Removing the rings that contain sets of measuring cups and spoons, and peeling and slicing potatoes up to one day in advance are among many nifty tips that can aid Thanksgiving Day cooking preparations.
The holiday is nearly upon us, and households across the country have begun their mad dash to get everything ready for the big meal. Here are a few handy tips to help cooks get through Thanksgiving Day preparations with ease and flair.
- Transport casseroles by placing them on a folded kitchen towel set in two layers of plastic shopping bags. The kitchen towel protects and stabilizes the baking dish and the double-ply of bags is insurance in case a handle breaks.
- Remove the rings that contain sets of measuring cups and spoons — each item is easier to use and clean. (Use the rings to organize recipe cards or as napkin holders.)
- If a gas burner isn’t lighting, try giving it a good scrubbing. Remove the grate, cap and burner unit (if there’s a third removable part, that is) and clean using soapy water made with dish soap (do not use other cleaners, which may leave flammable residue). Use a paper clip to clean the burner openings; let dry completely.
- Lightly wet the underside of a sheet of aluminum foil when lining a baking sheet. The water acts like glue and will help the foil lay flat.
- When measuring sticky ingredients like honey, molasses or corn syrup, spray cups and spoons with nonstick cooking spray for easy cleanup.
- Save the feathery fronds from a bulb of fennel and use as an herb garnish on turkey or other meats to layer on some anise-spiked flavor.
- In lieu of a roasting rack, use a crumpled wad of aluminum foil snaked around the pan to form grates. Spray with cooking oil to keep foods from sticking.
- Pearl onions peel easily once blanched: Trim the ends of onions opposite the root end, then drop into boiling water for 2 minutes before draining. Once cool enough to handle, pinch the onion from the root end and it will slip right out of its skin.
- Peel and slice potatoes up to one day in advance — keep them submerged in cold water so they don’t discolor. Unless they’re being boiled, remember to pat dry before using.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.