Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Green Bananas

Here's a little tip for helping your bananas to ripen a bit faster.

I actually discovered this by accident. We all know how frustrating it can be when you need bananas but the ones at the store are either about to rot or are a solid lime green.

Well, one day I came back from shopping and plopped the green bananas into the fruit bowl without bothering to take them out of their plastic produce bag. I normally do, but in the rush to put all the other food away, I just forgot.

I probably didn't think about it I knew it would be a while before we could eat them anyway.

The fruit bowl usually sits on the top of the pantry when I don't want it on the table, and I think it get's rather warm up there . . . Anyway, a day or two later, my daughter noticed them up there and started begging for bananas, I told her they weren't ripe yet, and got them down to show her, when to my surprise they actually looked quite yellow! We tried them and they were perfect!

Anyway, I'm not a scientist, but I think maybe keeping them in the bag had sort of a greenhouse effect and helped them to ripen faster, maybe because it simulated the warm moist environment they are native to.

Anyway, I probably shouldn't guarantee this, but it's always worked for me. I bought some rather green Bananas on Monday and look at them now!Tada!

Also, here are a couple more Banana related tips someone gave me:

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little "stringy things" off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave
them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

So I guess the point is . . . if you want them to ripen faster leave them together . . . But if they're already pretty ripe you'll want to separate them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Me Being Green

So I used to have a lot of Tupperware dishes in various sizes when I first got married. . . . Then slowly, (except for the large ones in which I keep flour, and sugar and such) most of them have slowly disappeared . . . Especially the nice small to medium sized one's that are good for leftovers. The main reason this is happening is that I will send these dishes with Jacob to work, and sometimes they get lost, or sort of melted in the microwave.
You know that thing Tupperware does after a while were it gets all cloudy and rough on the inside but it won't wash off because it's like the plastic is eroding away? Yeah, that happens . . . it's gross because no matter how hard I scrub I'm never sure how clean they really are. Also, Tupperware gets stained sometimes too . . . Sooo, I've been thinking I need to go and buy new Tupperware dishes . . . but then I realized something . . .

I always feel so guilty when I throw away the empty tubs of whipped topping, and sour cream and cottage cheese, and yogurt . . . you know, items like that . . . they usually have rather nice containers, but having been a pack rat in my past life, I've known better than to save them all the time. Until I realized something . . . If I use these containers for my leftovers, I won't feel so bad if they get lost or melted or cracked or stained or whatever, because I used to throw them away after using their original contents anyway! It actually makes a lot of sense to use them instead of buying new Tupperware because if I do that, even nice Tupperware get's yucky eventually and it's just kind of wasteful, especially when I'm buying plastic containers when I buy my sour cream anyway.
I hope all this rambling makes sense. Anyway, I'm way excited about this idea, and then of course, I can always recycle these containers when I want to replace them, but this way I'm not also using expensive Tupperware when I've already purchased these.


One thing though, I realized there could be a problem with this green solution. I needed a way to make sure I knew what is in them, because due to their opacity it can be easy to forget what they contain and never remember to use it till it's growing a fuzzy little pet in my fridge.

Then I had another inspiration. I have a little white board on the side of my fridge with it's own dry erase marker, so I realized that I can write on the containers so I know what's in them, and then I can just wipe it off, or it will wash right off once the container is empty. This way I'm not dealing with permanent ink or sticky tape or labels. Plus, I think that would be a waste of tape.

Tada! I am a genius! (Sometimes :} )

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yet Another Blog . . .

Okay, so I've been tempted to do this for a while now because I keep thinking of things I could post; like recipes and other house wifey-solutions and things I've come up with. However, I didn't want all that to interfere with my personal blog, any more than I want people who are looking for recipes to bogged down (or bLogged down maybe) with having to sift through all my personal blah blah . . .

So here we have it . . .


The name actually comes from a sort of inside joke because when I would make dinner for my husband when we were first married; he would come home and ask what was for dinner, and I'd be so excited that I made dinner for him, and that I thought it would be really excited once he tried it, so I would always say, "It's a surprise!" Especially in the cases where I was experimenting, so, in reality I wasn't sure what I had made was called.
Now, whenever I experiment with my cooking Jake will come home and say, "Oh, looks like we're having Julie Surprise!"

Oh yes, and I thought the green background would be appropriate because not only does it speak of food, but the top border reminds me of scrap booking or other crafty things . . . PLUS some of my posts are going to be about being more Green. As in the taking care of the planet sense.