Cooking Tips: When You Don’t Have a…
Proper space to work
Make extra space by laying large baking trays across pulled out kitchen drawers. Or place a big chopping board over the sink.
Turn a roasting pan upside-down and use the bottom for baking biscuits or other pastry goods.
Use a metal colander placed inside a large pot with about 25mm (1 in) of water in the bottom. Cover with a well-fitting lid, and check regularly to make sure the water hasn’t boiled away. Or fit a large metal sieve across the top of a pot of boiling water and cover with the lid.
Cut a small hole in one corner of a strong plastic food bag. Fill the bag with cream or icing, and pipe it out of the cut corner.
Use the rim of an inverted wine glass, or a jam-jar lid. Or roll out the dough and cut it into squares with a knife. This method has the advantage that you don’t have to keep rolling out the scraps.
Drive a largewell into the cork with a screwdriver. Tie a piece of string around the top of the and pull to remove the cork, or pull it out with a pair of pliers. Alternatively, screw a large hook or eye into the cork, then place the handle of a wooden spoon through the hook or eye and use it to pull out the cork.
Use a milk or wine bottle instead.
Lid for a pot
Cover the top with aluminium foil crinkled down on the sides to keep in the steam, or cover with a plate.
Try cracking nuts with a wrench or pair of pliers, or place them on a chopping board and tap sharply with a heavy kitchen weight.
Cut the top from an empty washing-up liquid bottle with a pair of kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Wash it well, invert, and use as a funnel. Or use an empty tin to funnel liquids: wash the tin and punch a hole in the bottom at the rim.
A kitchen sieve will work just as well as a dredger to dust flour evenly onto your work surface or rolling pin. Alternatively, sprinkle the flour lightly through your fingertips to achieve the same result.
Use a large plastic rubbish bag as a disposable apron. Cut holes for your head and arms, and throw out the bag when you’re finished.
The unglazed bottom of a mug makes a good stand-in sharpener. Hold the blade at a low angle to the unglazed surface and draw it slowly back and forth across the surface so that you sharpen down the whole length of the blade.