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  • January 17, 2021

Assess what your knives need. If they’re just a little dull, a honing rod may do the trick. But if this is the first time you’ve sharpened your knives in a decade, you’ll probably need to use a whetstone.

Soak your whetstone in tap water for five minutes. Mr. Casey advised that you’ll want it to stay wet for the whole process. “Dunk it back into the water if it dries out. You don’t want sparks or dust flying.”

Slow and steady does it. If you have a knife so dull it balks at a even wedge of brie, use the larger grit side of the stone first (a grit in the 1,000 range is a good place to start). Lay your knife on the stone, then tilt so it’s at a 15- to 20-degree angle. Starting at the heel of the knife (the side closest to the handle), pull it gently along the stone, maintaining that 15- to 20-degree angle the whole way through the pull. The entire motion should be like an exaggerated J, as you pull your hand back, then loop around to bring the blade back to the stone. Mr. Casey recommended switching sides each swipe to ensure your blade is evenly sharp. Use the finer grit (4,000-6,000) once you’ve got the blade in basic fighting shape. If the knife slices through a piece of paper with ease, it will slice and dice carrots and turnips. Finish by wiping the knife down with a clean kitchen towel.

Drugs expire and get pulled from the marketplace, so making sure what you have is still safe to use will give you peace of mind.

Doing this once a year should be fine, said Dr. Thomas So, a clinical pharmacist at First Databank, which publishes and maintains drug databases for health care professionals.

Consider where your drugs live. If it’s the bathroom, you need to find another spot. “That is the worst place to put any of your medications,” said Dr. So, citing the high heat and humidity of your shower as detrimental to drugs’ longevity. He keeps his over-the-counter drugs in a kitchen cabinet, away from the stove.

Check expiration dates. Most drugs will be OK a few months past their expiration date, Dr. So said. There are exceptions though; expired antibiotics in the tetracycline family can actually cause kidney damage.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/at-home/improve-your-life-with-these-tiny-chores.html

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