Kitchen Hacks 101

The pitcher base of most blenders unscrews from the pitcher – and fits on any standard-mouth canning jar…and from there, the possibilities are endless. Puree-to-freezer? Done before you start. Lighting-fast smoothies for breakfast? Just take the jar and go. Milkshakes, hummus ready for the fridge, fresh-blended Bloody Marys in the blink of an eye…

Most Convenient Smoothie Ever
• Load jar(s) with frozen fruit, about three-quarters full.
Think dark berries, frozen peaches, strawberries,
pomegranate, whatever…
• Place in freezer. Go to sleep.
• Wake up; reach for hangover cure. No hangover cure? Ye gods…stumble downstairs.
• Remove jar from freezer. Fill halfway with fruit juice and ladle a dollop of yogurt in there.
• Invert jar; place on blender
and go.
• Unscrew pitcher base and drink delicious smoothie immediately.*

*“Too fast…so cold…my eyes are burning.”


This works WAAAAY better than you’d guess…
Now, though, with this simple magic trick, you can peel an entire bulb of garlic (or two, or three, or ten if you’ve got vampires) in about 30 seconds:

Whap it
Place the bulb of garlic on the countertop and strike it from above with the heel of your palm, breaking it up a little. Doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to smash it into oblivion; just whap it up a little

Shake it like a Polaroid picture
Place the whapped cloves into a quart-sized ball jar. Screw on the lid and shake the shit out of it for like, what, 10 seconds? It don’t take much.

That’s it? You bet, baby. That’s all it takes. You may now slice, dice, mince or smash your garlic into whatever form you like. You’re welcome.


It’s summer, and while I’m sure Martha Stewart has adamantium screen doors, most of the rest of us will forget to take out the garbage and suddenly find ourselves waging a reenactment of the Battle of Britain with the tiny pests.

Here’s one effective-if-tacky hillbilly remedy:
• Being careful not to break the glass, drill a few holes in the lid of a standard ball jar. Brush off any raggedy bits with a wire brush or emery paper, if desired.
• Pour half an inch of apple cider vinegar in ball jar.
• Add two or three drops of dish detergent.
• Place tastefully adjacent to kitchen and dining areas, ideally near a doorway, and watch your foes succumb.

The apple-cider vinegar is roughly the color of whiskey, so with proper arrangement it is possible no one will notice your deadly Pit of Carkoon; the vinegar lures them inside the bottle and the detergent breaks the surface tension, preventing escapes.


Ball jars are handily marked with cup measurements on the sides; this trick allows you to sift right into your baking bowl and to store flour in your sifter.

• Acquire screen door mesh; you don’t need very much, just six square inches or so.
• Place on mouth of ball jar and put the lid and ring on top of the mesh.
• Use a marker to trace a circle around the bottom of the ring. Dissemble and use kitchen shears to cut out the circle.
• Fill jar with flour.
• Remove lid but replace retaining ring to hold the mesh on and then sift away; when finished, replace lid on remaining flour and store.