Corn: Salt added to the water when boiling corn or added to fresh creamed corn while cooking toughens it. Salt after removing from heat.
Potatoes: Soak 20 minutes in hot salty water. Potatoes bake faster.
Cauliflower: Soak a head of cauliflower in ice water, flowerets down, before cooking to draw out any hidden insects. Add a teaspoon of vinegar when cooking to prevent discoloration. Be sure to cook with flowerets down.
Lettuce: Wash lettuce with cold water, dry with paper towels, wrap in a kitchen towel, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Hitting the base of a head of lettuce on the kitchen counter will make it easy to break apart. Breaking lettuce rather than cutting it will prevent the edges from becoming brown and discolored.
Use plain salt only when pickling. Pickles turn dark when iodized salt is used.
For delicious pickles, don't use vegetables that have been picked longer than 24 hours.
Jams or Jellies:
A small amount of butter added to the fruit when cooking eliminates the usual foam which forms on the top.
Cranberry Sauce and Applesauce:
When making cranberry sauce or applesauce, reduce the amount of sugar and add a little salt. This will not only reduce sugar and hence the calories, but will bring out the flavor.
FROM THE KITCHEN
To prevent lumps from forming when making gravy or thickening stews, mix the flour or cornstarch with a little salted hot water.
EGGS BOILING: Add a little salt to the water in which you boil the eggs, and if the eggs crack, the whites will not seep out.
1. The eggshells will peel off easier if a teaspoon of salt is added while boiling the eggs.
2. After boiling the eggs, plunge them immediately into cold water for 10 or 15 minutes. They will then peel beautifully.
FOOD ODORS ON HANDS
Rid your hands of garlic or onion odors by washing them with a mixture of (baking) soda and water or by rubbing them with lemon juice.
WASHING GLASSWARE BY HAND
When washing dishes by hand, eliminate soap film on glassware by adding a little vinegar to the rinse water.
STAINLESS STEEL FLATWARE WARNING
If you should ever wash your sterling silver in the dishwasher, make sure you do not wash your stainless steel in the washer basket at the same time. This would damage the stainless. This sounds backwards, but it's true.
GREASY, SMELLY PANS AND DISHES
When washing very greasy or smelly pans or dishes, put a few tablespoons of vinegar in the dishwasher to cut down the grease and to help remove the odor.
SPOTS & STAINS
EGGNOG - Fresh Spill at a Party
Use a spoon or knife to lift off the excess. With a napkin, blot up as much liquid as possible. Rub spot with a cloth dampened with clear water.
As soon as possible, soak in cold water with an enzyme pre-soak product. When spot is removed wash garment in hot water and a detergent.
Before sending to a professional dry cleaners, sponge with water and a mild detergent.
Scrape off cold wax with a knife, then press the spot between paper towels. Sponge with a dry-cleaning fluid before washing in hot water and detergent. It may take several washings before spot is removed.
Scrape off cold wax with a knife, then press the spot between two paper towels. Sponge with a dry-cleaning fluid to remove as much as possible before sending to a professional cleaners.
Carpet & Upholstery:
Scrape off as much cold wax as possible with a knife. Sponge using a circular motion with a dry-cleaning fluid. It may take several applications before the spot is removed. Be sure to let the area dry completely between applications.
Cookies will not spread more than they should if they are placed on cool baking sheets before baking.
Dust greased cookie sheets with a little flour. This will keep the cookies from spreading during baking.
Shortening will come out of a measuring cup readily if eggs have been beaten or measured in the cup beforehand.
Cookies will remain soft and fresh if a slice of bread is stored with them in the cookie jar.
HINTS FOR HOLIDAYS
Snow for the Christmas Tree:
Snow for your Christmas tree can be made from a thick solution of powdered snow flakes and water. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until the mixture is stiff. Spoon on the tree branches and limbs. This makes an unbelievably beautiful tree.
The beautiful pictures on old Christmas cards can be clipped off and used as lovely gift tags.
Unique Wrapping Paper:
Use newspapers for wrapping gifts. Big packages wrapped in this manner and tied with red ribbon are especially eye-catching. Use wide-tipped felt pens for writing the "to" and "from" names. Children's gifts could be wrapped in the Sunday comics.
Longlasting Christmas Trees:
When buying Christmas trees, check for freshness by rubbing your finger across the cut side of the base, If the stump is gooey with sap, it is a fresh tree.
Douglas fir, spruce, and Scotch pine hold their needles better than other varieties.
To keep the needles greener longer, cut an extra inch or two from the bottom of the tree and stand the tree in a bucket of cold water in which one cup of sugar, molasses, syrup, or honey has been added. Let the tree soak for 2 or 3 days prior to decorating.