shells sink to bottom – bake the cake, turn upside down and remove the shell (least preferred method)

A good resource for kitchen solutions: “834 Kitchen Quick Tips” from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated

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