You know I hate to waste stuff and love to recycle when I can. So I crafted this Christmas wreath of red plastic netting from grocery store produce. (Photo by Laura Groch)
I had to show you my colorful Christmas wreath. Look closely, and you’ll see it’s made of the red plastic netting that my grocery store uses to package for-quick-sale fruits and veggies. I had been saving these lengths of netting for something — I wasn’t quite sure what, but I knew it would be good for something besides scrubbing — and then hit upon the idea of a wreath.
I already had an empty wreath form — two concentric wire circles, held together by some other welding — and basically just knotted the lengths of netting together as I wrapped them around the wreath form. That was step one.
“Best by” dates aren’t absolutes. Most canned foods are perfectly fine for up to five years. (Photo by Laura Groch)
For the past three months, I’ve been feeding myself poison.
That is, if you count “Use by,” “Best by” and “Sell by” dates as absolutes when it comes to wholesome food.
Obviously, I don’t.
We’ve recently seen stories about how wasteful Americans are with their food, and how Continue reading
Build up the edge of the pie crust to help keep the uncooked filling (pecan pie here) from spilling as you maneuver it into the oven. Photo by Laura Groch
We’re coming up on prime holiday cooking season, so I wanted to share a couple of thrifty-nifty hints today.
• The first one is about baking, and more specifically, pie crusts. I have made my share of pies, and while they usually turn out pretty well, getting custard-type pies, like, well, custard, or pumpkin, or pecan into the oven without spilling the filling can be a bit fraught.
It dawned on me one day that things didn’t have to be that precarious. I’m not a huge fan Continue reading
A chip clip works to block off your computer camera.
Worried about someone peering at you through your computer’s built-in camera eye? Don’t mess with sticky tape-and-paper solutions. Just grab a chip clip from the kitchen drawer and pop it over the camera! Easy to remove and easy to remember — just clip it to something else you’re using (like your carry bag or sunglasses strap) to keep it nearby.
(c) copyright 2016 Laura Groch
Marking dates on cans and bottles as they come into the pantry helps you keep rotating the older items to the front. Photo by Laura Groch
We’re well past the holiday hangover, but perhaps still paying the bills for it. I’m thinking we’re overdue for some Thrifty/Nifty tips to help make shopping and managing a kitchen a little easier:
— Look high when you choose produce, especially when it’s piled high and deep. The stuff at the front, which is within everyone’s reach, is what’s been handled most. Reach farther back, or higher, in the pile to choose a pear or tomato or head of lettuce that hasn’t been bruised and battered by everyone else.
— Remember to look low on store shelves. We naturally scan shelves at eye level, Continue reading
Two Revere Ware lids are among the potential finds at this local thrift store. Photo by Laura Groch
It’s frustrating to break the glass lid of a Corningware or Calphalon pot, or lose a kitchen utensil to the chaos of the office potluck. But you might not have to lay out big money to buy replacement pieces.
If you’ve got some thrift stores in your city or town, you’d be surprised at the kitchen items you can find there for pennies. Caveat emptor (oh, look it up): The pieces might have some small chips or dings or dents in them that don’t affect Continue reading
Fill a jug with water as you wait for it to warm up (or cool down). Use that water elsewhere instead of sending it down the drain. (Photo by Laura Groch)
Water conservation is a big deal right now in California, but no matter where you live, we can probably agree that no one wants (or needs) higher water bills. Here are a few painless ways I save water in the kitchen that might work for you:
The first tool in my arsenal is an empty milk jug. Next time you empty a gallon milk or orange juice container (or a half-gallon one, whatever), rinse it out and keep it by the sink. (If you have room, keep a couple there.) Next time you need to run the water until it’s hot (or cold), capture that water in the jugs. Use it later to fill pasta pots, coffeemakers, the dog’s dish, etc. (Or keep a few filled jugs under the sink to add to your earthquake supplies.)