Monday, August 13, 2007

Cooking Hints

Over the years I've made many country style meals for our family and friends. Here are a few cooking hints I have learned from other family cooks when preparing foods together in our kitchens. I'll share some of them, along with some hints to help with cleaning up afterwards.

Potatoes and other vegetables that have a lot of sugar will boil over easily when cooking them on the stove. To keep them from making a mess, use a spoon to remove the starchy white foam that forms on top of the water after the first few minutes they are boiling. After the foam stops forming, you can turn the temperature up a little higher to get them done quicker.

Don't use a lid on any type of food that contains milk while it is cooking. You will be certain to have a sticky, burned mess to clean up if you do. When you are making dressed eggs, crack the shells on a counter top when they are finished boiling and put them in a pan of ice cold water to sit for a few minutes. They will be much easier to peel.

Here are two good ways to remove stains and smells from things. To remove dark stains from aluminum pots and pans, boil a pinch of cream of tarter with enough vinegar to slosh around the inside walls of the pans. To take the smell of fish off your hands, wash them with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon baking soda added to a pint of water.

Put a tablespoon of butter in the water when you are cooking macaroni, rice and other dry ingredients. This will keep them from boiling over. Be sure to rinse the starch water off of the macaroni and rice with cool water. If you leave the starchy water on them, they will become very sticky and gluey tasting. Add more water or milk to them to add further ingredients called for in your recipes.

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