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  #51  
Old 01-29-2020, 08:37 PM
Hopeful Crow is offline
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
Before you put the new trash bag in the trash can. Put something in the bag FIRST and THEN put it in the can to avoid the air bubble.

Keep a dust pan handy near the kitchen counters. Next time you wipe down the counters, use the dust pan to catch excess debris instead of your hands.
You can also drill or poke a couple of holes near the bottom of your trash can. Then the air can escape whenever a new bag is put in.

I really like the idea of a dustpan for the kitchen counters. You can often find smallish ones at the Dollar Tree that would serve this purpose quite well without taking up as much space as a standard one.


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Originally Posted by Esturionette View Post
Another tip for clothes is to not get them all the way dry in the dryer. Take them out semi-wet but not dripping and hang up to dry. They straighten themselves out under their own weight.
I find not overdrying clothes keeps most wrinkles at bay. Lightweight items generally take about 20 minutes and heavier items or a mix take about 40-45 minutes. If anything is still slightly damp, I hang it up anyway. They dry just fine and it saves another trip down to the basement. Also, I believe not overdrying saves wear and tear on clothing. And the excessive heat probably damages many types of fibers. At any rate, I have things that I wear year after year that still look great despite frequent launderings.
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  #52  
Old 01-29-2020, 08:50 PM
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Do you hate how the bottom of a cereal box contains powdered cereal and incy pieces that were crushed under the weight of the rest of the cereal? Grab your almost empty box of cereal, a fryer basket like this, and head to the garbage can. Pour the cereal into the basket while standing over the can, give it a few good shakes, and all the powder and tiny fragments disappear, leaving you with a nice bowl of sludge free cereal to enjoy.

One word to the wise, however: you might think birds or squirrels would enjoy the tiny broken bits. Several trials suggest that they would not, no matter what kind of cereal it is.
  #53  
Old 01-31-2020, 03:50 PM
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If you don't keep your home environment cold, a couple of pitcher plants will snag your flying pests.
  #54  
Old 02-08-2020, 07:50 AM
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Whenever you need to shake something, like a bottle of dressing, hold the top on. Because the one time you don't, it won't be screwed or snapped on and you'll spray dressing or whatever all over the room.
  #55  
Old 02-08-2020, 09:26 AM
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Whenever you need to shake something, like a bottle of dressing, hold the top on. Because the one time you don't, it won't be screwed or snapped on and you'll spray dressing or whatever all over the room.
My dad made that mistake the first time he had dinner at mom's when they began dating.
It seems that mom's family was the "always hold the lid" type and dad's family was the "always put the lid back on tightly" type.
They are still married 55 years later, so all was forgiven.
  #56  
Old 02-08-2020, 10:40 AM
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Whenever you need to shake something, like a bottle of dressing, hold the top on. Because the one time you don't, it won't be screwed or snapped on and you'll spray dressing or whatever all over the room.
I learned early in my second marriage that my wife has a bad habit of not closing containers after using them. It took awhile and many spills to learn to check before shaking a bottle or even grabbing something by the lid to pick it up.
  #57  
Old 02-08-2020, 11:38 AM
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Unfortunately, in the U.S., the only cans that have those tabs are cans of snack foods or other ready-to-eat foods. But canned food that you're going to bring home, put in the pantry, and open when you're cooking something - no tabs.
Cans of chicken broth, tomato sauce, kidney beans, evaporated milk - nope, no tabs.
Not in any brand.

Been awhile since I've been across the pond, and as tourists staying in hotels, we didn't give much thought to grocery stores. But whenever I'm next in Europe, I'll have to check this out. It's not something I discuss much with other people, but I get the impression that few Americans use an iron on clothes more than once in a blue moon. We've got an iron and an ironing board, but if we use them twice in one year, that's a busy year for ironing in our house.
Goya brand beans come in cans with the pull tabs. I have several cans in the pantry right now. It's not the main reason I buy that brand, but it sure is convenient.
  #58  
Old 02-08-2020, 12:41 PM
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A little late for folks to act on, but when putting away Christmas lights, I wrap each string around a piece of cardboard, rather than dropping them into a box to get tangled. <snip>
I wrap each string around my hand, secure with re-usable zip-ties (there's a tab on the lock-down part), and lay them in the bottom of the box like so:

