precious moments: saving time

tips for tuesdays
notes from maggie's farm

©from maggie's farm
Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.  ~Charles Caleb Colton
It seems, mostly, that the way to enjoy the simplest, and most profound pleasures is to steal away 'little shreds of time' in which they may be enjoyed.  Those golden moments at dusk are my favorite time of each day, after returning the goats from grazing and into their nighttime digs, picking a few peas, pulling a weed or two, watering the fragrant herb garden, to simply 'be'; to sit and watch the chickens and ducks, unearthing the last few insects as they slowly make their way to the coop, comparing the afternoon's catch.  Tuckered-out dogs, usually at full-speed play, now curl up, quietly contented at my feet, as if they sense the sacredness of this patch of the day, too, when the sun settles behind the hills, and the world goes to dinner.

©from maggie's farm
There are days in which speeding up my time in the kitchen are simply not necessary. The steady rhythm of chopping and peeling and preparing lend themselves to quiet culinary meditation. Slowing down my time in the kitchen is the order of such days.  But not all precious moments are spent in the kitchen, and for those evenings, a few kitchen 'tricks' are welcomed, if they help me turn out a healthy meal, and then get back outside to steal a little bit of time among the sweet joys of a spring sunset.

Following, from Lifehacker, are just some of those types of tips that I might utilize on such evenings.  What are your favorite 'get-the-meal-done-and-get-out-of-the-kitchen' tricks? 

Top 10 Crazy Kitchen Tricks That Speed Up Your Cooking  


10. Deseed a Pomegranate in Seconds Using a Wooden Spoon
If you don't love pomegranates, it's either because you've never had one or you hate how much work they take to deseed. While many people recommend peeling it in a bowl of water, it turns out there's an even fastermethod: just break it open and bang on it with a wooden spoon. You should have all those seeds in a bowl in about 10 seconds.

9. Stop Peeling Boiled Eggs and Just Cut Them in Half

Peeling a hard boiled egg is a pain in the butt, and there's a much easier way to get to the goods inside: just cut it in half and spoon it out of the shell. It should slip out pretty easily, though you should make sure there aren't any tiny pieces of shell still stuck on it before you go shoveling it in to your mouth. If that isn't enough of a parlor trick for you, though, you can always use use the peel-and-blow method shown at the left.

8. Unload a 12 Pack of Soda Into Your Fridge in 10 Seconds

Most 12 packs of soda are designed to sit in your fridge, but who needs an entire box sitting in there? You can never tell how many you have left, and it always takes up lots of space, even with only one or two sodas in there. To unload it without tediously moving each can one-by-one, just open up both ends, stick it on the shelf of the fridge and push them through. Check out the video to the left to see how it's done.

7. Make Pancakes with a Squeeze Bottle

Top 10 Crazy Kitchen Tricks That Speed Up Your CookingLadling pancake batter into a pan is a recipe for a mess. Instead of dripping batter all over the place, put that pancake batter in an old condiment bottle and squeeze it out. You'll get perfectly shaped pancakes without any drips or unevenness. Just make sure you wash that ketchup bottle thoroughly first, because otherwise...ew.

6. Split an Apple in Half Without a Knife

If you don't like eating apples whole (they can, after all, get a little messy that way), but don't always have a knife around, you can actually break them in half with your bare hands pretty simply. Just remove the stem and get a good amount of leverage near the hole at the top. Not only is it convenient, but it makes you look like the Incredible Hulk (you know, sans anger issues). See the video to the left for a demonstration.

5. Decant Wine in Less than a Minute with a Blender

True wine lovers use a long, drawn-out process called decanting to aerate their wine before drinking for better taste. True life hackers throw it in a blender for 60 seconds instead. You may scoff at this method, dubbed "hyperdecanting", but it's a quick way to improve almost any red wine. A lot of people have taste tested this method (See the win experts from Vinum Vita share their opinions in the video to the left), and definitely noticed a difference—though whether it's good enough to stand up to properly decanted wine is up for debate. Check out the full post for more info on how it works and more taste testing videos.

4. Peel a Head of Garlic in Seconds with Two Bowls

If you have a particularly garlic-heavy recipe to make (so brave!), don't waste time peeling each head by hand. Just crush your garlic as normal and throw it all into a big salad bowl. Then, with another big salad bowl, shake the garlic up for a few seconds, and you should find it's fully peeled and ready for cooking. Just remember to neutralize that garlic breath after the meal with a glass of milk.

3. Peel a Potato in One Step

If you don't want to sit there peeling countless spuds just to get your mashed potato fix, you can use this simple method for peeling them in seconds. After boiling them, place them in a bowl of ice water for a few seconds. Then, just grab it with both hands, twist, and pull apart. The skin should slide right off.

2. Make Quicker, Less Messy Bacon in a Waffle Iron

A list of kitchen time savers wouldn't be complete without something from life hacker extraordinaire Alton Brown. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, but our favorite would have to cooking bacon in a waffle iron. Not only does it get you delicious bacon with less effort, but you also don't have any grease to clean up—because once you're done, you can use the leftover bacon grease to cook another piece of your breakfast. Skip to 2:50 in the video at the left to see the waffle iron method in action.

1. Open a Beer Bottle With Just About Anything

Whether you've misplaced the bottle opener or you've found yourself in a situation where you don't have one, don't panic. You can open a beer bottle with just about anything, from a hard countertop to a cigarette lighter to even your forearm. Fast forward to 4:30 in the video at the left (and check out this episode of our podcast) to see a few of our favorite methods.

Have you tried any of the tips above?  Have a few great time-savers to add to our arsenal?  We'd love to hear how you steal away those snippets of time in the kitchen (and perhaps your favorite ways to spend those minutes doing absolutely, perfectly, anything, or nothing, with the time you've saved.)


  1. These are fabulous tips! I've seen the "Peel a Head of Garlic in a Bowl". I still want to try it. Making pancakes with a squeeze bottle is brilliant!

    PS Your garden looks beautiful. We are almost ready to plant. Still waiting on 4 yards of dirt to be delivered:)

    1. I love these little tips and tricks--love to show them off in front of Tom, because he always knows so many smart tricks himself. Thank you for the garden compliment. I am STILL tired from all the garden work. It's like a seep-down-deep-in-your-bones-that-no-amount-of-caffeine-will-budge tired that revisits me every few hours to remind me how old I'm getting. Sounds like you might have a similar day or 2 like that in your future with all that dirt ; }


Thank you for visiting Notes from Maggie's Farm. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...