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Keep your sugar soft

Terra-cotta disc keeps brown sugar, raisins, and other foods soft and fresh.

Walter Drake

One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is the combination of flavors. I love the smells of cinnamon and cloves, the freshly baked breads, hearty stews, and gingerbread cookies. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to celebrate the season by making one of my favorites: apple pie.

No sooner had I started, however, than I came to the realization that my brown sugar was completely rock-solid. I had a dinner to cook for and I was in a time crunch, so I ended up just having to scrap the whole box and buy a new one. The pie was delicious, but I couldn't stop myself from mourning the wasted life of my previous box of brown sugar.

I've heard about tricks for keeping brown sugar fresh, tricks such as keeping a slice of bread in the container, setting it in the microwave with a paper towel, and keeping it in the fridge. These all work to varying degrees, but in the grand scheme, wouldn't things be much easier if brown sugar never hardened in the first place?

Done and done, say the makers of this Walter Drake Brown Sugar Saver. The terra-cotta disc is a simple solution to rock-hard sugar syndrome, requiring only a quick soak in water and a pat down before being tossed into the sugar jar. It'll keep sugar nice and moist, so you don't have to worry about being wasteful or losing that delicious brown sugar taste. According to the Web site, the Sugar Saver can also be used to keep other things fresh, such as cookies, coconut, and raisins.

The Brown Sugar Saver is a steal at $3.99 on Walter Drake's Web site.