Every little piece of plastic saved adds up right? So instead of covering the little bit of leftover tuna with plastic wrap, use a wide-mouth canning jar lid!
I know we’re not supposed to keep the tuna in the can at all (or even buy tuna in cans in the first place), but I don’t need any extra dishes in my sink thank you very much. I open the can, drain the water out, mix the mayo in right there in the can, apply to sandwiches and, if there’s any leftover at all, snap a lid on and put it in the fridge. It gets eaten up so soon that I have decided not to worry about it.
The wide-mouth lids fit so perfectly they seem like they were made for tuna cans.
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And what to do with it?
Why, put it on an upturned yogurt lid of course! Though it took me years to figure that out.
Save a baggie and still keep your fridge from smelling like an onion sandwich.
This also works brilliantly for lemon and apples.
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There are some things that are just too handy not to keep in small portions in your freezer, no matter how Betty Crocker it makes you feel. Two such things are chicken stock and chopped tomatoes. I make my own stock and put it into pint size or bigger jars for the freezer, but there are many times when you just want a little stock, like for cooking collards or adding into a sauce. I also always buy the 28 oz cans of chopped tomatoes, but often don’t need the whole thing. So I put the rest in the freezer for soups, rice, or again, collards. I do love me some greens stewed with fried onions, tomatoes and a splash of good chicken stock.
Ice cube trays are the classic container for small frozen portions, but they’re much too small for my purposes. I used to use a collection of plastic containers– yogurt tubs and tupperware– and just half fill them. But then one day, oh fraptuous joy, I happened to buy this silicone muffin pan at a garage sale, in a box with several other silicone baking items. I don’t like actually baking in silicone, I bought the pack to use as soap molds. But this muffin pan has turned out to be one of my better spent $2 solely for the purpose of freezing small portions.
Once frozen, the little half cup portions just pop right out of that wiggly silicone and I put them into a big quart sized zip lock. I keep both the stock and tomatoes in the same bag, it’s easy enough to see which is which.
You can throw the frozen hunk right into whatever you are cooking, it melts pretty quick.
Also good candidates for small freezer portions are pesto and pureed beets for pink pancakes.
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A few months ago I solved a small problem in my own head. It was gratifying. Now everyone who comes over can say, “Why the F do you have two bags in there, what am I supposed to do with that?”
I had always wanted to use old shopping bags for garbage because, despite my best intentions, they do pile up in our house. But I was too afraid of the occasional leak making the bin gross and stinky. Then it suddenly occurred to me I could just keep a backup liner in there. Of course.
This only works because all my wet stuff goes in my various (4 different!) compost/chicken bins. The only wet thing I really put into the trash anymore is boiled bones, leftover from stock making. For this, I keep any still sound plastic packaging in that space between the back of the paper bag and the plastic liner. I haven’t had a paper bag bust out on the way to the outdoor can yet, though it seems like it might happen eventually. And I only have to change the liner every month or more.
If you are way too cool to ever bring home disposable shopping bags, no worries! Just pilfer the ‘bag recycling’ bin outside the store. I’ve done this myself, many times. Of course, you could argue that those bags would be better off recycled than turned into default garbage, even if they save the world from one extra garbage bag. But, especially with the paper bags, I feel pretty confident this is a better end.
Now, the big break through trick? To keep the bag from sliding down in there, attach to the lip of the bin with office clips like so:
The only catch to this system is it turns you irrevocably into One of Those People. Not even your damn garbage is normal. People will be confused and you will have to explain. You will not sound awesome, you will just sound weird. But considering you probably already have to explain your garbage system (‘recycling under the sink, egg shells in the old flour bag, coffee grounds in the tub by the faucet, chicken scraps straight out the window into the run, and onion skins and citrus in the old coffee bag’) this will be the least of your worries.
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My Little Angel just looooves to draw on the wall. Maybe it’s my ‘independent child-rearing’ philosophy (also known as leaving the kids unattended in the other room as much as I can get away with), but at our house it seems to be a simple if/then formula. If there is a crayon (pencil/marker/chalk) anywhere in the bottom 28 inches of our house, then he will find it. If he finds it, then he will use it to draw on the wall.
I have a friend who just rolls with the punches, and lets the house become one big chalkboard. She figures when the kids both top 5 they can paint over everything, and until then, why spend any time worrying or scrubbing? I applaud the surrender, and if we owned our home, I would seriously consider such a tactic. But we rent. That shit don’t float.
After some experimentation I discovered the magic mark-removal method. It’s simple, nothing new or exciting here, but I was excited, and that’s what counts.
- Spray marks liberally with pure vinegar
- Pour a teaspoon of baking soda onto a wrung out rag
- Scrub that SOB till it’s white again
I tried just vinegar, and just baking soda. Neither worked. Gotta mix ’em baby. Maybe it’s the science project foaming action, maybe it’s the grit of the baking soda reaching down into the textured surface of the paint. Whatever it is, it works. It can take some hard scrubbing though, especially pencil marks.
Make sure to add more baking soda as necessary, you want to be able to see a thin sheen of it on the wall. And yes, you do have to follow this treatment with a clean wet rag to wipe all the soda off.
for scale, this is about 18 inches across. and no our walls are not gray, they're white. lighting is everything, so they say.
it takes a good little pile of baking soda, enough to get the grit factor going
this is an uneventful photo, right? unless you want to get your entire security deposit back, then suddenly it becomes very attractive
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Posted in CJ's Punk Housewife Tips, Feeding Yer Pie-hole, From Scratch, Random Domestics, tagged bulk, cooking, leftover wine, olive oil, pantry, punk housewife tip, storing on July 21, 2011 |
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Here’s a double dip tip:
Buying Olive Oil in Bulk
If you use a lot of olive oil you might want to buy it in the big square cans, it’s considerably cheaper than the small bottles. But you’ll still want to keep a small bottle near your stove, which presents the problem of pouring from that big can, which inevitably goes glugluglug and slops oil all over everything.
To solve this annoying problem, just punch a small hole on the opposite side of the top to the pouring spout. This lets the air in and makes for a nice smooth pour. This might work with those big plastic jugs from Costco too, once the oil level goes down a bit.
Storing Leftover Wine for Cooking
We used to have a lot of dinner parties, resulting frequently in leftover odds and ends of wine bottles. I’m not a big drinker– if I have wine one night, I don’t feel like more the next. I love to cook with wine, but again, not very often. I left a lot of wine sitting around souring, waiting to get used, before it finally occurred to me that I could just freeze the leftover wine! Freezing wine works beautifully. Because of the alcohol content it stays loose, like a slushy. All you have to do is scoop out however much you want and dump it straight into the pan!
Now, with our dinner party days seemingly over, I buy a bottle of wine every now and then expressly to stick in the freezer (pour it into a wide mouth jar first!) I keep a jar of red and a jar of white. Since I only use a 1/2 cup or so at a time, one bottle of wine lasts me for ages.
When cooking with wine, you need to boil it hard for a few minutes if you want to cook off all the alcohol. My routine– sauté onions, brown meat or whatever, then throw the wine in and let it roil on high to ‘deglaze’ all the caramelized goodness off the bottom of the pan. Yummie.
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