We asked readers to send in their money- and food-saving kitchen tips, and this reader from Wellesley offers up a wealth of them, on everything from kitchen safety to keeping herbs fresh longer. Here’s what Dennis E. Noonan practices in his own kitchen:
1. Fresh herbs are a challenge to keep for any length of time. Sometimes, storing them in the fridge helps, but you cannot refrigerate basil because it will turn black. When I buy basil at the market, I keep it fresh by trimming the stems half an inch and placing them in a jar/vase of water kept at room temp on the windowsill. This typically keeps the basil usable for weeks.
2. I have other kitchen tips but they mostly involve cutting things rather than cost saving, in case you are thinking of general tips:
a) Never chop food with a sharp knife when you are barefoot. If you’ve ever accidentally dropped a knife, or had one slip off the counter, you probably learned this the hard way.
b) While it is lovely to have a nice glass of wine while preparing the food, get the chopping done before you pour that first glass.
c) If you have plastic cutting boards (like they sell at Ikea), they tend to slip around on the counter. I take a section of paper towel and sprinkle a few drops of water on it, and place it under the plastic cutting board. The friction of the damp towel keeps the board from slipping while you are trying to chop onions.
d) If I am preparing a hot meal, I always warm the plates in the microwave for a minute to keep the food from cooling off.
e) If I am in doubt about how to do anything, I go to Youtube and search. At least one person has already made a video dealing with that topic.
Dennis E. Noonan, Wellesley
It’s hard to argue with any of this, even if the no-sipping-while-chopping advice is tough to swallow. Thanks for the ideas, Dennis! Please keep your tips and tricks coming. Email them to email@example.com with “kitchen tip” in the subject line. Please include your full name and hometown.