Save time and energy and make your life easier in the kitchen with these 24 old fashioned cooking hacks and kitchen tips from my great grandmother. You won’t believe #1!
The best advice, baking hacks and recipes come from our grandparents. We all have fond memories of sitting together around the table sharing food and stories somewhere in our childhood.
It will be thirty years since my great grandmother passed away. I only knew her my first year of life but stories of her pop into my life every now and then.
When she passed away, a cookbook, “Chevie’s Kitchen” was dedicated in her memory. That cookbook rests in my kitchen cupboard and is often referenced.
Great Grannie “Chevy” spent her final 16 years baking from scratch her local sunshine club as the kitchen director. She was hardworking and well loved. My Grannie is spending her time cooking for large groups too.
The woman in my life, my mother and grandmothers taught be everything I know about making food for my family. I grew up sitting at our kitchen table eating sweets my mom made and reading through her recipe cards.
Today I share with you the 24 kitchen tips that line the pages of my great grandmothers cookbook, may these tips bring sunshine into your kitchen in her memory.
COOKING MEAT HACKS
When frying chicken, add a few drips of yellow food color to hot shortening for a beautiful golden crust.
To tenderize meat that is tough, marinate overnight in 1/2 c. vinegar and 1c beef broth.
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To boil shellfish, shrimp, clams, lobster or crabs, use tbsp salt to 1 qt. water.
To keep a salad fresh, if made ahead of time, line the bowl with a paper towel wrung out of cold water, then lay another one on top and cover with plastic.
Corn on the cob will stay fresh in hot water for hours if you start with cold water and, for every 4 ears of corn, add 2 tbsp. each sugar and vinegar.
Bring water to boil, add corn. Cook 6 minutes, then remove corn as desired. The corn left simmering will stay fresh indefinitely.
When cooking cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, the odor will be eliminated if you put a crust of bread in pot before putting in the lid and will have no effect on vegetables.
When peeling onions, try cutting them in half lengthwise, then peeling, to save the tears.
Wash, scrape and dice carrots and store in a closed plastic bags in refrigerator crisper. They keep well and retain their flavour and are ever so handy.
Potatoes partially boiled in their skins, then wrapped in foil to bake or barbecue will cook much faster and taste the same.
Frozen bread grated makes a quick and easy bread crumbs “work quickly before the bread thaws”. One slice of bread will yield about 1/2 soft bread crumbs. This is a handy guide for topping vegetables and casseroles.
BAKING TIPS FROM GRANDMOTHERS KITCHEN
Put a slice of fresh bread into your brown sugar container. It will soften to hard lumps and keep it that way.
To keep milk without a fridge, stand the jug or bottle in a bowl of cold water. Cover it with a cloth and let the ends of cloth dangle in the water. The evaporation of the water keeps the milk fresh.
Try cooking vegetables with 1 tsp. sugar and add salt to serve. Turnips, especially, will not be bitter.
When cooking rhubarb, add a little salt. Neutralizes the acid and cuts down on amount of sugar required.
HACK # 10
A sprinkle of salt added to overcooked coffee takes away the bitter taste.
HACK # 9
Short of unsweetened chocolate? Replace with Fry’s cocoa – use 2 level tbsp. butter for each 1 oz. square of chocolate in your recipe.
Substitute honey for sugar, using 1 c. honey plus 1/4 tsp. baking soda and reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.
When frosting a cake, to prevent crumbs going into the frosting, seal with a mixture of icing sugar and water, applied with pastry brush. Let set till dry, then frost.
When cooking pancakes, grease the griddle for first one, then try rubbing a raw potato over hot griddle instead of greasing it. The cakes will brown nicely and there will be no smoke.
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A pinch of salt will keep milk fresh longer. Will also make cream and egg whites whip more rapidly.
When making sandwiches, cut bread lengthwise. This saves about 2/3 of the waste, especially when sandwiches are cut in fancy shapes.
When making fruit pies, sprinkle sugar under the fruit instead of on top. The juice will bubble up through the fruit instead of out over the top of pie.
To keep pie crust from going soggy in fruit pies, butter your pie plate before putting crust on. Will be golden flaky.
Add 1/2 a tsp of baking soda to water when boiling eggs. The shells will fall right off!
HACK # 2
Make pie crust in a jiffy with this easy hack using a food processor! Forget using two knives or a pastry cutter ever again. Don’t have a food processor, then use a cheese grater.
Fresh tomatoes keep longer stored with stem down.
Yup! It’s true 🙂
During the peak of harvest season I either have too many green tomatoes or red tomatoes turning before my eyes. This hack really has made keeping fresh tomatoes fresh.
All of these kitchen hacks and ideas for baking food from scratch were common knowledge not long ago. The more time you spend in the kitchen the better you’ll get at it all.
Check out our Baking From Scratch Recipes