Tag Archives: Timesavers

Make-It Monday: Grape slicer

Here’s another trick that’s been making the rounds on all the Pinterest-clickbait sites. I hadn’t really had occasion to use it until the other day, when I was making another batch of cranberry sauce, but it works well, with a few caveats.

Cutting through a zillion individual grapes takes FOREVER.
Cutting through a zillion individual grapes takes FOREVER.

I add grapes to my cranberry sauce, because they taste good and give it a more assertive texture. The down side is that they have to be cut in half. Standing around cutting individual grapes in half is a pain, but I remembered a trick I’d seen for slicing cherry tomatoes and decided it probably would work just as well with grapes: Lay a handful of whatever small food you’re slicing on a cutting board, put a plastic lid on top of it, and press down gently while you run a knife just under the lip of the lid to slice through all of the grapes/tomatoes/whatever in one fell swoop.

Hold down the lid to keep the fruit from squirming out from under it while you slice.
Hold down the lid to keep the fruit from squirming out from under it while you slice.

In one of the pictures, you can see the edge of a big bread knife, which I’d thought might work well — most of the clickbait pictures I’d seen showed someone using a serrated blade considerably longer than the width of the lid — but in reality, big knives are unwieldy, and I’m klutzy, so I ended up sawing through the lid and making a mess of the grapes. I swapped the bread knife for a plain old steak knife, which was easier to handle and made a much neater cut without damaging the lid.

If you’re just slicing a handful of tomatoes for a salad, I wouldn’t bother getting out the lid, but if you have a large number of small fruits or vegetables to cut, it’s definitely worth rummaging around in the recycler for a plastic lid to speed up the process.


Make-It Monday: Easy shower scrubber


Here’s a cheap, easy timesaver for you, gleaned from one of those Pinterest-clickbait listicles. I’m not sure where the idea originated, as several variants on it have been making the rounds for a while, but the upshot is that you fill a dish wand with soap and vinegar, hang it in your shower, and use it to wipe down the walls and fixtures after you shower, thus keeping soap scum at bay and obviating the necessity of scrubbing.

You will need:
Hook you can hang in or just above your shower
Dish wand
Dishwashing liquid

Install the hook. (Protip: Command hooks are worthless for this. I want to love them, but I’ve never had any luck getting the adhesive to work in humid conditions, and the inside of a shower is about as humid as it gets.)

Fill the dish-wand reservoir halfway with dishwashing liquid. Most of the Pinterest versions of this will specify Dawn, as if it has magical properties, but the brand really isn’t important. I think we used Costco’s eco-friendly store brand, but whatever you have on hand is fine.

Fill the reservoir the rest of the way with vinegar (either apple-cider vinegar or plain distilled will work), screw the cap on, and shake it up.

Hang the dish wand from the hook. Before you step out of the shower each morning, give the dish wand a good shake and use it to wipe down the inside of the shower while it’s wet. Takes about 30 seconds and knocks down the soap residue before it has a chance to dry and leave a film on everything in the shower. Not bad for something that costs less than $5 and takes maybe 5 minutes to throw together.