Packing to go on holiday and want to fold your t-shirts in mere moments? Or maybe you’d like to impress your significant other with your laundry skills? Either way, this is the video for you.
As part of their Easy Tips series, Zanussi presents the perfect way to fold a t-shirt in three seconds flat.
Lay the t-shirt on a flat surface with the collar on your left.
Imagine a line running across the shirt from the shoulder to the hem, and another cutting it in half. The first line will be horizontal, from your point of view, while the second one will be vertical.
Pinch the shirt at the point where the two lines cross with your right hand, and at the shoulder on the same line with your left. Make sure you’re holding the front and back pieces of fabric.
Pull the shoulder of the tee over to where your second line meets the bottom hem. This will mean crossing your arms over. Grab the hem with your left hand, but keep hold of the shoulder as well.
Lift the shirt and uncross your hands, pulling the fabric taught. You’ll end up with a half folded shirt hanging down.
Drape the shirt face down onto the surface and use this motion to fold the section you’re holding on top.
This method is perfect if you’re travelling or want to quickly fold clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer. Your t-shirts will be neat, tidy and crumple free.
Zanussi’s Easy Tips aren’t the only way you can make laundry day simpler. Take a look at our Lindo300 washing machines for XXL 9 kg drums capable of fitting in 65 items in one go.
Now that’s easy.
Bosch have created this simple video which shows exactly how water efficient their dishwashers are – you’ll be amazed by the results.
Some dishwashers, like those featuring Bosch’s ActiveWater technology, use as little as 6.5 litres of water in a cycle. If you washed the same amount of crockery, cutlery, pots and pans in the sink, you’d need to fill a bowl multiple times to do the same job.
Dishwashers are energy efficient, too. The electricity costs an average of just 14p per cycle*.
It’s a common misconception that dishwashers fill up with water, but in reality there’s just a small amount at the bottom of the machine. This is much hotter than your hands could bear in the sink – all the better for killing germs – and is sprayed on the dishes at high pressure to get them sparkling clean.
View our range of Bosch dishwashers.
*Based on average energy prices paid (Ofwat, uSwitch, Nielsen 2014).
A very Happy Halloween from Euronics! To celebrate the creepiest evening of the year, we’re offering a free colouring template to download and print off. Simply click on the image below.
Colouring’s perfect if your little darlings are over-excited or have eaten a few too many sweets. Keep them quiet for a bit and take the opportunity to put your feet up. When they’re finished, take a picture of their efforts and share it with us on Facebook. We’d love to see your pictures!
Geof Manthorne is Executive Chef at Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Maryland. He appears in the Food Network reality show Ace of Cakes where Geof, founder and chef Duff Goldman and their team create some of the world’s biggest, boldest and most beautiful cakes.
Outside of the kitchen Geof is a talented folk and country musician.
Working at Charm City Cakes
Geof has spent over a decade crafting some of the most extravagant and ambitious cakes ever made, and there’s not much about the world of baking he hasn’t seen. But he still loves taking on new challenges in the Charm City Cakes kitchen.
Food writer James Ramsden knows how to throw a dinner party. He runs The Secret Larder – a critically acclaimed London supper club.
He’s written a book called Do-Ahead Dinners, designed to help home cooks prepare food in advance, and regularly discusses culinary trends on Radio 1.
Read how James became the host with the most and find out how planning ahead can save you time and money, plus how to host the perfect dinner party.
Neil Matthews has cooked in Michelin starred kitchens with the crème de la crème, such as Michel and Alain Roux, Richard Guest and Michael Caines. He also taught foraging and butchery at the River Cottage Organic Farm. Now, aged just 29, he’s Head Chef at London cooking school, L’atelier des Chefs.
Neil is exuberant, down to earth and passionate about food – just what you’d expect from an ambitious young chef. He’s worked in some of the UK’s finest restaurants, but over the years he’s drifted away from his fine-dining roots and adopted a style that’s much more rustic. Nowadays, he loves simple dishes made with great-tasting ingredients.
Find out why Neil prefers electric hobs to gas, why his favourite tool is a pot lid and what he keeps in his cupboards.
I Couldn’t Do Anything Else
Like most chefs, Neil admits he can’t imagine doing anything else.
“I love the cheffing lifestyle. I went to college and really liked it. When I put on chefs’ whites for the first time I felt like I was dressing up, but now I really like it. I feel comfortable. I just love the banter in the kitchen and working in a big team.
