Helpful Utensil Hacks

Those studying the baking and pastry arts know there are many tools that help make cooking easier. Try our utensil hacks when you realize you lost the wine opener the last time you moved or you never really had a nut cracker in the first place.

If you need to open a bottle of wine …
When you’re in a pinch and can’t find the wine opener, take a pair of scissors and carefully insert one of the blades into the cork. Now use the handle to pull and twist the cork until it comes out. Be sure to hold only the handle, not the blade that isn’t in the cork.

If you want to really impress your friends and family, try this trick: Take a soft-cover book and hold it against the bottom of the wine bottle. Keeping the book pressed against the bottle, gently hit the other side of the book against the wall. Repeat around 20 times. For the first 10 or 12 hits it may seem like nothing is happening. In a few more hits you will see the cork slowly making its way out. Stop when the cork is protruding far enough that you can grab it and pull it out. You could also use your shoe in lieu of a book if you don’t have one on hand.

To crack a walnut …
Use your non-dominant hand to hold a walnut against the counter with the seam between the nut halves lying face-up. Hold the nut like you would a nail when you are about to hammer it. Hold a butter knife in your dominant hand and cautiously push it into the line until the knife is halfway through the nut. Hold the walnut tightly and twist it apart. Be careful not to twist the knife as you push, as this could cause you to stab through the walnut and potentially hurt the hand holding it. The nut should crack into pieces. Use the knife to get out any meat that is still in the shell.

As a fun party trick you can crack two walnuts with just your hands. Hold two walnuts in the same hand. Arrange them so that the wrinkle of one fits into the indent of another. Now make a fist with that hand using all the strength you can muster. One of the nuts should crack open from the force. If you have small hands or aren’t particularly strong, use one hand to hold the nuts and the other to increase the pressure.

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