Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Wonders of Salt

I am feeling completely unoriginal today, so I am passing an excerpt from an interesting article by Rachel Keller that I was reading earlier. For the complete article, click here.

31 Interesting Uses for Salt:
--A pinch of salt on top of citrus fruits brings out the fruit's crisp taste immediately.
--Place freshly peeled fruit in a salt water bath to prevent the fruit from browning.
--Try a dash of salt in warm milk for a relaxing beverage.
--A pinch of salt also improves the flavor of cocoa.
--Add a pinch of salt to coffee grounds before brewing. The salt enhances the true coffee flavor by removing some of the acid taste.
--Sea salt tends to make lettuce and other vegetables crisper.
--Wash spinach and other greens more easily by rinsing in salted water. Not only does the salt draw out the dirt, but it also kills any little critters that might be in your fresh organic lettuce or greens.
--To preserve milk or cream, add a pinch of salt to it. You can also add a pinch of salt to milk before freezing it.
--Do you have problems peeling the shells off hard boiled eggs? Try boiling the eggs in salted water. The salt water also helps a cracked egg stay in the shell while boiling.
--To test freshness in eggs, place an egg in a cup of water and add a couple teaspoons of table salt. A fresh egg will sink; a spoiled egg will float.
--Add a pinch of salt to cheese before placing in plastic wrap to prevent mold on cheese.
--A dash of salt in gelatin will help it set faster.
--Does something smell fishy? Dip a lemon wedge in salt and rub the item (hands, cutting board, counter, etc.) and rinse with water.
--If you drop a raw egg on the floor, pour salt on it and leave it for 20 minutes to make the cleanup easier.
--Did you burn something in the stove or oven? Salt can eliminate that burned food odor.
--Throw salt on fresh spills in your still-hot oven to aid the cleaning process when the oven is cool.
--Burned milk stains are very difficult to remove. Salt can make the job much easier. Wet the burned pan and sprinkle with salt. Wait about 10 minutes, then scrub the pan.
--Remove coffee or tea stains from cups by rubbing them with kosher salt.
--Salt is great for removing lipstick from glassware.
--You can even use table salt to remove stains in vases. Either rub the stain with salt or soak it in a strong salt solution.
--Add boiling water and three tablespoons salt to a casserole dish with stubborn, baked-on food in a casserole dish,. Let the dish stand until the water cools; then wash it as usual.
--Salt makes copper shiny. First, sprinkle the tarnished bottoms with salt. Then scour the stains away with a cloth dampened with vinegar. Rinse the pan, and wash as usual.
--Regularly pour hot, strongly salted water down the kitchen sink to remove odors.
--Hot salt water also prevents grease build up in sinks.
--Clean greasy iron pans by sprinkling about a teaspoon of salt in the pan. Wipe the pan out, and then wash as usual.
--Prevent grease splatters that can burn you or make a mess of your kitchen by adding a few dashes of salt to the pan before frying foods.
--If you have a grease fire, toss salt on it. (Never put water on a grease fire which can make the grease splatter and the fire spread.)
--Kneading or rolling dough can make a mess on counters. Sprinkle your countertop with salt, and neatly wipe away everything with a sponge.
--Mix half a cup of salt and baking soda to a gallon of water to wash away stains and odors inside your refrigerator.
--Cook food faster by adding a little salt to boiling water.
--Adding a pinch of salt to your cream or egg whites makes them whip more easily and faster and higher

Wow...I learned a lot with that, did you?
Photo credit: Swiped from American Feast Blog

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I am sick of gas prices. Here the prices are around $3.10 per gallon. I don't know anyone who is not complaining about gas prices. It is not practical for me to ride a bike, as is the case with most people I know. Although we have discussed getting a hybrid, I really hate to have a car payment now that we have been without one for almost 2 years!

However, yesterday I was slapped in the face with a bit of perspective on the situation. At work, we have some technicians in house to set up some equipment from Germany. They, like the equipment, are also German. They informed us yesterday at lunch that gas in Germany is approximately 10 euros/liter which is about $7.00/liter. Since there are almost 4 liters in a gallon, that is about $26.53/gallon. Wow.