“It’s so versatile what you can do in cooking. You can work in a Michelin restaurant, you can teach, you can be a private chef for someone – I’ve done quite a lot of things with my cooking already,” he says.
To say that Neil’s packed in a lot of things is an understatement. When he was 18, Neil decided he wanted a Michelin star. So that’s exactly what he set out to do, going on to work in the kitchens of the UK’s best restaurants.
“I wanted to work in Michael Caines’ restaurant, which I did for a year. I wanted to work with Michel Roux, to learn the best classical French food. I wanted to work with Richard Guest at The Castle Hotel, simply because his food is the best I’ve ever tasted in my life. And he’s got a little restaurant now called Augustus, which is amazing.”
Neil’s CV is impressive. As well as the Castle Hotel in Taunton and Michael Caines’ ABode Hotel in Exeter, he’s worked at the three Michelin starred Waterside Inn, which was created by Albert and Michel Roux. The Rouxs are arguably the most famous family of chefs in the world, and the restaurant is now run by Michel’s son Alain.
Getting Back to Basics at River Cottage
Neil soon discovered that fine dining wasn’t to his taste and decided that Michelin style food was no longer for him. Instead, he went to work at the River Cottage Organic Farm to rediscover his roots.
“I just wanted to go back and learn food again. Go back to my roots and learn how to cure meats, learn butchery and learn how to teach. Some people see it as a step back but I see it as step forward – learning to cook again. Getting out of the Michelin game and learning real food.”
As well as a farm, River Cottage is a cooking school and has its own restaurant.
“Originally I went down to teach how to fillet and work with fish. Then I did fish and meat, and then fish, meat and bread. After two years, I was doing foraging courses – working with mushrooms we’d just collected. I was doing edible hedgerows courses. It was so diverse – they do so many different courses there.”
Now Head Chef at the St Paul’s L’atelier des Chefs, Neil still enjoys teaching others.
“I teach to pass on knowledge and that’s what it’s about for me – to teach home cooks how to make nice food. It’s rewarding. I wanted to do something with my skills – not necessarily slogging it out in the kitchen from seven am ‘til midnight every day.
“The hours I do now are probably from nine ‘til nine or ten. A 12 or 13-hour day is different from a 15 or 16-hour day. And teaching’s much more relaxed. Physically it’s a very easy job, but mentally – your brain’s always occupied and thinking.”
Are Chefs Really Cooking on Gas?
As with any craft, having the right equipment for cooking is essential. People often assume that gas hobs are the choice of professional chefs, but Neil prefers induction units – at least at home. These use a magnetic field to create heat within the pan itself.
“To teach or as a chef, I’d rather have gas. But if it was at home I’d rather have a really nice induction hob. If I had a nice induction stove at home I’d keep it for life.”
At L’atelier, they don’t have gas at all – they only have electric cookers. Neil prefers them, but admits that some people find induction hobs confusing.
“If you’ve got a pan on a gas flame you can see it’s getting hot. If it’s on an induction hob, people say ‘Chef, my stove’s not working.’ It is working – it’s just deceptive because you can’t actually see the flame heating it up,” says Neil.
Although their source of heat is invisible, he reckons modern electric hobs could save you time.
“Ceramic and induction hobs heat up a lot quicker than gas. If something’s going to take five minutes to come to the boil on gas, I’d say it’s going to take three or three-and-a-half minutes on ceramic or induction. It is a lot quicker.”
Get Creative with Unconventional Cooking Tools
If you’ve ever watched shows like MasterChef: The Professionals, you’ll have seen sous-vide cooking in action. Water baths and vacuum pack machines are used to cook food at low temperatures for long periods of time. These pieces of kit are fairly common in professional kitchens, but Neil saves them for cooking dishes where it’s essential to keep in the moisture.
“I personally don’t like water baths for steaks and things like that. But if you’ve got a little game bird – say a grouse or a wood pigeon – I think it’s really nice to leave the crown on the bone and put that in a water bath with, say, a sprig of time, a little bit of lemon zest and some garlic. All the flavours marry together and it keeps it really moist.”
As with blenders and food processors, these kitchen tools can be useful if you have a specific goal in mind.
Lifting the Lid on Some Sticky Issues
In keeping with his love of rustic cooking, some of Neil’s favourite items of kitchenware are decidedly low-tech – like non-stick pans and silicone pot lids. Investing in basic kitchen items has proved invaluable to our talented chef.
“I think it’s really important to have a good non-stick pan in your house – whether you’re going to cook fish, meat or scrambled eggs,” he says.
