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Kitchen Things I Can't Believe I Didn't Know About


Katie Meadow

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Yes, it's a wide ranging topic, especially for yakkety-yakkers like most of us here. I searched various topics and nothing quite fit. It's sort of about marmalade, sort of about canning, sort of about gadgets  and hacks I didn't know existed; things I could have figured out myself but didn't, and things I could have invented if not for someone else getting there first. I considered naming the topic  " @ShelbyStart Laughing Now," but that wasn't very inclusive.

 

It is in fact about canning in general, but it's so much more. I could have posted in the marmalade thread, to which I have been a contributor. I've been making marmalade for about twenty years, ever since I discovered I was an addict. Also ever since I realized how expensive the habit could be if you purchased high end products. Also when I realized that I was really picky about the kind of marmalade I wanted. I share this addiction with my husband.

 

So every Sevi(lle season (and in these parts that is typically mid January thru March)  we collaborate on making enough jars to last for a year with extra to give away if possible. I am left-handed and many many years ago I purchased or was gifted a left handed ladle. We southpaws are flexible and have workarounds for almost every right handed gadget, but I though this was pretty great. The person who thought they were clever and about to cover a market by inventing a left handed ladle should have thought twice, really, twice. How about just adding one more spout to the right handed ladle? Of course a universal ladle exists now, but my right-handed husband is frugal and stubborn and believes in certain kinds of hardships. So he adapted. By which I mean he graciously let me do anything that involved ladling. As you probably know, marmalade is messy, sticky and very hot.  Ladling  the stuff into a canning jar with a tiny-spouted ladle  is exacting work which needs to be done quickly and without drips or burning incidents.

 

You have already guessed what this is about: the invention of the canning funnel, most likely centuries ago. Of course a typical little funnel isn't very effective  for  pouring marmalade into a jar, even a fairly fine peel marmalade. Had I ever imagined  there was a canning funnel? No, not until two weeks ago. I discovered this life hack, and I'm probably the last person in the world to do so. There are plenty to chose from on Amazon. It came the next day and we made an extra batch just because we needed to prove to ourselves just how brilliant we are.

 

 

 

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Love my canning funnel. Which reminds me, I thought I swiped a pyrex powder funnel from the lab at grad school but I haven't seen it in decades. I do have a plastic funnel with a suitably wide (insert whatever the bottom part of a funnel is called).

 

One of the best things about my canning funnel is that the bottom is designed to fit into mason jars to just the right fill depth so you know when to stop. Brilliant little detail.

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8 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

I am left-handed and many many years ago I purchased or was gifted a left handed ladle. We southpaws are flexible and have workarounds for almost every right handed gadget, but I though this was pretty great. The person who thought they were clever and about to cover a market by inventing a left handed ladle should have thought twice, really, twice. How about just adding one more spout to the right handed ladle? Of course a universal ladle exists now, but my right-handed husband is frugal and stubborn and believes in certain kinds of hardships. So he adapted. By which I mean he graciously let me do anything that involved ladling.

 

I'm another southpaw and didn't know there were universal ladles! I really need one of those. Then again, my husband would probably still graciously let me do anything that involved ladling, as well. 🙂

 

So I should maybe just go shop for a southpaw one. The only one I have is for northpaws. 

 

However, I already have canning funnels and I agree, they are pretty awesome.  😄 

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3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

I'm another southpaw and didn't know there were universal ladles! I really need one of those. Then again, my husband would probably still graciously let me do anything that involved ladling, as well. 🙂

 

So I should maybe just go shop for a southpaw one. The only one I have is for northpaws. 

 

However, I already have canning funnels and I agree, they are pretty awesome.  😄 

Truth is I don't mind being the designated ladler. Falling in love with a funnel has been great for my marriage.

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My most exciting kitchen gadget in the last few years has been this handy little pair of pliers. In fact, I have a pair of them. I bought them in a little Chinese restaurant supply store and they called them microwave grabbers.

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The closest thing that I could find to them on the Internet were these from Walmart.

They are not only great for grabbing things out of the microwave, but also for reaching down into the instant pot and for those pesky muffin pans that have no edge to grab. They have saved me from a lot of burns.

 

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3 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

My most exciting kitchen gadget in the last few years has been this handy little pair of pliers. In fact, I have a pair of them. I bought them in a little Chinese restaurant supply store and they called them microwave grabbers.

 

Those are very common here in Chinaland, but more often described as dish removers and used to lift hot  plates out of steamers.

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
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  • 1 month later...

I love poached eggs and I make them all the time.

I have had a  stove-top poacher for years.

This week I discovered Perfect Poach.

Best thing since, well, you know, only toasted.

No mess, no fuss, no d/w.

Just freakin' brilliant.

Edited by lindag (log)
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1 hour ago, lindag said:

I love poached eggs and I make them all the time.

I have had a  stove-top poacher for years.

This week I discovered Perfect Poach.

Best thing since, well, you know, only toasted.

No mess, no fuss, no d/w.

Just freakin' brilliant.

Dammit Linda.  They will be here Tuesday.

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I have had great success using the strainer method to get rid of the more "liquidy" white. Then I just dump the strained egg into a Pyrex "custard" cup" and tip it into the just- below-a simmer water.

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1 hour ago, MaryIsobel said:

I have had great success using the strainer method to get rid of the more "liquidy" white. Then I just dump the strained egg into a Pyrex "custard" cup" and tip it into the just- below-a simmer water.

That is a poached egg. Not so sure about those that do not come into direct contact with the water.  Are they really poached? Don't want to be judgemental just asking a technical question. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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On 5/2/2023 at 8:11 PM, Norm Matthews said:

Here are two grabby thingies that I have has since I can't remember when.  The upper one is specifically for grabbing hot pizza pans. It is upside down for the way it is used, the other one more general.

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Those look just like the ones we used use while backpacking. Some camp cookware doesn't have handles, to save weight. I haven't seen these in ages, and I've never seen them in a kitchen. There have been a couple of times I've gone to the toolbox for regular pliers to grab something hot. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

That is a poached egg. Not so sure about those that do not come into direct contact with the water.  Are they really poached? Don't want to be judgemental just asking a technical question. 

I suppose, it's much like any cooking method debate. I'm happy to have mine the way I make them, but if anyone has a more desirable to them method, so be it.

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@ElsieD - I crack an egg into an empty bowl, then gently lower it into the simmering water - and it floats . . .

 

coddled egg and poached egg are technically different - but the end result is quite similar.

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13 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Those look just like the ones we used use while backpacking. Some camp cookware doesn't have handles, to save weight. I haven't seen these in ages, and I've never seen them in a kitchen. There have been a couple of times I've gone to the toolbox for regular pliers to grab something hot. 

The top one came with a pizza pan, I think the other one was from a restaurant supply place.

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  • 1 month later...

I forgot to mention the wine opener I purchased a few months back.

It works flawlessly opening each bottle with no effort.

There are fancier and more expensive models out there but, believe me, this is one great opener.

Chefville

(Lose the foil cutter, you probably already have a better one.)

Edited by lindag (log)
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