Did you know that our appliances have secrets? Yes, they do. I am sharing the information from Reader’s Digest, by Marissa Laliberte (July/August ’19).
MICROWAVE: (my favorite) I did not know the shape of the dish you use in reheating or cooking, makes all the difference in a microwave. A rectangular container attracts more energy and the corners may be over cooked, not heated as much in center. A round container allows more uniformed heating. Did you know? Here is a tip Nana Dee gave me: A whole cauliflower, remove the core. Wrap the entire head with a wet paper towel and microwave until done enough for your taste. I haven’t tried it yet but I will.
The same article tells me not to season my food until it’s done. Microwave energy is drawn to salt. The seasoned top leaves a dryness you don’t want. Did you know?
OVEN BROILER: Have you ever heard of leaving the oven door open a bit when broiling? Marissa wrote that the closed oven door is likened to baking. Venting the oven lets the steam out; the steam prevents the crustiness you hope for in broiling. Check your ovens manual first, you wouldn’t want to melt knobs. Did you know?
SLOW COOKER: Trapped heat is what does the cooking in a slow cooker. Unless, you keep lifting the lid, then the cooking takes longer. Wait until there is about an hour left of cooking before you lift the lid. Slow cookers are wonderful to make the most of your time. Did you know? You can dye yarn in it. Not something I will try but I am wondering what else I could do, maybe a T-shirt for one of the kids. You know I must try that one day.
DISHWASHER: Obviously, the area above the rotating arms gets the strongest spray. I learned that’s what starch foods need to eliminate their mess. It needs the force of the spray rather than the chemical clean.
The other side of the coin is dishes holding protein leftovers need the chemical clean, so the lower rack is better. It allows the soap to stay on longer for its cleaning. Did you know? Wash the baseball type hat in dishwasher. You just want to be sure to turn it off before it starts the heat and dry process.
BLENDER: If your blender stalls every few seconds, it is the layering of your ingredients that’s probably the cause. Start with a soft base ingredient (ex: yogurt) Then layer smallest to largest, ice and tough stuff on top. They will get “blended” in. Did you know? Bisquick Coconut Pie can be mixed in a blender, if you need directions, I can get them and pass on in email. Can also blend butter and graham crackers for a crust right in a blender.
STAND MIXER: Blades sometimes need to be aligned. You want them adjusted so blades can reach ingredients but not hit or scratch the bottom or sides. Find your adjusting screw by referring to your owner’s manual. Did you know?
Since I have devoted most of my life to avoiding kitchens whenever possible I did not know most of this information. The microwave information was the most important tidbit for me, and I am very well acquainted with the dishwasher as well.
I am just curious how many of these you know and how many you may have questions about. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be waiting. Have a great weekend.