It seems like our generation is a little lost when it comes to the kitchen. I was lucky enough to have a mother and grandmothers who taught me a lot in the kitchen, but I have so many friends who don’t have a clue about basic kitchen skills. They survive on delivery, drive thrus, and frozen dinners. For 5 years I was a high school Family & Consumer Sciences teacher (Home Ec) and you wouldn’t believe how clueless many of my students were when it came to cooking. I want to share some tips that will save you time and sanity in the kitchen. Look for more kitchen tips articles in the future!
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* To Make a Basic White Sauce–Just remember this ratio: 2 Tablespoons fat (can be oil, butter, or fat rendered from frying meat), 2 Tablespoons Flour, and 1 Cup of Milk. This is a basic white sauce recipe. This is a basic recipe that can be the base of your gravy, pasta sauce, cheese sauce, and much more.
* To Measure Shortening--If recipe calls for 1/3 cup, fill measuring cup two-thirds full of water, add enough shortening to bring water to top of cup, pour off water and you have exactly 1/3 cup of shortening.
*Measuring–Ever wonder why you have two types of measuring cups? Liquid measuring cups have a space at the top so that you don’t spill the liquid. Measuring cups intended for dry ingredients do not have a space at the top. When using dry measuring cups you will fill the measuring cup all the way to the top.
* Measuring Sticky Stuff–When measuring sticky ingredients like peanut butter, honey and molasses, spray your measuring cup with a coating of cooking spray. This helps the ingredients slide right out so you don’t leave so much behind in the cup.
* Need Buttermilk?–If you are like me, buttermilk is not something I typically buy. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, simply add 2 Tablespoons of vinegar to one cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes.
* Melted Butter–When a recipe calls for melted butter, be sure to measure it AFTER melting, not before.
* To Keep Potatoes from Sprouting–Place an apple in the bag of potatoes to keep them from sprouting.
* To Much Salt–If you accidentally over salt a dish, just peel a potato and drop it in the dish while its cooking. The potato will absorb the salt. I have done this several times when making soup or chili and I get a little heavy handed with the salt.
* Food Stains On Your Hands— Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
* Peeling Garlic–Peeling and pressing garlic is a huge waste of time. To use a clove of garlic, set it on a cutting board and smash it with the flat side of a big knife (any chef’s knife will do). The papery skin will come right off, and you can mince it real quick right there in about 10 seconds. Done.
* Fruit (other than berries) Shouldn’t Be Stored in the Refrigerator–Refrigerators dull the taste of most produce. Most fruits including apples, oranges, pears and bananas don’t belong in the refrigerator unless you’re not planning on eating them soon. Very hot climates are an exception, however.
* When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to the water to keep the egg shells from cracking.
* To clean cast iron cookwear don’t use detergents. The cast iron will absorb the taste of the detergent. Simply scrub them with salt and a dry paper towel. If you do use water, place your cookwear on a burner turned on low for a few minutes to dry. Don’t forget about it though!
* Shredding Chicken–Use your Kitchen Aid mixer to shred your chicken or other meats. Just place your warm meat (cold meat doesn’t shred as easily) in the bowl, turn the mixer on medium and let it go for about 30-40 seconds.
Do you have a kitchen tip or trick? Leave us a comment below and share your kitchen tips and tricks.
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