We’ve all had the frustrating experience of finding pieces of broken cork floating about after opening a bottle of wine. But, armed with a straw, fret not. Use vacuum mechanics to your advantage: Insert a plastic drinking straw into the neck of the opened bottle and over the cork crumb. Once you place a finger over the end of the straw and lift it out, the drip of wine and its offending bit of cork will be easily sucked away.
What’s one to do with a pile of strawberries and no strawberry huller? Luckily, it’s possible to improvise with a plastic drinking straw. Push the straw through the bottom of the berry and up through the leafy stem end. The straw will remove the core as well as the leafy top.
The straw trick works for cherries, as well. If you’re tasked with pitting cherries, push a drinking straw through the bottom of the cherry, forcing the pit up and out through the stem end. Always work over a bowl to catch the juices.