Rachael Jackson, a writer for EatOrToss.com, recently joined The Washington Post Food section staff in answering questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.
Q: I like to use fresh ginger when I’m cooking, but I always feels like I can’t use all of it before it starts to soften and shrivel. Are there any cool ways to use it as the ginger is about to go bad?
A: Yes! I love blending it with pineapple (fresh or canned). Have it with yogurt for breakfast, or mix it with juice/seltzer/rum to chill out in the evening.
— Rachael Jackson
Q: My husband bought me one of those KitchenAid ice cream maker attachments. It’s nice if I want to just make a small amount or if I’m doing add-ins, but the paddle attachment is awful. It pops off before the ice cream is done and then we have to reattach it as the ice cream is getting hard. Can you all recommend some other kind of ice cream maker that is better designed?
A: Yes! At least one commenter questioned why in my ice cream story I said that America’s Test Kitchen did not recommend the KitchenAid attachment, and this is exactly why. My pick (as well as ATK’s and Jeni Britton Bauer’s) is the Cuisinart ICE-21. It’s about $40, easy to use, assemble and clean. Plus, it makes ice cream with superb texture.
— Becky Krystal
Q: I love having raw garlic in dressings like ranch, but I often don’t need to use all the dressing at once. I’d like to save it, but I’ve always heard you shouldn’t touch raw garlic after a day unless it’s been in oil. Do other fats like buttermilk also preserve it for longer? Or should I still toss it and not try to save it for later use?
A: I’ve never had trouble with adding raw garlic to dressings and keeping it for a few days. Maybe my tastebuds aren’t as sensitive. But another way of approaching it is to make garlic confit, which is to slowly cook garlic cloves in a vat of olive oil (which you can reuse) until they’re soft (takes about 30 minutes) — and then add to dressings and such. It takes the sharp bite out of garlic but preserves the flavor.
— Olga Massov