Although we cook day in and day out in The Chatelaine Kitchen, it certainly doesn’t make us ‘perfect’ cooks in any way. We still make plenty of mistakes just like anyone else.
Here’s an example of a blooper I made last week while developing a new recipe and reducing a sauce on the stove top. I had only stepped away for a couple minutes, but when I returned to the kitchen I was greeted by the smell of burnt food. My sauce had reduced alright – but to a thick, black, caked-on layer at the bottom of the pan!
Yup, I burnt this baby good. So what was a girl to do? Sure, I could have secretly tossed the pan, but it’s hard to hide such a mistake with people from Chatelaine magazine wandering into the kitchen every five minutes asking “Is something burning?”
So out came our trusty old friend – baking soda – to save the day.
Baking soda is known not just for it’s rising power in baked goods, but also as a cleaning tool. You can use it as a de-greaser to clean ovens and stove tops; mix it with equal part vinegar to clean your drains (think 7th-grade volcano project); and of course keep an open box in your fridge to absorb odours.
I simply sprinkled some baking soda in the pot (liberally)…
And poured in just enough water to cover the char.
I placed the pot on the stove top, and let it simmer on medium-low for an hour. I then rinsed out the pan and let it dry. The caked-on mess turned into a flaky black mass was easily scrubbed off. You might have to repeat this step, depending on how burnt your pan is.
After a good scrubbing, I now have a pan as good as new! For other baking soda tips, click here.