Looking after your equipment is important too, as Neil explains.
“We got some lovely new non-stick pans in December. We paid about £80 each for them. And I’ve asked very nicely that they don’t get put through the dishwasher, but they have been. So I tried to cook eggs this morning and they all stuck in the pan.”
Luckily, Neil’s got a top tip for fixing the problem.
“I just prove them with salt. Put them on the heat for about two hours with table salt and that will restore the non-stick.”
Saving space in the kitchen is something else people often struggle with, but Neil’s got a solution for that too.
“Another good tool is a lid – just a really simple lid. We’ve probably got 40 pans in the kitchen, which obviously equals 40 lids. I’ve put them all in storage and now we just have six – three large silicone ones, and three small. Silicone lids fit every size pan and it saves me a couple of meters of space. I think a silicone lid’s actually my favourite tool here.
“Get yourself one – you’ll chuck all your lids away at home.”
Make Sure Food Passes the Taste Test
One of Neil’s top tips is to taste your food.
“Taste, season, taste. The kitchen porters used to get fed up with me here because I used so many spoons. If I had a class of 20 people, I could get through 100 or 120 spoons. So I bought these tiny little plastic spoons in and it’s the most genius thing we’ve done – people have got to taste stuff all the time.”
Cooking is all about instinct too. Neil also encourages people to experiment and make things up as they go along.
“Don’t be too set in what you want to cook. If you want salmon, some sort of vegetable and potato, and you go out with that set in your mind, you’re going to come back with salmon, vegetable and potato.
“If you’re going to a fishmonger, keep your eyes open. The salmon might be old. You don’t need to necessarily follow a recipe. Go with what you want. If you’re reading a recipe with coriander and you don’t like it, leave it out and use parsley or mint.”
Ingredients to Keep in your Cupboard
Ever wondered what a chef keeps in his cupboards? At L’atelier des Chefs, the fridges and storerooms contain pretty much anything you can imagine but at home, Neil likes to keep a few key ingredients to hand.
“I always have a bottle of sherry vinegar, walnut oil and wholegrain mustard – I just put them on everything really. I’ve always got plain flour and strong flour. Good quality salt is quite important as well – I think that can be taken for granted. Table salt’s only good for cleaning pans really. You want to be using a good quality sea salt – Maldon sea salt’s very good.”
Using quality ingredients and fresh produce is something Neil is passionate about.
“In our Italian class today we had buffalo mozzarella – £4.50 each. Cow’s mozzarella is £3.50. If you’re going to use a product, use a good product and pay a pound more for it. I know a lot of chefs say this, but if you start off with good produce and don’t mess with it a lot, you’re going to get a good result at the end. That’s what River Cottage really taught me – how to simplify food and just make things that taste nice.”
We all love the telly, and it’s come a long way since its first practical demonstration in 1926. With new technologies like smart TVs, 4K Ultra High Definition and 3D movies, we’ve got more choice and quality than ever. So how did we get here?
The first proper television was demonstrated by John Logie Baird in 1926. It was a pretty basic affair – just a black and white moving image – but there was enough detail to be able to make out a human face. Baird went on to be involved in a wide range of TV related projects, including the eventual launch of public TV in the UK in November 1936. These signals were transmitted from Alexandra Palace in London and marked the birth of BBC television.
Baird’s early TV had a picture made up of just 30 lines and the first BBC broadcasts 240. Modern HD TVs have 1080 lines (hence the term 1080p), so you can imagine the quality of those early images.
The earliest TVs were mechanical, scanning the images using a spinning disc with holes in. For television to really catch on, it had to go electronic. An all electric TV was first demonstrated in 1934, using a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) which uses a vacuum tube and electron emitter to project the image. This type of television set lasted for ages, and was only recently superseded by flat screen technologies.
However, early versions were still black and white.
More Channels and Colour
Today, there are hundreds of TV channels thanks to satellite, Freeview, cable and on demand services. It’s hard to imagine a time when TV was only one station, but we didn’t get a second until ITV launched in 1955. BBC Two appeared in 1964 with some extra niche programming, and it was this that went on to become Europe’s first all colour channel in 1967.
As you’re probably aware, colour images were made up of combinations of red, green and blue light. Resolutions had also improved, and by this stage, TV pictures had 625 lines – around half what your HD TV can deliver.
VHS and Betamax
Although we’re all familiar with the recent format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD, the original was the battle of the video tapes. These brought recorded TV and movies to the masses for the first time. VHS won, but the war with Betamax lasted through the late 1970s into the 1980s. Betamax had a smaller tape and higher quality images, but ultimately the longer recording time of VHS won out.
