Little Things. Big Differences.

Sometimes the smallest details can make us better cooks.

Little Things. Big Differences.

Sometimes the smallest details can make us better cooks.

A friend was recently in my kitchen and asked why I had so many tomatoes set out on the counter. I had 2 pints of cherry tomatoes that I planned to cut into halves and mix with diced cucumber, red onion and pieces of feta; a row of eight or so Roma plums that in a few days I would roast and toss with quinoa; and a cluster of beautiful on-the-vine imports for which I had buyer's remorse because despite their good looks, I knew they were tasteless. I told her all this but what she really wanted to know was why the tomatoes weren't in the refrigerator.

I'm certain there's much kitchen wisdom that I have still to gain, but since that tomato conversation, I've been carrying a piece of paper around with me, writing down some of what I have managed to learn, small things that can make a big difference.

Some of these tips make it easier to cook, or to buy and store ingredients. Others help us cook safer with better taste. I'm sure after I write this I'll think of several more, but here's a start.

As to those theories about salt helping water boil or raising its boiling temperature, there are mixed conclusions. But even if salt does help increase the boiling, it does so to such a miniscule degree that it makes no difference whatsoever in how fast or how well the pasta cooks. But keep salting for flavor. That does make a difference.

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