Thursday, December 03, 2009

Everything in Place

We can take some fiddly work off our shoulders when we make good use of our freezers. Use ice-cube trays for decanting lemon juice (1 cube = juice of half a lemon). Or tomato puree (one cube = 1 tablespoon). Even reducing home-made chicken stock and freezing that to make 'stock cubes'. The ends of a bottle of wine can be frozen, each cube probably equals 1 tablespoon.
Once the cubes are frozen, pop them out of the tray and into a bag.

Also keep bags of pastry mix, crumble mix, scone the freezer ready to use. Again saves time having to make from scratch.
When cooking, whenever you can, try to think ahead, plan ahead, and be as professional as possible. After that it is easy-peasy.

Here are some tips for the use of kitchen foil.

Line cake tins with foil instead of greasing. Less messy and easier to remove cakes from tin (but this depends upon what type of cake you are baking).
Cracked eggs can be boiled if they are first tightly wrapped in foil to prevent the whites escaping.
Crumple foil and use as a filler for pastry cases when baking 'blind'.
Foil can be folded into strong strips to make 'slings' for lifting basins out of boiling water when steaming puds.
Meringues and biscuits won't stick if you line the baking tins with foil.
Line grill pans with foil to catch food drips and save washing up.
Instant table mats can be made for hot dishes by covering cardboard with foil.
Brown sugar will stay moist if the bag is wrapped tightly in foil.
Re-cover old cake boards with foil to make them look as good as new. OR make your own cake boards by covering several thicknesses of card cut to required shape, with foil.
Refresh a stale loaf (or rolls) by sprinkling with water, wrapping loosely in foil, and heating at 190C - gas 5 for about 15 minutes.
Melon that has been cut before it's ripe can be wrapped in foil, the left to ripen without discoloration.
Pan scourers can be made by crumpling used bits of foil to make a pad.