Monthly Archives: June 2012

Good Egg?

To test a raw egg for freshness, drop it into a bowl of water, filled to at least twice the depth of the egg. If it falls to the bottom or bobs just slightly above, it’s fresh enough to use. If it floats to the top, it’s bad and should be discarded.

Try a Toothbrush

I used to rue the day that I bought our last dish drain. It was white (now we have black one, thank goodness) and had a nice modern design, but soil tended to build up in the spaces where the dishes were supposed to go. It took forever to remove that unsightly build up, trying as I did to rub it away with a sponge, a cloth, or a paper towel. Not only was the job time-consuming, but it had to be repeated constantly and never totally worked.

Then, my husband brought home a new bottle brush, having mislaid the old one, and I thought I’d try it on the drain. It exactly fit the shape of the channels and whisked away all the gook.

A similar miracle took place when I received some free toothbrushes from the dentist (we use an electric one) and realized that they would be just the thing for removing the black residue from around the sink faucets and the toilet seat hardware.

It occurred to me that a lot of other seemingly impossible jobs could be solved if I didn’t have a defeatist attitude. Now instead of wasting time getting frustrated, I spend it thinking creatively about which tool might work, even if it wasn’t engineered for that purpose.

Tighter Tie

Trussing a chicken, stuffing a trout, or wrapping corn on the cob back in the husk after removing the silk? Try this variation on the so-called “surgeon’s knot” for a taut tie that doesn’t loosen as soon as you let go.

After placing the butcher’s twine around the item you’re tying, cross the two ends and wrap the end in your left hand around the opposite end twice. Then do the same thing with the end in your right hand, wrapping it (in the opposite direction) twice around the string on that side. You’ll end up with four twists. Pull the two ends as tightly as possible, before tying them together using a simple overhand knot. The twists prevent the tie from loosening.

This simple knotting technique is used in boating and fishing, and it’s great for gift-wrapping, too. You won’t need to ask anyone to hold the ribbon in place by pressing on it with their index finger, while you make the final knot.