Friday, March 26, 2010

50 Amazingly Helpful Time-Tested Tips for the Kitchen

50 Amazingly Helpful Time-Tested Tips for the Kitchen

You know all of those helpful kitchen-related suggestions that old-timers are so willing to share with the younger generations? These little tips and tricks might be called kitchen hacks these days, but they are still the same good old nuggets of wisdom that they always were.

As with any old wives tale, hack, or tip, your mileage may vary. Some of these gems have been around for several lifetimes - and according to most grandmas, they really work.

It's pretty long, but if you have the extra time, no harm just running through it quickly for fun ;)

1. For cleaning smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic, just rub them on a stainless steel
spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odor.
2. Fresh coffee beans can also absorb nasty odors from your hands.
3. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato.
The potato will absorb the excess salt.
4. When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from
5. Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma
and flavor of these pernickety fruits.
6. To clean cast iron cookwear, don’t use detergents. Just scrub them with salt and a clean,
dry paper towel.
7. Will milk curdle if it is allowed to boil? It turns out that this age-old piece of wisdom isn’t
true, after all. Milk that has been boiled is perfectly safe to consume.
8. To clean an electric kettle with calcium buildup on the heating element, boil a mixture of
half white vinegar and half water, then empty.
9. When storing empty airtight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to keep them from
getting stinky.
10. If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, just pour it into a clean pan and
continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The
sugar will cancel out the burned taste.
11. Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to
draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the
pan when serving the rice.
12. Before you chop chili peppers, rub a little vegetable oil into your hands and your skin
won’t absorb the spicy chilli oil.
13. If you arent sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of
water. Eggs that stay on the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh and
should be used soon. If it floats, it’s past the fresh stage.
14. To banish ants from the kitchen, find out where they are coming in and cover the hole
with petroleum jelly. Ants won’t trek through the jelly. If they are coming under a door, draw a
line on the floor with chalk. The little bugs also won’t cross a line of chalk.
15. Before making popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, soak
the kernels in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, then pop as
normal. The additional moisture helps the popcorn pop up quicker and
fluffier with fewer old maids.
16. Dont store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with
other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different
location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other
bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.
17. To keep potatoes from budding in the bag, put an apple in with them.
18. If you manage to have some leftover wine at the end of the evening, freeze it in ice
cube trays for easy addition to soups and sauces in the future.
19. To clean crevices and corners in vases and pitchers, fill with water and drop in two
Alka-Seltzer tablets. The bubbles will do the scrubbing.
20. After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house
plants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love.
21. When you clean your fish tank, the water you drain can also be used to water your
house plants. The nitrogen and phosphorus in fish droppings make aquarium water a great
22. When defrosting meat from the freezer, pour some vinegar over it. Not only does it
tenderize the meat; it will also bring down the freezing temperature of the meat and cause it to
thaw quicker.
23. The substance in onions that causes your eyes to water is located in the root cluster of
the onion. Cut this part out in a cone shape, with the largest part of the cone around the exterior
root section.
24. Taking the top layer off of a onion can also reduce the amount of eye-watering misery.
25. Toothpaste is a great silver cleaner.
26. Baking soda isn’t as effective a deodorizer for the fridge as
that baking soda company would like you to believe. Activated
charcoal is much better at absorbing fridge and freezer odors.
27. Baking soda is an extremely effective cleaner, though. Use it with
vinegar to deodorize drains and clean stovetops and sinks.
28. A favorite tip of thousands of grandmas: when you nick your
finger while cutting veggies, wait until the bleeding stops and paint
on a layer of clear nail polish. It will keep juices out of the wound and
won’t fall off into the spaghetti sauce like a bandage.
29. The jury is still out on what to put in the bag of brown sugar to keep it from going hard:
a slice of apple, a piece of bread, and a shard of a terra cotta pot have all been used.
30. Got a nasty invisible splinter from your kitchen tools? Put a piece of adhesive tape on
the area and then pull it off to remove the splinter.
31. When you burn yourself in the kitchen, just spread mustard on the affected
area. Leave it for a while and it will ease the pain and prevent blistering.
32. For aluminum pans that are looking dull, just boil some apple peels in them. This will
brighten up the aluminum and make your house smell yummy.
33. To keep cookies fresh, savvy grannies like to put some
crumpled-up tissue paper in the bottom of the cookie jar.
34. If your salt is clumping up, put a few grains of rice in
it to absorb excess moisture.
35. To clean fruit stains off of your fingers, rub them with a fresh, peeled potato. White
vinegar can also do the trick.
36. Keep iceberg lettuce fresh in the fridge by wrapping it in a clean, dry paper towel and
storing lettuce and paper towel in a sealed baggie in the fridge.
37. If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a
piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up.
For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture
to the bread.
38. Always keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen.
It’s invaluable when you scrape your arm or burn your finger.
Just break off a leaf and rub the gel from the inside on the injury.
39. When making a soup, sauce, or casserole that ends up too fatty or greasy, drop in an
ice cube. The ice will attract the fat, which you can then scoop out.
40. To reuse cooking oil without tasting whatever was cooked in the oil previously, cook a
¼ piece of ginger in the oil. It will remove any remaining flavors and odors.
41. If your milk always goes bad before you can finish it, try adding a pinch of salt to the
carton when you first open it. It will stay fresh days longer.
42. Water that has been boiled and allowed to cool will freeze faster than water from the
tap. This comes in handy when you’re having a party and need ice pronto.
43. Remove tea or coffee stains from your fine china by mixing up a paste of baking soda,
lemon juice, and cream of tartar. Rub it over the stains and they will come off easily.
44. If two drinking glasses become stuck together after stacking,
it’s not impossible to unstick them. Just put ice in the inner glass
and dunk the outer glass in warm water. The warm glass will expand
and the cold glass will contract, making the glasses separate easily.
45. For splinters under the fingernail, soaking the affected finger
in a bowl of milk with a piece of bread in it is said to draw out the
46. Did grandpa ever give you a drink of cola for an upset tummy?
It turns out that this is actually a pretty effective remedy. The sugar and carbonation can soothe
many tummy problems - but it can also exacerbate others.
47. Putting salty bacon on a boil is said to draw the poison out of boils.
48. To help old wooden drawers (without runners) open and close smoothly, rub a candle
on the tracks.
49. A cotton ball soaked in white vinegar and applied to a fresh bruise will reduce the
darkness of the bruise and help it disappear sooner.
50. Drinking cranberry juice and eating blueberries regularly will help stave off urinary
tract infections.

So have you tried any of these tips in your kitchen? :)

5 friends spoke up!:

mommy to chumsy said...

wow, thanks for the great tips. what i love most is the salt in airtight containers to keep them from going stinky :D will try that out.

MommyAngel said...

Great tips and thanks for sharing. It should come in handy one day for us mommies.......

glam.mama said...

Wow, these are great tips! Thanks for sharing :D

Mummy Gwen said...

Very useful tips. Thanks for sharing. I use toothpaste to clean my gold jewelleries and it really make it more shiny.

smallkucing said...

Good tips :)