Flat Screens, Digital and HD
A lot of us had chunky CRT TVs until pretty recently, so it may surprise you to know flat screens have been around since 1964. LED TVs, plasma screens and LCDs are everywhere these days, and the arrival of HD, digital signals and the 16:9 aspect ratio means we have better quality images than ever before.
LED, plasma and LCD all have their advantages and disadvantages. LED TVs are very thin, use less energy than other types, and good quality versions can produce a higher contrast picture than LCD screens. LCD TVs are best if you’re on a budget, while plasma is useful if you want an image with deep blacks and wide viewing angles. Plasma screens use a lot more energy than other versions though.
4K, 3D and the Future of TV
The very latest models of TV are more than just a screen you can watch programmes on. Smart TVs have internet connections built in so you can surf the net or watch on-demand services like iPlayer and Netflix, and 3D television is becoming increasingly popular. Technologies are emerging that don’t even need glasses to produce a 3D effect.
There are also mind blowing resolutions on the horizon. Standard HD TVs offer images with 1080 lines, but there is now a resolution known as 4K Ultra High Definition, which has 2160. It will be interesting to see what the future holds. Holographic TV is a possible future development. Instead of being viewed on a flat screen, images will be projected into the air in three dimensions.
For the latest LED TVs and home cinema accessories, take a look at the website.
So you’ve bought enough food to feed a small country in your Christmas shop, including a turkey which can probably be seen from space. Now there’s only one problem – fitting it all into the fridge and freezer. Unfortunately, there’s no magic solution to this annual dilemma, you just need determination, patience, and organisation skills to rival Santa’s.
It goes without saying that you’ll have done your best to remove any unwanted food before you bring home the shopping. Now it’s time to dig out the Christmas compilation CD, find a happy place, and take everything out of the fridge.
How to Pack the Fridge and What to Leave Out
There’s no denying stocking the fridge is the worst type of festive stocking. To make things easier, start with the largest items like the turkey – remember, raw meat needs to go on a plate on the bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination from drips of juice. Leave condiments (except mayo) until last. Then if you find you don’t have space for things like your mustards, marmalades, jams, vinegars, capers, olives and oils you can keep them in a cool box with ice in the garage, or even on your kitchen work surface. This is a perfectly safe storage method for a few days – great for a little extra fridge space.
Taking out unnecessary items can really help maximise the space you do have available. Over a quarter of a million bananas are being kept in fridges in Britain; even though it turns them black prematurely. Don’t keep bread or Christmas cake in your fridge either, this only turns them stale. Mushrooms and root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, parsnips and onions should also be kept out of the fridge; put them in a dark, dry cupboard instead. If you’re refusing to cut corners this year and making your own sage and onion stuffing, try popping the onions into the fridge for just an hour before you cut them – this slows down the release of enzymes and stops your eyes streaming. Refrigerating root vegetables when you buy them is an unnecessary waste of space and actually increases the sugar levels in potatoes, leading to the release of a carcinogenic chemical when they’re roasted. Nobody wants a side order of acrylamide with their sprouts.
If you’ve chosen a frozen bird and you’re lucky enough to have a great big freezer, perfect. If you’re pushed for freezer space, remember it’ll need defrosting before the big day anyway. Try to arrange the latest possible pick up date as possible, and depending on the size of your bird, you might not need to store it in the freezer at all. Government guidelines recommend you defrost your turkey in a fridge for 10 to 12 hours per kg (or less if you’re defrosting at room temperature). This means the largest birds take 5 days to defrost in the fridge, leaving plenty of space in the freezer for party snacks and ice cubes for those cheeky glasses of Baileys.
Let Your Appliance Do the Hard Work
Maximising fridge space is easy if you’re organised, but even if you’re a busy family with other priorities this season, it can still be easy. Some fridges, freezers and combi fridge freezers have plenty of storage space and practically organise themselves. We offer appliances with bottle racks perfect for a bottle of bubbly, side door compartments perfect for fresh orange juice (ok, ok, it’s to pour in the bubbly) and ice cube trays (for the buck’s fizz of course). And after an indulgent Christmas, a fridge with an in-built salad crisper awaits your New Year health kick. If you’re worried your fridge or freezer is going to struggle with your family’s appetite this festive season, forget the novelty reindeer jumpers and buy yourself a practical early gift. Take a look at our full range of refrigeration appliances here and prepare to buy a bigger turkey.