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10 Old-fashioned Tips to Help in the Kitchen

Updated on February 9, 2013

There are all sorts of problems we encounter in the kitchen, whether it is how to get sauce out of a bottle easily or how to revive your limp celery. Hopefully, these 10 traditional tips will help with those tricky, sticky moments.

1. If you need to get sauce out of a bottle (and yes, I’m looking at you Heinz) then jumping around and banging it on the table is always an option. As I’ve often found this doesn’t work terribly well, my tip is to push a drinking straw down into the sauce until it reaches the bottom of the bottle. When you remove it, the sauce will now move more easily.

2. Hot days make for limp celery and that just isn’t appetizing when out for a lovely relaxing picnic. However, collect all your celery sticks together and wrap them in newspaper. Put the package into a glass of chilled water for half an hour. I have no idea how this one works but my mum has always done it and it seems to do the trick, much crispier celery and much happier picnic guests.

3. Next, a magic trick to stop water from boiling over when you are heating it in a pan. Just rub the top part of the saucepan with fat or oil and it repels the water enough to stop it spitting everywhere.

4. It is extremely tiring whipping cream by hand and often, it can seem as though it will never whip. Luckily, though, if you add a small amount of sugar, it will whip a great deal quicker. I have also heard that cream of tartar does the same job but I haven’t tried that one.

5. Does chopping an onion make you cry? My Dad used to put on a scuba mask when chopping them but it’s OK, I am not advocating that. Just try chopping them under running water or totally submerged in a bowl of water and it should stop the tears. Apparently, it is all to do with small amounts of sulphur that are present in the onion. This mixes with the tiny amount of water around your eyeball and forms a mild sulphuric acid that can irritate. Yuck!

6. If your sultanas or raisins look a little wrinkly, sprinkle some water over them and put them in the fridge for 30-40 minutes. They will absorb the water and plump up nicely looking far more appetizing.

7. Do you find that milk always sticks to your pan when you boil it? It also happens with any milk mixture, like cheese or white sauces. If you rinse your saucepan out with water before adding the milk (don’t dry it in between) then it won’t stick to the sides after you have finished.

8. Fresh peas are delicious, and if you boil them while they are still in their pods, they will float to the top of the water to let you know they are cooked. This way they will never be overdone and go that pasty grey colour.

9. Do you have trouble taking a jelly out of its mould? If you stand it for just a minute in a bowl of warm water, it will slide out beautifully. Any longer and the whole thing is in danger of melting so keep an eye on it.

10. Finally, this isn’t really a traditional tip but poppodoms microwave really well. It can be very time consuming and a little bit dangerous to fry them in oil. Instead, put them together in batches of about 4 and place them on a piece of kitchen paper on your microwave turntable. It depends on the thickness of the poppodom and the power of the microwave but I tend to put them on full power for between 20 and 50 seconds. You will have to adjust the time depending on the two previous factors and trial and error. Keep a constant watch on them to stop them burning. It can be hit and miss with the timing but they can go back in for a little bit at a time to cook through and this is definitely a lower fat alternative to frying them.

I hope some of these help you out. Happy cooking.

P.S. If anyone knows how to stop scrambled eggs sticking to the pan without adding gallons of oil I would be very grateful to know. Thanks.


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    • writerbeth profile image

      writerbeth 5 years ago from England

      Well aren't you a sweetheart! Thanks for your warm wishes - we definitely need it this morning, it's a bit chilly here in the sticks but nothing compared to your Canadian weather I'm sure. De-icing the car to take my daughter to ballet has sent me back to the kitchen for my2nd cup of coffee too!

      Thanks again, Beth

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      Is it Beth? Well I absoutely adore your writing style - it's so fun and personal and witty but yet informative and enlightening as well - and I will definitely post and link your very handy list to the Hubpages FB group - It's so nice to meet you my friend and sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 11:20am with 2nd cup of coffee and a Haydn concerto.

      This is winter time now here in Canada and I received a light dusting of snow on the ground - by the way I really like your profile photo

    • writerbeth profile image

      writerbeth 5 years ago from England

      Glad you liked this. We don't have scrambled egg that often as my son is allergic to it. It would be nice when we do however not to spend longer cleaning the pan than eating it!

    • brackenb profile image

      brackenb 5 years ago

      Great tips, just wish I could help with the scrambled egg problem! Hope someone comes up with an answer, it takes ages to clean the pan afterwards.