Tricks and tips in no particular order.
Keep a root in your freezer compartment. You can grate it from frozen. Never run out!
Angela (of this Parish) says you can do the same with Parmesan. This could save our marriage because Olwyn sometimes catches me cutting the thick blue skin off a well “matured” parmesan that has been in our fridge far too long.
You only really need two: a large chef’s knife and a small paring knife. Get the best quality you can afford, and keep them ultra sharp. OK you could sneak in two more knives, a bread knife and a thin-bladed filleting knife.
Looking after knives
When you chop stuff and want to scrape it off the board into the pot, you use the knife blade – we all do. However, use the back of the knife blade, it is just as good and doesn’t dull the blade edge.
Buy a tube of garlic puree and keep it in the fridge. A squeeze 2cm long is about the same as one clove. No need to mess about peeling garlic, losing cloves and having the thing start growing in your cupboard.
Trendies say use rape seed oil, which is usually in small bottles and very expensive. More fool them. Have a look at the ingredients of the cheap standard vegetable oil. It will probably say rape seed! Use that. If it doesn’t say rape seed oil, sunflower oil is a healthy alternative. Rape oil is best for cooking because it can go to higher temperatures without burning. Olive oil is more authentic for Mediterranean recipes but needs lower temperatures for frying.
Refilling small containers (like the pepper mill)
Take a sheet of paper. Fold in half, open up again. Pour your fill into the centre of the sheet (e.g. sugar, salt, spices ). Pick up the paper so the fill is in the “V”. You can now more easily pour into a small container from the bottom of the “V” as you tilt the paper.