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  • Writer's pictureMerrow Savouries

Some basic cooking hacks & tips for your repertoire

Our family catering business has been established for over 24 years, and we have had the honour of catering for very many thousands of events, functions and occasions.

Where has the time gone?

In all these years, we have learnt of dozens of cooking ‘hacks’ that make our cooking and baking life easier and better.


Here we share just some of the tips, that really do work, and that may just make your 2024 cooking a little better.


-First idea, that Sue uses a lot – Leave some milk in the bottom of the plastic bottle it came in (or use a large jar, barely half full).  With lids tightly on, shake vigorously. Brilliant frothy milk for an iced coffee (delish) or base for a milk shake. Or use warm milk and shake to top a cappuccino.  Result!


-If you have cheese to grate, first pop it into the freezer for 15 minutes.  Much easier. Grated cheese also goes further than sliced. Another tip – always buy the best grater you can afford!


-To get the most juice out of a lemon or orange –  before cutting and squeezing,  first roll them whole, with the palm of your hand on a worktop.  Double whammy is good exercise for tired hands and fingers too.


-Best way to peel fresh ginger is to use the end of a teaspoon, as the skin is so thin. Good one.


-Drop of wine leftover?.... Freeze it in ice cube trays and stir still frozen into gravies, sauces or casseroles.


-Boiling pasta or noodles? Always use a big pan with lots of salted water and a splash of oil to stop it sticking.


-One of the secrets of Tom’s beautiful cakes is using fresh free range eggs, that have stood at room temperature, for 15 minutes before use.  


-Whipping cream? Again, take out of fridge just 15 minutes before using (no longer please) – it will whip quicker and give more volume.


-Do you have a jar of honey that has crystalised? This is still perfectly tasty and safe, just put the jar into a pot of warm water for about 15 minutes.  It will soon return to its lovely runny self.


-Too much fat in maybe your soup, gravy or bolognaise sauce?  Believe it or not - if you put a couple of ice cubes into the food, the fat will gravitate to the ice cubes, then just remove the cubes and attached fat with a spoon.  Same thing as putting gravy or meat sauce into a fridge, and the fat mysteriously rises to the top, sticking together – because it is cold.  


-Probably the best tip ever…

 Always break eggs into a separate bowl before adding to cakes, to whip meringues or to use for fried or poached eggs.  This idea was originally to make sure they weren’t ‘off’ and wasting all the other ingredients, but which would be rare nowadays, however it also means that if you do get a little shell in, you can easily remove it with a piece of another ‘magnetic’ shell, or use damp fingers.  Wizard.


Happy Cooking!Sue and Tom

PS Kitchen hacks next time…

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