Kitchen Shrink

Sara Moulton, Kitchen Shrink

Welcome to the Kitchen Shrink, where you email me with your culinary questions and I do my best to answer them.

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Recently Submitted Questions

Fruit: Selecting and handling early summer fruit
Freshly picked apricots are the first “stone” fruit of summer. Shortly after they appear on the market, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and then plums arrive. Prompted by the warmth of the early summer sun each ripens... read answer »

Buttermilk: Can you freeze buttermilk?
Gloria recently e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink to ask if she could freeze leftover buttermilk, thaw and use some, and refreeze the remainder. While buttermilk producers suggest that you not freeze buttermilk for best flavor and... read answer »

Wedding Cakes: Tips for making a wedding cake from a favorite recipe.
I recently got an e-mail from Joan saying, “Our family loves your gingerbread recipe. In fact, my daughter is getting married and I will be making your recipe as their cake.  There will be 150... read answer »

Chicken Soup: How can I get more flavor in my chicken soup?
I recently got an e-mail from David who said “I am making chicken soup for my picky eaters, and . . . . the soup has little chicken flavor and no yellow color. . .... read answer »

Maple Syrup: What is Grade B Maple Syrup?
Marilyn e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that she has a recipe that calls for Grade B Maple Syrup and wonders if she can substitute Grade A Maple Syrup as her supermarkets don’t have Grade B. Most... read answer »

Tapioca Starch: How do you use tapioca starch?
I just received an e-mail asking me about using tapioca starch to thicken soups and desserts. Tapioca, manioc, or cassava starch is a fine white powder produced from the cassava root, which is grown in... read answer »

Eggs: Is there an easy way to peel a hard-cooked egg?
I recently got an e-mail from Sandy asking if there is an easy way to peel an egg. She said, “I lose most of the egg when I do it.” Well, actually it has more... read answer »

Cookie Dough: Are all cookie doughs freezer friendly?
Liisa recently e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink to ask “are all cookie doughs freezer friendly?” What a good question. It is so convenient to have already prepared cookie dough in the freezer so you can have... read answer »

Wooden Boards: What is the best way to clean wooden cutting boards?
I recently got an e-mail from Kitty asking, “What is the best way to clean wood cutting boards?” While there are lots of other choices in cutting boards these days, wooden boards are still very... read answer »

Spices: All about fennel pollen.
Recently the Kitchenshrink has gotten several questions about fennel pollen, an intensely aromatic flavor enhancer that has shown up on restaurant menus in the past several years. What is it? How do you use it?... read answer »