Archive for the 'How-To' Category

Nine Things To Do While Stranded in an Airplane

March 19th, 2007

Over the past weekend, the winter storm that hit the East Coast had a big effect on air travel in that area. As with some previous storms this winter, airline passengers were stranded on planes for hours without leaving the ground, sometimes overnight. To help those poor souls stuck in similar situations in the future, […]

Eight Ways People Can Help the Chef on Thanksgiving

November 15th, 2006

As Thanksgiving draws ever closer, I’d like to offer another list excerpted from Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner. You know the old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. As long as you have just one willing assistant and my book, you’ve got all the help you need to prepare a complete Thanksgiving meal, […]

Five Things You Can Ask Guests to Bring on Thanksgiving

November 13th, 2006

You’ve carefully planned a full Thanksgiving menu, bought your ingredients, and arranged a lovely feast—and then, inevitably, someone asks, “What can I bring?” You have everything under control, but you also don’t want to turn away help or hurt anyone’s feelings. What do you say? Here are a few suggestions, excerpted from my book Take […]

17 Ways to Organize Your CD Collection

November 3rd, 2006

Of course most of us store our music digitally on a computer or iPod these days, but some people still think having physical CDs (or even—gasp—vinyl) is a pretty neat idea. If I learned anything from reading/watching High Fidelity (book | DVD), it’s that there’s more than one way to organize one’s albums, and an […]

13 ways to find north if you’re lost in the woods

October 2nd, 2006

To the best of my recollection, I’ve never been lost in the woods (or elsewhere away from civilization)—or at least not sufficiently lost that I didn’t have a general sense of which direction I needed to go. But if I were, I’d have many options for getting my bearings. I recall learning, as a kid, […]

28 creative uses for lemons

September 27th, 2006

When we first toured our current apartment, one of the delightful things we discovered is that it had a lemon tree in the backyard. Once we moved in, we tried to think of all the things we could make with lemons, and we found quite a few, including sugary lemon bars, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, lemon […]

Six Intriguing Uses for Peanuts

September 5th, 2006

In the last few decades there has been a sharp increase in the number of people who are allergic to peanuts. According to an article in the June 24, 2006 issue of New Scientist, “Allergenic foods are often things a population eats a lot of,” and “Today, the average American eats 3 kilograms of peanut […]

Seven ways to hard-boil eggs

August 29th, 2006

For some reason, the seemingly simple task of hard-boiling an egg appears to be very confusing, and numerous techniques have sprung up to demystify it. Of course, you’re looking for a yolk that’s firm but not dry (or green!), a shell that remains intact during boiling, and, preferably, an egg that’s easy to peel. What […]

12 ways to make a dry martini

August 28th, 2006

Ah, the martini. This simple and elegant pairing of gin and dry vermouth is always classy, but impossible to get right, because everyone has a different idea of the proper way to make one. There’s the whole shaken-or-stirred issue, of course, and the question of whether a martini made with vodka instead of gin is […]

Ten ways to keep your cat from scratching the furniture

August 24th, 2006

The SPCA and most responsible veterinarians will tell you that you should never, ever declaw a cat. This is comparable to cutting off your finger at the first knuckle; it’s inhumane and can have seriously negative long-term effects. But there are other ways to keep your cat from scratching up the furniture. For example: Trim […]

Six rules for buying and eating bagels

August 14th, 2006

As I described in Rise of the Bagel at Interesting Thing of the Day, I’m a big bagel fan from way back, but I can’t get over the way some people insist on treating a bagel like a piece of bread or a dinner roll. It’s a wonderful, unique food with a distinctively crunchewy texture, […]