Kitchen hints

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I thought I'd pass along some hints to help those of us that get into trouble from time to time. It's not recipes, but what the heck! If you've over-salted soup or vegetables, add cut raw potatoes and then discard once they have cooked and absorbed the salt.

A teaspoon each of cider vinegar and sugar added to salty soup or vegetables will also remedy the salty situation.

If you've over-sweetened a dish, add salt.

A teaspoon of cider vinegar will take care of too-sweet main dishes or vegetables.

Pale gravy may be browned by adding a bit of instant coffee straight from the jar. No bitter taste, either.

If you will brown the flour well before adding to the liquid when making gravy, you will avoid pale or lumpy gravy.

If time allows, the best method of removing fat is refrigeration until the fat hardens. If you put a piece of waxed paper over the top of the meal, it can be peeled right off, along with the hardened fat. Ice cubes will also eliminate the fat from soup and stew. Just drop a few into the pot and stir; the fat will cling to the cubes; discard the cubes before they melt. Or, wrap ice cubes in paper towel or cheesecloth and skim over the top.

A slice of soft bread placed in the package of hardened brown sugar will soften it again in a couple of hours.

A little salt placed in a frying pan will prevent splattering.

Meat Loaf will not stick if you place a slice of bacon on the bottom of the pan.

Vinegar brought to a boil in a new frying pan will prevent foods from sticking.

No sticking to the pan when you're scalding milk if you'll first rinse the pan in cold water.

A lump of butter or a few teaspoons of cooking oil added to water when boiling rice, noodles, macaroni, or spaghetti will prevent boiling over.

A few drops of lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep the grains separate.

A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will remove every strand of corn silk.

To determine if an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh; it it rises to the surface, throw it away.

Fresh eggs' shells are rough and chalky; old eggs are smooth and shiny.

To determine if an egg is hard-boiled, spin it. If it spins, it is hard-boiled. If it wobbles, it is raw.

Egg shells can be easily removed from hard-boiled eggs if they are boiled in salty water and quickly rinsed in cold water.

No "curly" bacon for breakfast when you dip it into cold water before frying.

Keep bacon slices from sticking together; roll the package into a tube shape and secure with rubber bands.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg July 27 1990.

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