Tag Archives: repair

My own advice

Feeling good!An impending trip away has been the cataylst for some major tidying up around here.  I like to come home to a clean house so I always do a round of cleaning and tidying before a stint away, but this time I’ve managed to achieve something that has been staring me in the face – and irritating me – for ages.  My little office area has finally been organised.  On two sides of me are deep bookshelves, crammed, often two deep, on a number of different subjects.  There isn’t any spare space so as new books were bought at birthdays and Christmas they have tended to be slotted in wherever there was a millimetre to spare.  Equally, seeing the chaos, if someone has borrowed a book then it is simply put back afterwards ‘wherever’.  

Well not any more!  Following my own advice I’ve had a sort through, a tidy up and a pruning session.  Our hospice shop will benefit because they’re getting some beautiful books that I no longer have the space for.  I benefit because I finally know where everything is.  Books are at long last grouped together, side by side on the shelves: art, design, gardening, photography and my now quite large collection of cookery books (I only read the other day that there are collectors of cook books – I’ve clearly unwittingly become one over the years, judging by the number I have).  I’m chuffed to bits – could you tell?

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As I sit typing this it’s 6.00 a.m., pitch black outside…and one of the light bulbs above my head has gone pop, plunging the whole house into darkness.  Ideally I should go to the garage to flip the circuit breaker, but that would entail going back into the bedroom to get my torch, which would almost certainly wake my husband.  I’d then have to go through the utility room to the garage, and I just know my cats would come thundering in like The Dambusters and start tussling outside the bedroom door (as they are wont to do)…almost certainly waking my husband.  Instead I’m sitting in the blackness, peering at the keyboard, which is illuminated only by the light of my computer monitor.  See how I suffer for my art!?  See how considerate I am of my husband’s slumber!? 

Actually, the reason I mention all this is: why oh why does the circuit breaker flip when a bulb goes pop?  I never remember this happening in the old days…when I were a gerl.

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GentleVoiceToday at Gentle Voice: Advice we might all appreciate, especially tomorrow and in the coming month, and that is how to ‘repair’ food that you have over-salted.

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Filed under Cookery, Home, modern life

Cooking dilemmas: Too salty / too sweet

What now?!Getting the right balance of flavours in food can sometimes be tricky.  If you’re reducing any liquid on the hob, bear in mind that flavours will be intensified so be careful about how much salt you add to begin with.  To state the obvious : It’s easier to add more after reduction than it is to take away! 

GRAVY: 

Be careful particularly when making gravy  The juices left at the bottom of your roasting pan often have intense flavour, including saltiness, so extra seasoning is rarely necessary.  You may be tempted to reach for the wine (for the pan – not you!) in order to balance things out.  Don’t.  Wine tends to further emphasise saltiness. In the case of over-salted gravy, add more stock or water and some parsley to absorb the salt.  If you find your gravy then lacks flavour add one of the following: a little redcurrant jelly, butter, a tablespoon of medium or sweet sherry or even a small piece of stock cube (because commercially made stock cubes are, in themselves, salty)!

OTHER FOODS:

All may not be lost and depending on what you’re preparing, you have a few options: 

For soups and stews add a raw potato and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.  As the potato cooks it will absorb some of the salt and you can remove it at the end.  

White bread-crumbs, cream and parsley will all help mask too much salt.

For French dressing or any sauce that you think could take a hint of sweetness, adding a little sugar will balance out the flavours.

Conversely, if you have made a food too sweet and you think it can take it, add a pinch of salt or a dash of vinegar.

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Filed under Christmas Countdown, General house tips, What's Cooking?