I think mundane everyday life should be appreciated more.
Don’t get me wrong- I’m the biggest advocate of planning ahead, constant assessment of situations, and thinking macro-
And yet- on a day-to-day basis- we need to eat, drink, rest, and take care of ourselves, in a manner that could be perceived (wrongly) as, well, not that exciting.
Unlike Hollywood stars, us ordinaries, lead very predictable and monotonous lives, that don’t take miraculous-or disastrous turns within 35 minutes of the beginning of the movie.
Well- most of us -at least. I am well aware that some people manage to actually tangle up their ordinary lives into such a mess that can easily be pitched for a movie.
Others- while we are on the subject, have a habit of perceiving their lives as one giant drama- and getting all worked up over situations other people wouldn’t bother thinking about.
Anyway- for me as a not-so-exciting person ( that is, to say the least of it) -leading a mundane life, hacks that make my mundane tasks easier and more fun, especially now that I am retired, are a thing.
So- here they are- my simple yet effective everyday hacks:
#1: How to produce ice cubes that will fit into a regular water bottle!
you have to admit it can’t get more mundane than that.
And yet- have you ever planned to go out on a hot summer day and wished your large water bottle could keep your water cool for a longer period?
I have, several times.
I don’t like to rely on possible water fountains, dislike buying bottled water in convenience stores- both from the environmental point+ the frugal point, so I never leave the house without a water bottle.
Before you get all worked up about the plastic -you are absolutely right- I usually use my refillable stainless steel water bottle-
But- there are occasions I know I will need a larger bottle, (1.5-2 liters)-and refilling will be a bit&*, so I fill my plastic one.
The thing is- its nozzle is wayyyy narrower than my regular bottle, so inserting my ice cubes is impossible.
Impossible?? well- not so much.
No way I will buy a smaller ice cube tray, I have a small kitchen, no room for specially designed thingies.
The hack now, please?
phase 1: put said regular-sized ice cubes in a small bowl.
phase 2: add cold water just so you cover said cubes.
wait a minute or two.
the cubes will shrink but not melt totally due to the coolness of the added water- now you can insert the shrunken cubes into your bottle, and of course, add the cold water you used for the process.
How about that. genius-told you.
#2: Take cold water up a notch!
The tip? freeze half a bottle with the nozzle upwards
Bet you wonder why you need to bother about the bottle’s nozzle.
well, that is because if you freeze a half-full water bottle just laying in your freezer, then, like me, you shall discover there is no way in the world you can pour more water into the bottle, for the purpose of actually using the bottled water, because, well, the nozzle is clogged tightly by the ice formed in the bottle. yep.
This is why, when you want to use the method of freezing half a bottle and filling the rest later with cold water- you need to freeze the bottle with its nozzle resting gently upon something in the freezer that will elevate only the nozzle.
*Now- when using this method- you need to remember that when icy cold water meets hot humid whether- the result is a “sweaty bottle”- meaning- water forms outside the bottle too- so remember to use a water carrier of some sort- will also keep your water cool -costs about 3 $ on eBay. totally reusable -and can save you when going for long drives or errands.
#3: how to peel onions in a split second?
Well- you simply cut them in half first.
Don’t give me the evil eye- just try it.
Once you cut the onion- the peel won’t slip away from you as it always does- seeing that onions are round or oval-shaped. (most of them, anyway. )
#4: how to clean your Vitamix
Admittedly this tip is not my idea but the manufacturers of Vitamix advise their buyers to clean it that way-which only proves another ancient but solid point of mine- before using a tool or device- read the instructions carefully- better yet- save them in your Gmail account.
The tip is valid for all those sticks to the bowl smoothy days, sauces, and other remnants of very much desired food- much less desired scum to clean.
The tip? rinse the Vitamix bowl once, then fill it halfway with warm water- and a drop of dishwashing soap- and simply turn the Vitamix on high, as if you were making another sticky smoothy.
This should get most of the dirt out then rinse again- with clean warm water and repeat the process of putting the Vitamix to work on high- this time with the clean warm water.
You will thank me for that last time- because I highly doubt you like the taste of dishwashing smoothy first thing in the morning.
* While on the subject- this tip works great for hand mixers too- things always stick to the blades, and you do not want to start picking endlessly between the blades- unless you do- in that case- by all means- do whatever you want with your time.
Fill a bowl with warm soapy water and start the hand mixer inside the bowl- yes-stirring and foaming the soapy water to bubbles. fun. yay.
Then rinse and repeat with clean warm water for the exact same reason stated above.
#5: the fastest way to defrost things.
I kid you not.
This is an evidence-based fact people.
when you need to defrost something quickly- you forgot to thaw it overnight in the fridge like a responsible adult would- simply put it under a ceiling fan turned on high for 10-15-20 minutes.
you will be amazed.
Just do yourself a favour and if your ceiling is located over a wooden table- put a towel underneath the thawing thing, because a puddle will form.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.