O O O
O O
O O O
O O
O O O

Then insert toilet paper cores in the center of each roll of lights, then a thick piece of cardboard (or something similar--I had some leftover Melamine and cut some pieces) on top. The rest of the display lights (I have strings of "presents") in their boxes stack on top. You'd be surprised how much weight toilet paper cores can handle.
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  #59  
Old 02-08-2020, 01:16 PM
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Goya brand beans come in cans with the pull tabs. I have several cans in the pantry right now. It's not the main reason I buy that brand, but it sure is convenient.
Yeah, I was going to say, most of my canned beans have pull tabs, but they are all Goya brand. A lot of Campbell's soups have them, as well. (I don't know if that comes under "ready to eat," but I use their condensed soups as a pantry ingredient.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-08-2020 at 01:17 PM.
  #60  
Old 02-08-2020, 01:26 PM
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My Campbell's soups from their "Great for Cooking" line all have pull tabs.
  #61  
Old 02-08-2020, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yeah, I was going to say, most of my canned beans have pull tabs, but they are all Goya brand. A lot of Campbell's soups have them, as well. (I don't know if that comes under "ready to eat," but I use their condensed soups as a pantry ingredient.)
Yep, the Chunky Campbell's soups, which are all ready-to-eat, have tabs.
  #62  
Old 02-08-2020, 03:14 PM
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My Campbell's soups from their "Great for Cooking" line all have pull tabs.
Yeah, these are the ones I'm thinking of. I have cream of mushroom, French Onion, cream of celery, and beef consommé of theirs hanging around that I use for cooking (though I think you can still find those in the non-pull-tab packaging, as well). And then, for the kids, I have chicken noodle and chicken with rice. All have tabs, but those are meant to be more ready-to-eat soups.
  #63  
Old 02-08-2020, 03:50 PM
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As mentioned upthread, vinegar for limescale. I've recently discovered a very cheap industrial-strength vinegar. It's transparent like water and is the only thing I've found that will get the job done without soaking and deep scrubbing.

Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid gets the toilet clean and white again.
  #64  
Old 02-10-2020, 06:19 AM
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Goya brand beans come in cans with the pull tabs. I have several cans in the pantry right now. It's not the main reason I buy that brand, but it sure is convenient.
I occasionally buy Goya brand beans. Never, ever seen a pull tab on one of their cans.

Is this a regional thing, perhaps? (As in, Goya thinks people in one part of the country are used to having pull tabs so they provide them there, but they think people in other places would look askance?) I live in MD, but I've also lived in various places in VA and SC, and never seen them in either of those places. I'll have to check the shelves in the groceries in central FL the next time we're down visiting the in-laws, because now I'm genuinely curious about this.
  #65  
Old 02-10-2020, 06:52 AM
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If your washer and dryer are in a different part of the house (e.g. the basement, which is our situation) from where you spend most of your time, and you don't want to run back and forth checking the wash to see if it's done yet, get one of the baby monitors that has a camera - you can usually get one in the upper two figures. Aim the camera at the machines, and when you're doing whatever you're doing elsewhere in the house, you can just check the (portable) monitor to see if the lights on the machine say your load is done yet, or still going.

My wife was kinda skeptical when I bought one for that reason, but it didn't take her long to be completely sold on it.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 02-10-2020 at 06:54 AM.
  #66  
Old 02-10-2020, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
I occasionally buy Goya brand beans. Never, ever seen a pull tab on one of their cans.

Is this a regional thing, perhaps? (As in, Goya thinks people in one part of the country are used to having pull tabs so they provide them there, but they think people in other places would look askance?) I live in MD, but I've also lived in various places in VA and SC, and never seen them in either of those places. I'll have to check the shelves in the groceries in central FL the next time we're down visiting the in-laws, because now I'm genuinely curious about this.
I live in NC. I also checked my Bush's brand beans and some of the the seasoned ready-to-eat ones have pull tabs too (like these). The plain unseasoned Bush brand beans do not.
  #67  
Old 02-10-2020, 04:01 PM
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Get a bidet, or figure out how to do it sitting on the side of the tub.
Do what on the side of the tub??
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  #68  
Old 02-10-2020, 04:14 PM
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Freezer burn won't happen if there is no air in a package. One can approximate vacuum sealer air expulsion from ziplock bags thusly: Fill up your sink or a pitcher (I have an oblong one that works great) with water. Put your food to be frozen in the baggie. Seal the ziplock except for about an inch in the middle. Dip the baggie in the water up to the level of the lock, and then finish zipping it. The weight of the water will have removed the air in the bag.
I use this mostly for freezing raw chicken parts, but it works great on any moist food.
  #69  
Old 02-10-2020, 09:31 PM
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I'll have to check the shelves in the groceries in central FL the next time we're down visiting the in-laws, because now I'm genuinely curious about this.
You could check the soup cans, as well.
  #70  
Old 02-10-2020, 10:08 PM
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A cooking tip: When making a sauce, pudding, etc. that requires constant stirring so lumps won't form, use a spatula instead of a spoon. A spatula covers more surface area. Also, I've found stirring in a rough figure 8 pattern helps prevent lumps, as it helps ensure you scrape the entire surface of the pot with each pass.

