Metal spoons have multiple uses. You can use several to make a wind chime or garden markers, or use one as a little shovel for houseplants or small digging jobs in your garden. Chilled (refrigerated) spoons can help reduce puffy eyes, too. Apply the rounded side to your closed eyes. The handles can be bent and made into spoon rings or bracelets. You can make resin spoon pendants or ornaments, too. For a tutorial, visit www.tamedraven.com/2012/03/tutorial-how-to-make-spoon-pendants.html.
I was taught to peel an orange by cutting into the top or bottom with a spoon and sliding the spoon around the orange to peel off the skin.
The first reader tip uses a spoon in a similar way:
Peel a hard-boiled egg:
Roll the hard-boiled egg around on the counter, and then pinch the top of the shell off. Gently slide the spoon down the side between the egg and shell, and the egg will practically peel itself. — S.H.P., Louisiana
I made nectar in a pan until I realized I could use the microwave to make it right in the feeder jar, which is much quicker and leaves me with fewer dishes to clean. Or I make it in a quart jar in the microwave, storing the extra in the fridge so it’s handy. Be sure to bring feeders in at night if bears or raccoons are a problem; they’re very destructive to hummingbird feeders. — S.D., Minnesota
Use for plastic straws:
Whenever I accidentally overwater a house plant, I dump the water from the saucer and stick two to three straws in the dirt to let the water evaporate at a faster pace. Some plants don’t do well at all when they have their “feet” wet. — F.F., Pacific Northwest
Thicken chili or stews:
I use a handful of oatmeal to thicken my chili. Instant mashed potatoes will also thicken it, and packages of chicken or brown gravy mix can be used to thicken chicken and noodles, beef and noodles or stews. — Ali, Indiana
I always use instant mashed potatoes in my chili to make it really thick. As for ground beef, I usually grind up oats and add them to it to make it go further, no matter what I am making with it. I have gone as high as fifty-fifty with the mixture, but like it best with a mix of three parts beef, one part oats. — Bee, forums
Use for clean kitty litter:
Many campers use a five-gallon bucket as a portable toilet. They line the bucket with two kitchen trashcan liners and apply kitty litter between uses to absorb the waste and smell. Campers who store their RVs in humid weather will often put recycled aluminum pie plates filled with kitty litter in the camper to absorb moisture. And let’s not forget those wonderful buckets some brands of kitty litter come in. I use them to hold my recyclables. — Ali, Indiana
I wish to add another use for cat litter (clumping or non-clumping) to your list. If no sand is available, cat litter works to fill the bottom of Christmas luminary bags. — Marianne R., email
An electric pressure cooker will cook beans, stew, ribs, roast and many other dishes up to twice as fast. It saves energy and doesn’t heat up your house like the kitchen stove. Electric cooking appliances save money by not heat-loading your A/C system in the summer, too! — M.F., Ohio