Extraordinary Uses for Objects in the Kitchen

Use these tools you have on hand to create the perfect meal.

from Baking Soda, Banana Peels, Baby Oil, and Beyond

Hair dryer as salad drier

If you have rinsed and spun your salad, but the leaves are still wet, set your hair dryer on a cool setting and wave it gently over the leaves.

A teaspoon as a ginger peeler

When you find it impossible to peel ginger without losing some of the flesh, try this. If you're right-handed, hold the ginger in your left hand and, using a teaspoon, firmly scrape the edge of the spoon along the knob with your right. The papery skin will peel straight off.

Dental floss as slicer

Held taut, fine floss can slice layer cakes, soft breads, soft cheeses, butter and plenty of other soft foods more effectively than a sharp knife.

Plastic drink bottle as a funnel

Cut off the top third of the bottle and turn it upside down. Now you can easily funnel left - over sauces, gravies, kidney beans or even grease into containers for storage or disposal.

A coffee filter as a gravy strainer

Beef and poultry drippings from a roast make the most delicious, flavoursome base for gravy, but are often packed with grease. Save the flavour and lose the fat by straining the cooking juices through a paper coffee filter.

Scissors as herb chopper

Use clean household scissors to snip fresh herbs and spring onions into salads or mixing bowls. Scissors are also perfect for cutting steam vents in the crust of a pie before it goes in the oven.

Flowerpots as kitchen tool caddy

Store serving spoons, whisks, tongs and other kitchen tools in flowerpots on the benchtop. To make the pots more decorative, you could paint each one in a different pastel or bright color.

Wood rasp as lemon zester

A clean, fine metal rasp from a toolbox works perfectly as a zester for lemons, limes, oranges and other citrus fruit. Its tiny raised nubs scrape the fruit's skin to create perfect zest.

Shoehorn to remove corn kernels

A clean shoehorn has at least two uses in the kitchen: scrape the wide end along a cob to remove the kernels and use the narrow end to gently release baked goods such as cupcakes, small pies or muffins from their tin.

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