Monthly Archives: June 2016

Kitchen tips and kitchen blips

From my kitchen lips
To your kitchen ears,
I share with you a list
From the past year:
Kitchen tips and kitchen blips.

Good things come in threes,
Melt and melt and sauce,
Take the heat a piece,
And cut your losses:
The truth is in the reading.

Which brings me to the following,
One and two and three,
Each with a tip, and
Each with a blip:
Now for all to see.


The hot air vent: yes, located just below the “FRIGIDAIRE”

1) Did you know: You can use the hot air that comes out of the oven vent for more than just passively heating your kitchen??

Kitchen tip: When making pumpkin bread (or zucchini bread or lemon pound cake or the like) and waiting for the oven to preheat, you can put your 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan under the vent, and the hot air will melt a small tab of butter for you, for easy greasing and flouring of the pan.

Kitchen blip: You could also put your salad spinner under the hot air vent as a way to speed the drying process and save time, but then you might, well, happen to melt the plastic such that the the spinner no longer spins.


My replacement Oxo Good Grips salad spinner that a friend gave me, same model as the original

2) Did you know: You can use the stove-top’s flat surface for more than just cooking food??

Kitchen tip: When doing the dishes, and when the dish-drying rack is full (and when the rest of the counter is covered with starter houseplants growing in pots), you can set the extra dishes on the stove-top as another place to let them dry.

Kitchen blip: This might seem like a good idea, and it is, most of the time. When it is not a good idea is when you might, well, mean to turn on the front burner but instead turn on the back one, which is fine until you realize you have a glass dish with a plastic lid sitting on the burner in the back.




He’s not much, but he’s my plastic horseshoe crab

3) Did you know: Vodka sauce isn’t too difficult to make??

Kitchen tip: All you need is vodka, tomato sauce, heavy cream, and some other ingredients. And a little practice, to figure out the right amount of vodka, when to add it, and how long to simmer it off for.

Kitchen blip: Vodka sauce can help make a meal feel higher class – and penne vodka would go great with a big Italian-themed dinner, like the big fundraising dinner I did two weeks ago for the Anchor House. Vodka sauce can only help in this regard when it makes an appearance though, rather than remaining in the fridge because you might have, well, added too much vodka at the beginning or not let it simmer long enough.


The vodka sauce, adjusted later for personal consumption

When I tasted the sauce while it was in progress, I thought, “Hmmm, it’s got a little too much vodka taste…I know, I’ll add some more crushed tomatoes!” I didn’t want to throw it away and start over, so rather than doing that and cutting my losses, I…cut my losses by adding more tomatoes. And then I added some more tomatoes. And some more after that. But it wasn’t working.

So into the fridge it went to stay,
Until I had more time another day.

When I came back to it a few days later, I found myself rewriting the script. This time rather than cutting my losses, I cut my gains. I started with some new crushed tomatoes, and then I added a smaller amount of the not-quite-right-yet vodka sauce to it. With some trial and error, I figured out that in this case, I needed 2 parts new tomatoes to 1 part old vodka sauce. Which is to say: I found my gains by starting a-gain, and the result wasn’t perfect, but it was perfectly post-party edible. And now, in the freezer at work (the one at home is full), I’ve got approximately 64 ounces of new vodka sauce, ready to go.

Which is also to say, bonus tip! Aka kitchen tip reiteration:

With practice, play, and iteration,
The over-taste, it comes and goes,
Have faith in trials and taste-sensations,
And tomatoes placed with some knowing.

And okay, what the heck, one more 🙂

Bonus: Kitchen tip and kitchen blip: There are many places in the kitchen you could place the plastic wrap. On top of the stove’s back panel works, but a little down below? Not so much.



I mentioned that hot air vent thing, right???

Yes, a final kitchen tip,
And also kitchen blip,
As shared and told,
In words and pics.