Quick Tip: Using Scissors Instead of a Knife

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The whole point of last night's dinner was to be quick and easy. I had a surprise dinner guest in my mother-in-law and a baby who we'd planned to eat with at 6:30 so the right balance of quick and presentable was my primary concern. Because my mother-in-law was coming, I needed a step beyond scrambled eggs with pre-made kale pesto, my fallback with Ursula on busy nights.

Maybe a basic tomato sauce, without the carrots and celery (didn't have them) but what about adding some dried Porcini mushrooms? Porcini are a back pocket trick of mine to add depth to sauces, soups, and marinades.

After reconstituting the mushrooms in boiling water, I came to the task of having to cut them, something I take pleasure in when I have time and a sleeping baby. Plunging my fingers into a hot bowl of mushroom broth, retrieving some slimy, flaccid mushroom pieces and cutting them didn't appeal, so I remembered the handy pair of shears in my drawer, and all for which they are useful.

By using scissors instead of a knife, the cutting can be done quickly, and without removing the mushrooms from the bowl. It was done in under ten seconds. Including the photography (obviously - apologies for the camera phone shot.)

For a great list of other things you can use kitchen shears for, see Nina's ode to her Messermeister Kitchen Shears where she lists eight more kitchen uses for scissors.

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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