Trib Tips

Welcome to Trib Tips, a new column designed to help save you time, money and effort in your daily life.
Marie Havenga
Nov 2, 2012

Every Friday, we'll share simple solutions and nifty ideas. We hope you'll do the same.

E-mail your suggestions to Marie Havenga at mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com; or snail mail to: Trib Tips, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417. Please include your name address and phone number.

YOUR POT RUNNETH OVER

You know the sloppy story – it's pasta night at your place and while you're busy whipping up the garlic bread spread, you hear that awful liquid sizzling sound of your spaghetti pot boiling over.

Don't get all stirred up. There's a simple solution to avoid that chalky, starch puddle on your clean stove.

Place a wooden spoon over the pasta pot before you fire up the flame.

Although there are several schools of science on why this nifty trick works, it's likely that the wooden spoon breaks the surface tension of the bubbles and absorbs heat build up.

Say “so long” to soggy starch pools.

YOU SAY “TOMATO,” WE SAY “APPLE”

If you have green tomatoes lingering in your garden, gather them up and get ready to revisit the flavor of vine-ripened tomatoes.

Although there's not much sun this time of year, you can recreate the ripening process with an apple, a glass bowl and plastic wrap. Simply place the green tomatoes in the bowl with an apple (preferably an overripe one), cover with plastic wrap and get out your salad tongs. In less than a week you should have rosy red tomatoes, flavor and texture intact.

Although storing the greens in a paper bag or wrapping them in newspaper works, too, I've found that the apple trick speeds up the process. I tested both methods side-by-side last week. The apple application worked almost twice as fast – bringing the tomatoes to a bright red hue compared to the washed out shades in the newspaper trial.

But don't just compare apples to apples or tomatoes to tomatoes – this trick works with peaches, pears and other fruit that's not quite ready for prime time.

Apples contain a hormone that produces ethylene gas as they ripen. This gas gets trapped in your tomato container and speeds the ripening process.

In our locale rich with nautical themes, remember this trick as “red, ripe, return.”

 

 By Marie Havenga
mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com
Welcome to Trib Tips, a new column designed to help save you time, money and effort in your daily life.
Every Friday, we'll share simple solutions and nifty ideas. We hope you'll do the same. Email your suggestions to Marie Havenga -- mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com or snail mail to: Trib Tips, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI, 49417. Please include your name address and phone number.

YOUR POT RUNNETH OVER
You know the sloppy story – it's pasta night at your place and while you're busy whipping up the garlic bread spread, you hear that awful liquid sizzling sound of your spaghetti pot boiling over.
Don't get all stirred up. There's a simple solution to avoid that chalky, starch puddle on your clean stove.
Place a wooden spoon over the pasta pot before you fire up the flame.
Although there are several schools of science on why this nifty trick works, it's likely that the wooden spoon breaks the surface tension of the bubbles and absorbs heat build up.
Say “so long” to soggy starch pools.

YOU SAY “TOMATO,” WE SAY “APPLE”
If you have green tomatoes lingering in your garden, gather them up and get ready to revisit the flavor of vine-ripened tomatoes.
Although there's not much sun this time of year, you can recreate the ripening process with an apple, a glass bowl and plastic wrap.
Simply place the green tomatoes in the bowl with an apple (preferably an overripe one), cover with plastic wrap and get out your salad tongs.
In less than a week you should have rosy red tomatoes, flavor and texture intact.
Although storing the greens in a paper bag or wrapping them in newspaper works, too, I've found that the apple trick speeds up the process. I tested both methods side-by-side last week. The apple application worked almost twice as fast – bringing the tomatoes to a bright red hue compared to the washed out shades in the newspaper trial.
But don't just compare apples to apples or tomatoes to tomatoes – this trick works with peaches, pears and other fruit that's not quite ready for prime time.
Apples contain a hormone that produces ethylene gas as they ripen. This gas gets trapped in your tomato container and speeds the ripening process.
In our locale rich with nautical themes, remember this trick as “red, ripe, return.”

 

 

 

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