For passwords, etc., add an extra layer of security wherever you store them. So mine look like this: "Name of second pet" or "First three of second address + name of fifth grade teacher."

I'm going to use the dustpan trick from now on and many of the others when the occasion arises. Thanks, everyone!
  #71  
Old 02-11-2020, 06:39 AM
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A cooking tip: When making a sauce, pudding, etc. that requires constant stirring so lumps won't form...!
I think that usually happens when there’s flour in the mix, in which case you can just run a handheld blender through the liquid as it starts to thicken. Works a treat for me when making white (bechamel) sauce.
  #72  
Old 02-11-2020, 03:56 PM
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To avoid lumps...mix the flour with a small amount of cool liquid first in a small sealed container, then shake the tar out of it. The resulting liquid will be smooth and more easily dissolve without needing the constant stirring.
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  #73  
Old 02-11-2020, 05:12 PM
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To each his/her own on this one - the disc works just fine for us, and a pair of rubber gloves would be one more thing we'd have to keep handy in the rather small work area of our kitchen.
Fair enough.

Which reminds me of the fact that every time I've moved, I glued a pair of clothespins on the inside of the cupboard door that give access to the under-belly of the sink. That's where the rubber gloves go. (actually, I still have the two clothespins, but I stopped using both - both gloves get held by one pin.)

Mind you, I grew up in the era when you wore rubber gloves to wash dishes to preserve your manicure, even if you didn't bother with a manicure!
  #74  
Old 02-11-2020, 05:16 PM
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Whenever you need to shake something, like a bottle of dressing, hold the top on. Because the one time you don't, it won't be screwed or snapped on and you'll spray dressing or whatever all over the room.
Around age 10 or so, I decorated my father's shirt with ketchup at a steak house because of this. While I no longer use ketchup on my steak, I do still check caps before shaking things.
  #75  
Old 02-11-2020, 06:12 PM
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To avoid lumps...mix the flour with a small amount of cool liquid first in a small sealed container, then shake the tar out of it. The resulting liquid will be smooth and more easily dissolve without needing the constant stirring.
Yes, that would be the most foolproof way, but they say you have to cook the flour a bit, otherwise the sauce will taste like flour. If you use a lot of butter (like too much), the flour will pretty much dissolve before the milk goes in.
  #76  
Old 02-12-2020, 02:50 AM
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Unfortunately, in the U.S., the only cans that have those tabs are cans of snack foods or other ready-to-eat foods. But canned food that you're going to bring home, put in the pantry, and open when you're cooking something - no tabs.
Cans of chicken broth, tomato sauce, kidney beans, evaporated milk - nope, no tabs.
Not in any brand.
That may be true in your area but in VA I am seeing more and more canned products with the pull tabs to include tuna, soup and tomatoes and I limit it to those three because I don't buy other canned products.. In the not too distant future, can openers may go the way of the old beer opener or church key; still around but not as practical.
  #77  
Old 02-12-2020, 12:57 PM
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Yes, that would be the most foolproof way, but they say you have to cook the flour a bit, otherwise the sauce will taste like flour. If you use a lot of butter (like too much), the flour will pretty much dissolve before the milk goes in.
You cook the gravy after adding the flour slurry. I saw a cooking show once that said to brown some flour in the oven when you're baking something else, for future use in gravy. I haven't tried that though.

My tips:

If you drop an egg or something similarly goopy on the floor, herd the goop into a dustpan with a sponge or something. Easier than trying to wipe it up from the floor.

