Food tips

Food advice | |

Multiple uses for mason jars

It seems that the ways to use mason jars are constantly expanding. They are great for storing things like dried beans with a larger jar or dried herbs with a smaller one.

You can stuff them with the ingredients for a salad lunch for yourself at work, or the ingredients for a batch of cookies you can give to a friend.

Mason jars also make great leak-proof cocktail shakers. When you’re ready to strain the drink, just flip the lid off a bit and pour. Or for the more ambitious, use a sturdy lid to shake and drill tiny holes (use a 1/8 inch drill bit) in the lid.

Did you know that the green lid of a Parmesan jar matches the top of a Mason jar? You can put a straw in one of the holes and use it as a drink.

Mason jars can also replace a spoon rest. Simply place the cooking utensils in a wide-mouthed glass jar half-filled with water. Since no food dries on the utensil as it does with a spoon rest, cleaning is much easier.

Lemon juice aid to clean

Did you know that you can use lemon juice to clean pans? Squeeze fresh lemon juice on rusty pans or silverware, sprinkle a little table salt then remove the stain.

Lemons can be used the same way on wooden cutting boards. Sprinkle the plank with coarse salt, then use the cut side of half a lemon and “rub” the plank with the salt while squeezing out the juice. Leave for 10 minutes, rinse and dry.

Pancakes for every breakfast

You can extend the life of leftover pancakes for an easy school breakfast in the morning.

Store cooled flapjacks in a zip-top bag, separated by pieces of wax paper or aluminum foil, for up to three days in the refrigerator or two weeks in the freezer. When you’re ready for them, reheat the pancakes on a rimmed baking sheet at 325 degrees for 3-4 minutes or 6 minutes if frozen.