CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, In The Kitchen Part 1, July 9, 2018

July 09

In the kitchen part one


Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about in the kitchen.

This is part one.




Hang most used pots and utensils from a wooden strip or                 pegboard on a wall or cabinet to easily locate.


When storing canned products such as fruits, vegetables and soups, reserve a shelf or a section of the shelf for each food group. The food most used                                    (soup for example) may be placed in the most convenient-to-reach location and the remaining cans arranged in alphabetical order according to their contents.


Extra shelving wide enough to accommodate one row of canned, bottled, or packaged goods eliminates the need to conduct extensive searches for items. Shelves can be installed on any convenient wall in the kitchen or basement, on the back of a door, in a closet or pantry. Attaching labels to shelf edges will help eliminate the need to label individual products.


Shelves can be sectioned off with a plastic straw laid horizontally and glued or taped into position. Strips of wood or dowels can be used for the same purpose.  Use easily recognized items as dividers (for example large bottles of mayo or ketchup) to separate canned goods of a similar size.


A variety of plastic trays and adjustable drawer dividers are available in hardware and department stores.


Canned products, baking products, etc., can be organized in different ways:  according to frequency of use, in alphabetical order, or into categories used.  For example, spices may be divided into two groups – those used for baking (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) and those used in main dishes (garlic, celery seed, etc.).


To help you find what you are looking for in your freezer try grouping foods of a similar type – fish, vegetables, or meats for example – into larger bags which you can take out while you find the particular packet you want.  If you have some color perception, differently colored labels and tags or colored bags may help.


A simple way to distinguish between a small number of identical containers such as cans, bottles, or salt and pepper shakers is to put an elastic band around one of them.  Alternately, select brands so that no two items are in identical containers.


Use large print or braille to make labels for spices, etc.  When a bottle is empty, you simply transfer the new item to the old bottle to avoid having to make new labels.  If the name can be shortened so that the label can be put on the lid of the container, you only need to change the lids.



Use a variety of materials and techniques.  There is no one material or technique that covers every labelling need. You may elect to use some or all of the methods described here, and even invent some new ones.



Do not be obsessed with labelling!  Among your food items and household supplies there are a number of items easily recognized by the touch, shake, or smell method.  These need not be marked.  Good organization in storing canned and packaged products, as well as personal items, and keeping everything in its place will significantly cut down your need for labelling.  Label only those things that cannot be distinguished by any other convenient means and keep any labels as short and concise as possible.


People who are visually impaired hould take advantage of colour contrasts. Work with dark ingredients on a light-coloured counter top or cutting board. Work with light ingredients on a dark surface.


Remove the eyes from potatoes with point of peeler or knife before peeling.


It is easier to determine if the peel on vegetables has all been removed when the vegetable is wet.  The portion of the vegetable that has the peel remaining on it will have a rough texture, while the portion peeled will have a smooth, moist texture.


Keep fingers curled in and downward while chopping vegetables, etc.  To gauge the thickness of a slice, put the blade of a sharp pointed knife by the forefinger of the hand that is holding the vegetable, then move knife and forefinger the required distance before cutting.  Some vegetables ( for example turnips ) should be cut in half  and placed flat side down on the chopping board before cutting into slices.  The Magna Wonder Knife (available from CNIB) has an adjustable slicing guide that makes it  safe and easy to cut slices of bread, vegetables, and meat into different thicknesses.


Toss a salad by shaking in a large covered bowl or container.  It gets well dressed and there is no mess!


Safety should never be overlooked, especially in the kitchen!  When working around the stove, avoid wearing anything that might dangle over the burners, such as loose sleeves or ties.


Don’t store flammables, especially oven mitts and dish towels, near the stove.


Be very familiar with your stove and oven before using.  Know which knobs control which burners.


Place your filled pot on the stove burner before turning the burner on.  If you have to place or replace a pot on a burner that is already hot, use a long-handled wooden spoon (which doesn’t conduct heat) to feel around the edge of the pot, ensuring the pot is centered on the burner.


Make sure pot handles do not extend over the front or sides of the stove where they can be easily bumped or knocked over.


When frying eggs, use an egg ring (available from CNIB).  Grease the ring before placing in the frying pan and drop one egg into each greased ring.  A food turner may be slid under the ring to easily remove the egg from the pan.


When frying meat which has to be turned, use a two-sided spatula (available from CNIB), which works like a pair of tongs.  Some people prefer oven baking or roasting meats because they do not have to be turned over.  Bacon, for example, which is very difficult to turn, may be cooked in your oven or microwave.


A colander, placed in a sink, provides an easy way to drain water from vegetables, pasta, etc. Pot strainers which attach to the rim of the pot are also excellent for draining water.


Explore your oven when cold to                     ensure you are aware of the                            position of the rack(s).


If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.



To contact me, send me an email at and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.