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Neat Chef Tools on the Cheap

I love to salivate over the goodies in the cooking catalog like Williams-Sonoma, but some of the things are just plain unnecessary, or you can make them yourself. I saw two such things in the latest one, and I've been doing both things for years.


The first one was these little metal rods that you run through the center of potatoes you're going to bake in the (regular) oven. I believe a set of about six was something like $35. I have a couple of really long nails that I bought just for this. I believe I paid about two dollars for them. The principle is right, it helps radiate heat through the spud and speeds up the cooking, but you don't need to buy something special for it. Or you can thread a few on skewers, too.

The other thing was pretty, and a nice thing to have, especially if you host big family meals and like fish, but you can make them yourself for nearly nothing. If you order fish in an upscale restaurant, they'll often give you half a lemon to squeeze over it, wrapped in green nylon net. It looks pretty and keeps the seeds from squeezing out onto your fish. This catalog was selling six or eight squares of green nylon net to wrap around your lemon halves for a hideous price like $20. But nylon net costs nearly nothing, and is 72 inches wide! You can make a ton of these for just pennies.

I once found myself stranded with corn-on-the-cob, but no holders, so I stabbed in some golf tees, and they worked great - cute, too.

And those stainless steel rods they sell for removing pungent smells from the hands, you don't need one. Just use a stainless steel spoon, it really does work!

Source: The Source was just little ol' brilliant me. :)

By Savannah from north AL

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March 4, 20090 found this helpful

You have definitely got the touch!

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March 5, 20090 found this helpful

Aren't you the clever one! What great ideas! I love hearing "home made" ways of doing things. As they say "necessity is the mother of invention". Thanks for sharing, Gigi

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March 10, 20090 found this helpful

Make sure the nails are not galvanized. You can get extremely sick. Galvanized nails are made with lead, this can be toxic. We gave some electricians some lobsters one year (husband is a lobster fisherman). They cooked the lobsters in galvanized pails & were taken off in ambulances!

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March 11, 20090 found this helpful

I wrapped an onion bag around a piece of foam and used it for scrubbing dishes for 6 mos. At that time the foam needed replacing.

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