Saturday, January 5, 2008

A to Z of Kitchen Tips: F is for...

  • Floors. Hard kitchen floors can be tough on the feet, legs and back when you're on your working in the kitchen. Add lots of cushy throw rugs or rubber mats, especially near work stations to relieve fatigue, or be sure to wear comfortable shoes with slip-proof soles in the kitchen.

  • Fudge. My recipe for jumblefudge is a great quick-and-easy solution using pantry items to keep the kiddies in sweets--but do you know you can also use the same recipe as a coating? Half-dip pretzels, dried apricots, cookies and whatever else your heart desires for easy fudge-coated morsels. Here's the recipe again: in the top of a double boiler,
    or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt together 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk and 2 cups milk chocolate chips; now pour into a pan or use as a coating or frosting.

  • Aluminum foil. A kitchen staple for decades, foil is a necessity in and out of the kitchen. There are literally hundreds of uses for this wonder product—here are just a few:

    (a) Make small baking vessels for roasting garlic or baking apples.

    (b) Make pan lids suitable for oven or stove-top.

    (c) Cover cookie sheets or line various baking pans to make cleanup easier.

    (d) Tent your turkey for even cooking and to shield the skin from becoming too brown too fast.

    (e) Use a pie-crust shield.

    (f) Now I know I'm not the only one who's more than a little grossed-out at the idea of using a public grill for my food--and easy-release or even regular foil is just the right barrier for me! Completely cover grill grates at public parks before cooking your food.

    (g) Clean your silver by lining the bottom of a large vessel with a piece of foil, adding baking soda and boiling water and placing your tarnished pieces in the water—the tarnish will slide off your silver and cling to the foil.

    (h) Use crumpled foil to clean residue from your grill grate: preheat grill then scrub carefully with crumpled foil (I usually hold it in a pair of extra-long grill tongs and scrub away!).

    (i) A large piece of foil under a baking pie or other spill-prone dishes will keep dribbles from burning the floor of your oven.

    (j) Use a long crumpled piece of foil to raise meat from the base of your pan while baking to let grease drip off and away. I like to do this with hamburgers or small pieces of steak.

    For more great uses for aluminum foil, visit these articles at Real Simple, Reader's Digest and

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