kitchen background

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kitchen Blunders

The past couple of days have been spent canning tomatoes. I mentioned last week that tomatoes went on sale (for 50 cents a pound), and I canned whole tomatoes. For Memorial Day the same store had a three day sale for 33 cents/ pound Roma tomatoes. That was too good a deal to pass up. I spent the last couple of days in my kitchen canning spaghetti sauce and tomato soup.

I used my huge stockpot to simmer the spaghetti sauce. That's when disaster happened. Either the heat was too high, or the spoon was too short, or a combination of the two; either way, I ended up with a big mess at the bottom of my pan. And worse, a burnt taste in 50 pounds of spaghetti sauce!!! I googled it to find out how to get the taste out. One suggestion was a potato, but many other sites said this would not work. (However, if ever you put too much salt in your soup or sauce, it sounds like throwing a potato in and boiling will remove the salt.)

Instead, the suggestion that I kept coming across-- and people were all saying it worked-- was to add peanut butter. I put a small amount of sauce in a bowl and mixed in a little peanut butter. Then I tasted. No burnt taste. No peanut butter taste either. Amazing! I'm so thrilled to have saved my $16 of tomatoes, and even more important, my hard work! If ever your food starts burning and sticking to the pan, the best thing to do is ladle out the top half before you stir. Stirring just mixes in the burnt taste all throughout the food. But if you've already stirred, add some peanut butter to get rid of the taste.

The pan was another challenge. I had about an inch thick of charred tomatoes stuck to the bottom of my stainless steel pan. The best suggestions I found online were to soak in vinegar or baking soda. One said to soak in baking soda, boil baking soda water, then cool and scrape it off. It took a lot of elbow grease too, but I ended up with a usable pan again.

What kitchen blunders have you had, and what tips do you have to fix them?


  1. It's not really a blunder, but here's a tip. For odd shaped glass containers/vases, salt and ice in the bottom twirled around with a bit of water should get them clean and remove mineral deposits.

    Also, you don't need that special metal thing to rub your hands on to remove the garlic smell from them. Just rub them on your faucet when you wash your hands and that will remove the garlic smell from your hands just fine. Of course, you might just like that garlic smell.

  2. That's good to know about the vases. I will try that.
    The second one is a great tip also. I had heard that for onions, too.