When opening a large can, like tomato juice, punch two holes in one side (and one in the other side, of course) to pour it out faster.

If freezing rain is imminent, pre-salt the sidewalk. Also, keep a small container of sidewalk salt in the house so you can salt a path from the door to where the main store of salt is if the freezing rain is a surprise.

My favorite kitchen tool is my spring whisk. It makes stirring thin things (water) into thick things (tomato paste) a breeze. Also for gravy.

I hate cans with pull tabs. I have enough opportunities to cut myself without pull-tabs. There's a reason tabbed soda cans went away. I use the safe-edge can opener even when there's a pull tab available.
  #78  
Old 02-12-2020, 01:01 PM
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If you drop an egg or something similarly goopy on the floor, herd the goop into a dustpan with a sponge or something. Easier than trying to wipe it up from the floor.
Alternately, pour salt over it and wait a few minutes.

https://www.myfearlesskitchen.com/ki...-a-broken-egg/
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:23 PM
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You cook the gravy after adding the flour slurry...
Well, I'm not going to keep insisting. Look at any recipe for white sauce, bechamel, roux, etc. All I've seen say to cook the flour in the butter first.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
Freezer burn won't happen if there is no air in a package. One can approximate vacuum sealer air expulsion from ziplock bags thusly: Fill up your sink or a pitcher (I have an oblong one that works great) with water. Put your food to be frozen in the baggie. Seal the ziplock except for about an inch in the middle. Dip the baggie in the water up to the level of the lock, and then finish zipping it. The weight of the water will have removed the air in the bag.
I use this mostly for freezing raw chicken parts, but it works great on any moist food.
I do this too, in a simpler way. I use Zip-Lok freezer bags and put the product in them, fill full of water, and then hold them against the side of the sink until the air and most of the water has been pushed out, then seal.

Then I will lay them flat in the freezer until frozen, and then they will stack nicely. I have kept cleaned razor clams in this way for 2 years without harm to them. Water will protect them from freezer burn.
  #81  
Old 02-12-2020, 02:45 PM
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Well, I'm not going to keep insisting. Look at any recipe for white sauce, bechamel, roux, etc. All I've seen say to cook the flour in the butter first.
I think we're talking about two different, but related, things here.

There are a few ways to thicken a gravy. One method is the roux method. You add the flour to the fat (doesn't have to be butter), cook it out for a bit (anywhere from blonde to chocolate) and add liquid to that. (Or, actually, I suppose you can add it to the liquid, too, but typically when I make a roux-thickened sauce I start with the fat & flour in a pot and then add liquid to it.)

A slurry is a thickening agent such as flour, cornstarch, arrowroot, etc., dissolved in a liquid (often cold water), which is then added to the liquid being thickened and cooked for bit until the raw taste cooks out.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-12-2020 at 02:49 PM.
  #82  
Old 02-12-2020, 02:51 PM
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Yeah, I'm talking about sauce and I didn't notice that last post said gravy.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:29 AM
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If you drop an egg or something similarly goopy on the floor, herd the goop into a dustpan with a sponge or something. Easier than trying to wipe it up from the floor.
Easy to pick out the non-dog-owners in the thread. I have three. The only thing we ever clean from the floor is dog saliva.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:00 AM
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Yeah, I'm talking about sauce and I didn't notice that last post said gravy.
Gravy is sauce by another name.
  #85  
Old 02-13-2020, 11:21 AM
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You're sauce by another name!
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:29 AM
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Easy to pick out the non-dog-owners in the thread. I have three. The only thing we ever clean from the floor is dog saliva.
HA! Ain't that the truth! I just mopped my kitchen tile this morning. It was covered in slobber splotches. If someone is preparing ANY type of food in the kitchen, Romeo the boxer, sits, stares and drools. The other day the tops of my socks actually got wet as I was making a sandwich. Also, I've walked into the kitchen more than once and skidded in slobber. Very slimy.
  #87  
Old 02-13-2020, 01:08 PM
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Easy to pick out the non-dog-owners in the thread. I have three. The only thing we ever clean from the floor is dog saliva.
None of mine have ever been any good at vaccuuming up dog hair.

