Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tip o' the Day: Don't Scrub Sugar

Yes, I've got a brand-spanking new Tip of the Day, less than twenty-four hours on the heels of my last one.  I think I might make this a regular posting, not daily (don't be led astray by the title) but weekly. Since this tip is being posted on a Sunday, I think I'll post a new tip every Sunday. The Bible says that a person shouldn't work on Sunday (well, the Bible really says the Sabbath, which Christian tradition has interpreted to mean "Sunday"). I guess it's good that I'm not religious anymore, then, although I do still feel a tiny pang of guilt/fear/something bad from this decision and from mocking the biblical prohibition, given my past as a religious churchgoer. (I might have added, "deeply religious churchgoer", but obviously it wasn't that deep or I'd still believe in it.) It's not that God is going to punish me any less for not caring, it's just that my lack of concern about the matter is, well...a lack of concern. I've probably already offended the twenty percent of my three semi-regular readers who are of the Christian faith, but I can't move the day to Saturday, or I'll offend the point-zero-one percent of said readers who are Orthodox Jewish, and I definitely can't move the day to Monday, or I'll offend myself, who wholeheartedly believes in refraining from performing any kind of work on Monday. Sunday it is.

Now, if you haven't heard the word on sugar, let me enlighten you: it's pretty bad stuff, nutritionally speaking. Sugar is diabetogenic any way you slice it (and good luck with slicing it, 'cause I've haven't been able to yet...bah-dah-bam!). Setting aside the fact that diabetes is a pretty shitty disease on its own, it has been proven and/or suspected of putting the sufferer at greater risk for just about every other disease known to mankind.* If you don't really care about this fact, or if you're like me and maintain a strict low-carb regimen yet still indulge in sugar as a treat on rare occasions**, you may have tried to make candy a time or two. Maybe you're a regular candy-maker (in which case you might already be aware of this tip) or maybe you've never tried to make candy before (in which case you should pay attention anyway, in the instance that you decide to try your hand at homemade candy in the future). This tip also applies to homemade syrups or any similar cooking process that can cause a hard, sugary mess to cling to a saucepan.

Like the last tip I posted, this isn't my original idea. (Although I think I thought of the idea independently of anyone else, so I should at least be given credit for that. Please?) If you find yourself with a nasty sugary mess inside of your favorite saucepan after making caramels/peppermint syrup/sweetened condensed boogers, don't wear yourself out trying to scrub it off. Just fill the saucepan or pot until the level of water is higher than the level of hardened sugar (allowing at least a small head space at the top of the pan/pot) and bring the water to a rolling boil. Allow the water to boil for about five minutes, longer if necessary. Remove saucepan from heat and pour the boiling water down the drain, being careful to avoid steam burns/splashing yourself. After this, simply clean the pan as you normally would. If there is stuck-on sugar that was above the waterline, you may need to scrub that, but as for most of the pan, it'll be a piece of cake to clean, as the boiling water dissolved the sugar and washed it down the drain for you! :)

*This may be a slight exaggeration--but only a slight one.
 **This may be an outright lie.

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