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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 Dawn 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!
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)