Home on the Range

Helpful kitchen tips & hints!
(From my Crispy Oats box this morning)
  1. To determine whether eggs are fresh or not, put them in a few inches of water. If they're horizontal, they're fresh. If they're vertical, they're not.
  2. If you're separating several eggs, crack them all into a bowl and use your clean hands to scoop out the yolks. (Uh....think I'll stick with the half-shell pour method. Thanks anyway.)
  3. Partially frozen evaporated skim milk whips up like cream. (VERY cool tip! I very rarely have heavy cream on hand, but love fresh whipped cream.)
  4. Use a little soy sauce to salt and color gravy. (Hold the MSG, please.)
  5. For fluffier mashed potatoes, add a pinch of baking soda along with the milk and butter when mashing.
  6. Put a jar lid on the bottom of a double boiler. It will rattle if the water has boiled away.
  7. If mixing by hand, 150 strokes equals one minute of electric beating time.
  8. Never cook with wine you wouldn't drink. (I wondered why all my recipes weren't turning out. Must have been the cheap wine.)
  9. Drop a wine cork into a pot of stew. The tannin in it helps tenderize the meat. (Rats. I knew I shouldn't have thrown away all those corks from that cheap wine.)
  10. Homemade cookie dough is a welcome and thoughtful host/hostess gift. (Chocolate chip if you're visiting the Frys!!)
  11. Use a clear baking dish as a page weight for your cookbook. You can read through it.
  12. Slip your hand in a plastic bag to answer the phone while mixing meat loaf and other messy jobs.
  13. Microwave hard winter squash on high for two minutes to make it easier to peel and cut.
  14. Skin chicken when it's slightly frozen for easy skinning.
  15. To help keep a pan from boiling over, rub butter around the rim of the pan.
  16. Put a slice of bread in your cookie jar to keep chewy cookies soft. (One of my all-time favorite kitchen tricks. Did you know it can also help soften slightly overbaked cookies?)
  17. Use an egg slicer to cut mushrooms.
  18. To ripen a tomato, put it with an apple in a perforated bag.
  19. If you get mold on your cheese, just slice it off. The English agree that if the mold won't eat your Cheddar, it can't be very good. (Some health professionals actually believe that part of our health problems come from not having enough natural fermentation/good bacteria in our diets because of our refrigeration infatuation.)
  20. (This one's mine) I read somewhere that Americans are the only ones who wrap their cheese in plastic instead of cheesecloth or foil. I tried it, have found that a block of cheese keeps much better wrapped in foil.

Hope you have a happy day. I was up most of the night with my son, so I plan to be a bit of a zombie today.

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