The most useful cooking advice I’ve ever heard:

If you can tell there’s just “something missing” in what you’re cooking,
simply add an acid.   1

A good squeeze of lemon juice on something bland can bring it to life in surprisingly magical way.

It can take a meal from “meh, passable” to “daaang! not bad!”   in mere seconds.

I’ve tried it with a range of acids: lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar.

It’s worked every time!

(I once tried it with a smoothie: I had a bunch of seeds and non-citrus fruits I’d blended together hoping for a refreshing drink. But when I took a sip, the result was just… meh. I ended up adding a few millilitres of the only acid I had on-hand: apple cider vinegar. Honestly, wasn’t expecting a good result (have you tasted apple cider vinegar??). Aaaaand….It brought the smoothie to life! It made it shockingly good! Where I barely wanted to drink the smoothie originally, I ended up wanting more of the ACV smoothie after it was gone! 🤯 )

“Add an Acid”

Three little words were an absolute game changer for my cooking.

I can’t help but think there are probably tips like that in other fields that are similarly simple and easy, but insanely disproportionately transformative.

Those “small keys” that open “big doors”.

A few potential ones that come to mind: Grease the Groove for strength training; don’t use attention extraction services for a healthy relationship with tech; use box breathing to ameliorate symptoms of stress and anxiety; focusing on small, consistent habits for significant life transformations over time.

I want to keep my eyes open to find more.

Do any come to mind for you?
I’d love to hear them!

  1. I think I read this years ago in Tim Ferriss’ book, 4 Hour Chef, but I don’t have the book in front of me to confirm that. If it’s from something else, please let me know ↩︎