COLUMN — Tips on how to cook

Published 6:00 am Saturday, August 22, 2020

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As someone who spends much of her free time in the kitchen mastering the art of home cookery, I am often approached by friends and family for advice. I’ve decided to compile a list of the best cooking and diet tips I’ve accumulated over the years, be it advice from the internet or tried-and-true methods tested by yours truly. 

Tip #1: Are you tired of having to wait for water to boil each time you cook tea, rice or pasta? Simply boil a large pot of water ahead of time and freeze it into ice cubes to use in the future for instant boiled water.

Tip #2: Are you on a diet and looking to indulge without overdoing it? Here’s a great tip. When eating pizza, stack two pieces on top of each other. Your body can’t tell the difference and will count only one slice’s worth of calories. 

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Tip #3: I find that when I buy two or three packages of salad mix at a time, I always end up throwing a few bags unopened into the garbage two weeks later. My recommendation here is to buy salad mixes only one at a time, that way you throw only one away every two weeks.

Tip #4: Several people have asked me for tips on how not to cry when cutting an onion. It’s a hard trick to master, but you’ll find the secret is to emotionally distance yourself from the onion. Build up a wall between yourself and the onion, and as you’re doing the deed, remind yourself that your actions are committed in order to feed your family. 

Tip #5: When making homemade spaghetti, you may run into a situation in which you’ve accidentally not prepared enough for your whole family. Easily and cheaply bulk up homemade pasta by placing an order at your local Italian restaurant for a spaghetti dinner and mixing it in with your own.

Tip #6: Even I sometimes have trouble telling if an avocado is ripe. To determine if your avocado has ripened fully, drive to the nearest lake or river and chuck the avocado into the water. If the avocado sinks, it is ripe. If it floats to the top, it is a witch, and also, unripe. This trick also works with mangoes. 

Of course, if it wasn’t clear, these tips are all sarcastic, but I laughed at a few of my own jokes and hope you will find some humor in them too during a time in which we could all use an extra laugh. Perhaps one day I can provide some real cooking and diet advice, but for now, just remember to tie a string to your avocados when using that last method. 

Alexa Massey is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is