Q: Is it my imagination, or after five years of faithful service is my Microplane grater getting duller and duller?
A: It is, and we know of no way to sharpen one. It’s time to buy another.
Q: I have an old baking sheet that, no matter what I do, seems to perpetually have an oily sheen. I’ve tried scrubbing; I put soap directly on it; use hot, hot water: nothing. I just got a new sheet pan and would like to keep it pretty and also salvage the old pan for some uses.
A: Try Barkeepers Friend. It’s available in most supermarkets with the specialty cleaners. It’s a very fine abrasive, and it works wonders without doing damage.
Q: I just got my first cast-iron skillet. Any tips on how to maintain it?
A: The most important thing, of course, is to not scrub away that seasoning with soap and a scrubber. We use a brush and a little water to clean, and dry it immediately. If stuff gets really badly stuck on it, you can scrub with a paper towel and kosher salt.