I am all for freezing and preserving excess amounts of food, but did you know there are some things that should never see the inside of a freezer? Below is a brief list of foods you should never freeze.
1. Gravy: Any sauce that has been thickened with either corn starch or flour will separate when it is frozen. Even after it is reheated, it will contain lumps that may be nearly impossible to smooth out.
2. Cooked pasta: Cooked pasta can be frozen, but you must under-cook it a bit before you do. Thoroughly cooked pasta will turn into a soggy mess once you thaw it, so make sure any pasta you plan on freezing is still a bit firm before going into the freezer.
3. Cream-based foods: Food such as custard, yogurt, and sour cream will separate if frozen for a long period. It is best to buy only what you need, and avoid putting these in the freezer.
4. High-water fruits and vegetables: Produce that is mainly water, like melons, celery, lettuce, and cucumbers will turn soggy once thawed, so avoid freezing these at all costs.
5. Shelled eggs: You can freeze eggs, but you must remove them from the shell first. My favorite way of freezing excess eggs is to crack them open into a large bowl, mix them together, and pour them into ice cube trays. Once frozen, store them in a large freezer bag, where they will keep for up to one year. These are good for making scrambled eggs and omelettes.
6. Fried foods: Frying food gives it a delightfully crispy exterior, but freezing it will turn it into mush.
7. Soft cheese: Hard cheeses like cheddar freeze very well, but soft ones such as goat cheese, cream cheese, or cottage cheese can take on a rubbery texture once thawed. It is best to keep these away from the freezer.
It's happened to all of us, no matter how cheap or expensive your kitchen knives are. You have found the perfect recipe for supper, you have all of your ingredients ready, your cutting board is clean and prepped, and your knife is so dull it won't cut hot butter.
You rummage around in your kitchen drawers to find a knife sharpener and realize you never got around to buying one. Don't worry! You don't have to angrily hack at your veggies and wind up with a huge mess. All you need to put a nice edge back on that knife is..... wait for it..... a coffee cup! That's right. A coffee cup.
Now, take a look at how dull my poor knife was. I was pressing so hard on that tomato it caused a few wrinkles. How can I make a proper tomato sandwich with such a dull blade?
Like I said earlier, the only thing you need to sharpen a dull knife is a coffee cup. A standard, ceramic coffee cup. Most cups should work, but just to make sure, turn yours over and look at the bottom. There should be a ring of exposed ceramic that has no paint or glaze on it. This is what you're looking for.
You want to place your coffee cup upside down on a stable surface. Hold the cup securely with one hand. Starting with the part of the blade that is closest to the handle, hold the knife at a 45 degree angle, and slowly but firmly drag it across the exposed ceramic. Do this for 4 to 5 strokes on each side of the blade. This should put a pretty sharp edge on the knife for you, but depending on how dull the blade was to begin with, you may need a few more strokes.
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