Pithy cooking tips you didn’t know you needed


“Put Salt on Everything” and More Home Cooking Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed

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The best part of Cooks Illustrated magazine is the letters section, which runs missives from home cooks who’ve evolved interesting kitchen hacks after years of practice. On Tuesday night, Twitter user @spindlypete went on a run, dealing out a series of these kinds of advice nuggets, which can only come from hours and hours in a home kitchen. Slate’s food lovers took notes, clapped, and cheered; for one golden moment, Twitter was good again.

Some recipe reading help “Water” means “milk” or “stock” and “1 clove garlic” means “1 head garlic” tsp means tbsp unless it’s baking soda

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

We 100 percent agree on the garlic. Some of us wonder about the effects of a tbsp of cinnamon on your muffins, but the point is well taken.

Put salt on everything, cookies, cakes, oatmeal, everything. Make estratto in August and freeze it. Buy anchovy paste. Good luck.

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

Yes, salt it all. I like the J.Q. Dickinson kind. And estratto! You can make that? I shall.

You should have an extra pepper grinder or two, by the stove, put white peppercorns in one but more importantly put whole cumin seed in one

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

This is an excellent solution for cumin-seed pulverizing. Using the mortar and pestle is such a pain, I sometimes just put the seeds in whole when crushed seeds are called for—an act for which I fear @spindlypete would chastise me roundly.

Put two plastic boxes in your freezer for scraps: one is onion celery carrot garlic bones + mushrooms for stock, the other is compost

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

The other person who uses my kitchen abhors the stinky countertop compost pail so much that I’ve left the whole idea behind for now. This concept might actually allow me to fire the heap back up! Frozen scraps tell no tales.

These dried herbs are trash, throw them away: parsley, basil, cilantro. Maybe even dill. Use fresh if even remotely possible.

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

True. All that stuff is just green dust cooks had to make do with in the 1950s; I haven’t seen dried cilantro in a credible recipe in years.

Lot of people disagreeing with the sugar. Your home-cooked food won’t taste like pre-made food from the store without sugar.

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

Everything in a restaurant or store has like an added cup of sugar and if you’ve been eating that way your whole life you might miss it

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

This one was controversial, but @spindlypete backs it up.

Oh ok one more thing, my boyfriend (not on twitter) says to tell you “when in doubt, defer to J Kenji Lopez-Alt”

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

Slate’s food people endorse this notion.

It’s like a code, they don’t want you to be able to cook too well right out the gate or you’ll stop buying cookbooks

— pretty saro (@spindlypete) 

There’s much more in her thread, but we crave an endless stream of tweets of this kind. Is there an honest-home-cooking-tips corner of Twitter we don’t know about? Please inform.

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