Or even cat hair.
  #88  
Old 02-13-2020, 01:50 PM
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Denture tablets. I buy them from the dollar store and use them to clean things that get hidden or trapped food (kinder like teeth, if you follow): toothbrushes, can openers (look at those gears sometime), tongs or scissors or other things with screws that are used in the kitchen, coffee maker baskets, anything with mesh, reusable drinking straws, etc. I put them in a container with warm water and drop in a few tablets. If you have a water bottle or thermos that's smelling a little musty, fill it up and drop one in. Hair brushes and combs. Manicure tools. All those fiddly things.
  #89  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:02 PM
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You're sauce by another name!
Not since I quit drinking so much.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:20 PM
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Gravy is sauce by another name.
I never heard anyone order mashed potatoes and sauce.
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  #91  
Old 02-13-2020, 06:43 PM
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I never heard anyone order mashed potatoes and sauce.
Nyuk, nyuk. But when you make gravy, you're making a sauce; and I've heard Italian-Americans order spaghetti with gravy, so there. Neener neener.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:58 PM
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WD-40 and duct tape: if it's supposed to move and doesn't: WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't: duct tape.

I will add to that adage bicycle tubes. My cycling hobby ends up producing a few tubes per year that can no longer be used for their intended purpose, but can be re-purposed. These are useful in a lot of ways: if something is loose and duct tape is not practical, cut a piece of rubber to wedge in there. They can be used to tie-off saplings, or hold something tight you don't want to damage. Pieces can be used for furniture you don't want to move on hardwood flooring, or for lamps or other objects that sit on tables. Cut them across into strips and you have rubber bands of whatever width you want. Etc.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:28 PM
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^ It's not quite household, but I use foam tubes between my car's seats and the console so when crap falls out of my pockets, it lands on the foam and doesn't get stuck under the seats where I can't get it.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:43 PM
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Flannel sheets. All our sheets are flannel (they are in fact cool in summer as well as warm in winter). When they wear out, I tear them into squares. Dish rags, shop rags, dusting rags, stable rags, nose wipes, ink blotters, shoe polishers, wound staunchers, window cleaners . . . When the rags are finally too raggy even for rags, I compost them. The only disposable paper product I buy is toilet paper.
  #95  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:11 AM
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Nyuk, nyuk. But when you make gravy, you're making a sauce; and I've heard Italian-Americans order spaghetti with gravy, so there. Neener neener.
Hey, there you go: Sunday gravy.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Nyuk, nyuk. But when you make gravy, you're making a sauce; and I've heard Italian-Americans order spaghetti with gravy, so there. Neener neener.
That must be Italians that come from certain regions. My grandparents were born in Calabria, Italy and I never heard the word gravy, it was only called sauce.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TRC4941 View Post
That must be Italians that come from certain regions. My grandparents were born in Calabria, Italy and I never heard the word gravy, it was only called sauce.
Believe it or not members of another board who are culinary professional, including a professional food historian (yes, that's a thing) did a pretty deep dive on this.
IIRC it seems that if your Italian immigrant family spent significant time in New York they ended up calling it gravy because of the influence of other ethnic groups (German for one I believe), but of your family left New York shortly after arriving, like mine did for Chicago, they adopted sauce as the appropriate replacement term for sugo.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by zoid View Post
Believe it or not members of another board who are culinary professional, including a professional food historian (yes, that's a thing) did a pretty deep dive on this.
IIRC it seems that if your Italian immigrant family spent significant time in New York they ended up calling it gravy because of the influence of other ethnic groups (German for one I believe), but of your family left New York shortly after arriving, like mine did for Chicago, they adopted sauce as the appropriate replacement term for sugo.
I've heard "gravy" here in Chicago among some Italian-Americans as well (usually as "red gravy"). My understanding is that the word comes from the translation of the word sugo, as opposed to salsa (which I see you've mentioned.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-14-2020 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I've heard "gravy" here in Chicago among some Italian-Americans as well (usually as "red gravy"). My understanding is that the word comes from the translation of the word sugo, as opposed to salsa (which I see you've mentioned.)
I have as well but upon inquiring I found out their family spent a few generations in New York and subsequently moved to Chicago. I'm sure it's not universal but it's interesting.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:33 AM
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Instead of buying woolite to wash delicate items, I rinse out the almost empty shampoo bottles into the sink. I get some good smelling suds to hand wash lingerie and the bottle is rinsed clean ready for recycling.
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