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Vegetable peelers go dull rather fast. I spent many, many years just tossing them out and buying new ones. I wish I learned this trick when I first moved out on my own: Just take the back of a paring knife and run it back and forth against the blades. Flip the peeler over and do the same. I bought a paring knife at the 99 cent store just for this purpose. You can do this on any kitchen equipment that has a blade. Try it, you'll be peeling faster in no time!
By attosa from Los Angeles, CA
I used to use a regular standard potato peeler for taking the skins off fruits and veggies. If I had many to do, I'd always get a blister below my index finger. A pal suggested that I go to a kitchen store and request a potato peeler shaped like a elongated triangle (weird shape for a peeler, but the blade is at the top of short end), small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and it's got a miniature grater on the rounded top side portion of the peeler. I did and it's the best thing! It was not expensive at all, it's all metal and best of all, it doesn't give me any blisters if I have many veggies and or fruits to peel.
When peeling vegetables, peel the large end first, then the small end. That way you will have the rough skin as a "handle" while you're holding the small end, and you'll have the large end to hold as a "handle" while you peel the small end.
By Katie A.
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Anytime I chop veggies for a meal, soup or stew, I save all of the end pieces and skins - pretty much anything that is left over. I wash them, dry them, and freeze them in a ziploc baggie for making stock for soups and sauces. I also save any leftover bones or meat and do the same thing. Before you know it, you will have everything you need for a gallon of stock.
By VaCherokeeMama from Pamplin, VA
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For an inexpensive homemade vegetable broth, I save all the peelings from potatoes and carrots, ends of celery, onions, peppers, fresh garlic outer peels from crushing and literally any other vegetable, such as broccoli stalks, etc. I wash or scrub them in cold water, drain well and add them to a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. I add them all to a pot of cold water, heat to boil and then lower to simmer for an hour. I strain through cheesecloth and I have a wonderful broth for starting a soup, pot pie or any recipe calling for a good vegetable broth. Buying ready-made broth in cans is expensive! Using all of the peelings and cuttings that usually gets thrown away is getting every penny out of the money you spend on expensive food today. It is also more nutritious in my opinion than store bought broth!
By Pattie from Bridgton, Maine
Great idea, and you are also getting a natural broth without the preservatives which are in the store broths. (05/11/2008)
Wow, that is a great idea! I can do this regularly and freeze broth. Thanks for the tip! (05/30/2008)