I try to reduce the waste we produce around here, but sometimes, when the choice is between being eco-friendly or sane, I choose the latter. For example: cookie sheets. Cleaning cookie sheets is a major pain here because the kitchen sink is so tiny, so maneuvering a cookie sheet to scrub it usually sends water streaming all over the counters and the floor. It's a messy process. So I used to put off cleaning the cookie sheets, and I'd have a bunch of dirty cookie sheets hanging around, taking up valuable counter space. Eventually, to save my sanity, I started using a fair amount of aluminum foil in my cooking, so that cleaning the cookie sheets just involved lifting out the foil lining and maybe doing a quick rinse.
I feel bad about the extra consumption, so I try to make the foil do double duty before it gets tossed. Here are two of my favorite ways:
- Scouring non-stick pans. Sprinkle some baking soda in the dish, wad up some tin foil, and scrub away! It's safe on teflon, yet removes all the encrusted stuff easily. Maybe I should just learn to be a better cook and stop making stuff stick to the pan, but this is my go-to cleaning method for now!
- Catching cooking grease. Line a bowl with a sheet of foil, and use it to hold the cooking grease you pour off meat. Once it's cooled to a solid, you can just lift the whole thing out and toss it.
So those are my two trusty methods to reusing aluminum. However, I almost always have extra foil to use, so I'm open to more suggestions! Have any more ideas?