Warming milk without scorching your pan

This hip trick comes to us courtesy of Sophie in Brooklyn. She wrote me from summer camp to share it after making ricotta with her camp counselors!

Take an ice cube and rub it along the bottom surface of your pan. Pour in your milk and heat according to the instructions for whatever you’re making. Be careful not to scrape the bottom of the pan or you’ll remove your special anti-scorch seal.

Yogurt and cheesemaking sans candy thermometer

I gave away my standard candy thermometer last year because I couldn’t manage to use it without inevitably burning myself. (Tilting the pan to get a decent reading requires coordination and I’m not blessed in that realm.) Well, lately I find myself in the throes next-book research: yogurt and cheesemaking, tasks which ask you to keep good measure of temperatures, and rightly so; the bacteria in question prefer you to be precise.

This hip trick, born of necessity, kept my fingertips out of the steaming milk and my trusty meat thermometer in a place where it could do its best work. What problems can’t a clothespin solve?!