Quite arguably one of the hardest jobs in the world is taking on the responsibility of homemaker. Days often start early and end considerably later than the rest of the family. There are also many obstacles along the way - trying to figure out foolproof recipes for your kids and flu-proofing your house to name a few. With all these challenges to face, we start to rely on inventions and hacks to ease the everyday process, like these 6 that every homemaker should know about!
1. Ice-Cube Trays
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In an Asian family, drinking iced water is frowned upon for its deeply-rooted beliefs that it is simply not good for our bodies. Therefore, we often underutilise our ice cube trays even though they are pretty versatile for storing other food products. For instance, you can freeze leftover or unused sauces like curry paste and tomato sauce, cookie doughs if you bake, caramelised onions, and treats like frozen yoghurt bites.
2. Baking Soda
Messy is the new normal when you have kids in the house - we’re talking about splatters of sauces, clothing stains and all that unnecessary fuss. Fortunately for us, baking soda works wonders in getting rid of stains. It’s all-natural (no chemical additives), meaning that it’s safe for children with sensitive skin. Plus, the ingredient is known to remove odour as well. Read more on how to use baking soda as a stain remover here, and if you’re interested in DIY household products, read our compilation here!
2. Time-Efficient Thermal Cooker
From preparing raw ingredients to serving it on a plate, the process of making a meal can be tedious and long. Fortunately, there are time-efficient cookers like the Thermos® Shuttle Chef® that’ll ease up your kitchen time by helping you with some of the cooking. All you need to do is to bring the contents in the inner pot to a boil before transferring into the outer pot for the simmering process (it’ll bring out the full flavour of your dish too!). With Thermos® vacuum -insulation technology, this also means that you can cook hours before the family’s mealtime and still keep it hot and delicious! Check out the recipes you can try with the Thermos® Shuttle Chef® here.
4. Peppermint for Ants
Peppermint is one of the most effective natural insect repellents for tiny (and almost unstoppable) critters like ants. You can mix 20 drops of peppermint essential oil with 2 cups of water and spray it in areas that are often visited by the insects. This concoction also works as a perfume, refreshing your room with a minty smell. Similarly, you can also try growing peppermint herbs around your kitchen area (doubles as a garnish and ingredients for desserts and drinks) to keep ants at bay.
5. Sugar and Salt
A helpful trick not known to many is the use of salt to amplify sweet dishes and sugar for savoury dishes. For salt, a pinch of it in sweet dishes work to enhance the sweetness, sourness and umami flavour found commonly in dishes with mushrooms. Sugar, however, brings a balance to savoury dishes that are higher in acidity. This food trick is used in trendy recipes like sea-salt ice cream and salted caramel sauce.
This hack is also useful for balancing dishes as you’re cooking and tasting. For dishes that are slightly too salty, add a dash of sugar to neutralise it and vice versa. If eating healthy is your biggest priority, try replacing condiments with alternatives instead.
6. Lemon For Fridge
Got a funky smelling fridge? Lemons to the rescue! Known to soak unpleasant smells, there are a few ways you can prepare the deodorising agents. One, you can cut it in half and leave it open in the fridge. Two, you can juice it out and leave the peel to sit. Or three, you can juice it out, soak it with a cotton ball and wipe down the interiors of your fridge.
Fun fact: here are 10 other ways you didn’t know you can do with the all-versatile lemons!