Feb 19, 2024

Weekly Roundup: Best Cooking Shortcut, JANM Educator Workshop and (Sorta) Free Money

If you're local, I hope you're staying dry because that rain is coming down - stay in and enjoy this week's roundup with a hot drink! (I've marked affiliate/referral links with a *, which means I may make a little bit of money if you make a purchase or sign up using that link - thank you!):

  • I thought I would share what might be my best kitchen shortcut: I've mentioned before that my husband and I dislike onions, but I discovered through the years that caramelized onions are acceptable. So what I do is chop a whole bunch of onions (you can do it by hand or with a food processor), and then cook them over low heat for a few hours with some olive oil and salt. When they're super soft and lightly browned, I let them cool and them put them in quart-size ziptop bags like the one in the photo below and freeze them flat. When I want to use them, I just snap off pieces, like you see in the pan next to the bag. You'll want to be sure to keep the bags fairly thin and not put too much onion into one bag - if the onion layer is too thick, it will be difficult to snap off pieces to use. (Ask me how I know 😂)

  • Here's a tip for when you have major work done on your house: Revisit your homeowner's insurance policy. Since we remodeled our kitchen last fall, we just increased the coverage of our homeowner's and earthquake policies. Obviously, we hope we'll never need to tap the insurance, but there was a fairly substantial earthquake a couple of weeks ago. (And with all this rain we're getting in Southern California, don't forget about flood insurance if you might experience resulting problems. Damage from mudslides may or may not be covered.)

  • It's Girl Scout Cookies time of year, and I've supported the daughters of a couple of friends. But if you don't have a local troop or scout you want to support, you can always order cookies from New York City's Troop 6000, which serves homeless girls. There doesn't seem to be a comparable troop in Los Angeles.

  • Do you know an educator? The Japanese American National Museum is currently accepting applications for a Landmarks of American History and Culture educator workshop titled Little Tokyo: How History Shapes a Community Across Generations, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. There's a $1,300 stipend and a trip to Manzanar National Historic Site.

  • Finally, I just wanted to note that it's worth claiming your portion of a class action settlement. Sometimes the payout is a measly $1.07 (I'm not kidding, we actually got a check for that amount once). But sometimes it's over $100. We've already received over $300 in class action pay outs this year (and it's only February). It's not exactly free money, but it's close! I do recommend checking to make sure the notification is legitimate when you first receive it, if you're not the one initiating the claim.

Please let me know if there's something you'd love to see in the roundup. And don't forget to sign up for my monthly email newsletter!

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