Pre- Holiday Appliance Check
- How to check oven temperatures: If you are worried about your oven not properly heating, you can quickly check it yourself. Buy an oven thermometer and place it in the oven. Set the oven thermostat to 350 degrees F. The oven should heat to between 325 degrees and 375 degrees. In most cases it is considered acceptable if the actual temperature is within 26 degrees of the set temperature. It is often possible to adjust the thermostat knob or to recalibrate the electronic range control if the oven is not reaching the right temperature.
- Clean filters make for a more efficient Dishwasher: Filters protect the pump and motor seals. Many dishwashers have a filter located under the spray arm, near the bottom of the appliance. The filter can get clogged with sediment from hard water, food residue, or even detergent build-up. It is important to check the condition of the filter to make sure it is intact, has no holes in the screen and if free of debris. If the filter has been damaged you can purchase an inexpensive replacement.
- Say goodbye to a smelly garbage disposal: If your kitchen doesn’t smell its best, check your garbage disposal. Food particles easily collect inside the disposal blades. The fact that you frequently run water through your disposal isn’t enough to prevent this collection of food debris. Freshen up a disposal by grinding half a lemon or lime.
Quick Fixes for Cooking Calamities
- Don’t have buttermilk? Use plain yogurt or thinned sour cream or creme fraiche instead. Or add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup mild and let stand 5 minutes.
- No dry bread crumbs? Just get some bread, tear it up into small chunks, saute in a skillet with a little butter until browned.
- No eggs? If its for baking, substitute 1/4 cup applesauce for 1 egg.
- No sweet potatoes for a casserole, soup or gratin-type dish? Use butternut squash or pumpkin
- No granulated sugar? For every 1 cup needed, use 3/4 cup confectiners’ sugar or 3/4 cup honey.
- No parchment paper? Use brown paper or waxed paper (not over high heat), or just grease and flour the pan.
- No kitchen twine to truss the turkey? Use unwaxed, unflavored dental floss.
Avoid the Plummer! Did you know the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for plumbers? You can avoid an emergency call to the plumber by following these DONT’S
- DON’T overload the garbage disposal with large amounts of starchy foods.
- DON’T place heavy foods like pasta, potatoes, rice or coffee grounds in the disposal.
- DON’T place stringy foods such as celery or rhubarb in the disposal; the strings are hard on the disposal blades. Use the garbage can instead! Better yet put them in the compost bin.
- DON’T dump grease directly down drain- it solidifies in the drain! That included poultry skins.