Cooking Tips {Vegetables} Timeless Wisdom Collection

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The Timeless Wisdom collection has been a regular feature on Tipnut where we take a look at the methods and techniques used decades ago in cookery and homemaking. Today’s list will be the last bunch of Timeless Wisdom tips published on Tipnut for awhile, but they’ll be back!

Basket Of Fresh Vegetables From The Garden

Basket Of Fresh Vegetables From The Garden

These tips are from the 1930’s (and a few from the 1940’s) I’ve gathered from vintage booklets, each giving advice for cooking fresh vegetables.

Cooking Tips {Vegetables}

  • Asparagus should be opened at the bottom of the can so that the asparagus can be removed by the ends without breaking the soft tips.
  • Carrots for salads or general cooking should first be dropped in boiling water for two or three minutes. The skins will then come off easily.
  • Cabbage odor can be avoided by dropping two English walnuts (uncracked) into the kettle while cooking.
  • Cabbage is much sweeter if cooked in open kettle 8 minutes.
  • Cauliflower will remain white and give off no odor while cooking half milk and half water. Use liquid for soup or cream sauce.
  • Celery: To assure crispness, place in a pan of water with half a lemon, for an hour or two before serving.
  • Celery: When celery loses its crispness, place it in a pan of cold water. Slice a raw potato and put it in the pan. Let stand for a few hours. Remove the celery from the water and you will find that it has regained its original crispness.
  • Head lettuce leaves may be removed without breaking, but first cutting around the core with a knife and then holding the head of lettuce under running water.
  • Kitchen greens are made quickly available by planting an onion or two in a small pot and parsley in another pot and placing in the kitchen window. These plants will add a pretty touch to the kitchen and are at hand when making salads and other dishes that call for onion or parsley.
  • Lettuce can be decorated by filling a small bowl with water and sprinkling paprika on top. Revolve head of lettuce in it and the leaves will be ringed with red for an attractive salad.
  • Onions, held under water while being peeled, will not make you weep because the fumes are thus prevented from rising.
  • Onions, Turnips or Carrots should be never be split, but sliced in rings. Cut across the fiber and they will cook more quickly and be more tender.
  • Peas should be washed thoroughly and cooked without hulling. The hulls will soon rise to the top and can be taken out. The flavor of the peas will be greatly improved.
  • Potatoes, boiled with their jackets on, should first be split around the center to permit the salt to boil through and flavor the whole potato.
  • Potatoes or carrots are better cleaned with steel wool than with either a knife or brush.
  • Potatoes: To improve the flavor of old potatoes, add a little sugar to the water in which they are boiled.
  • Potato skins may be prevented from becoming hard and crusty while the potato is being baked by first coating the potato with cooking oil grease or butter before placing in the oven.
  • Spinach should be cooked in open kettle with no water. Cook slowly until juice is drawn, then quickly. The color will be bright dark green.
  • Sweet potatoes and apples will not turn black if placed in salt water immediately after peeling.
  • Tomatoes: When peeling tomatoes scrape the skin gently with the back of the knife, then peel in the usual way. It will be found that the skins will slip off easily.
  • Vegetables that have become withered can be freshened by soaking them with a strong solution of baking soda. Withered parsnips, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, etc., will become crisp again.
  • To help rid the house of the odor of cooking vegetables, put a little vinegar in an open saucepan on the stove.
  • Vegetables that are to be cooked by steaming will preserve their color in the process if, after being washed in the usual way, they are given a final rinse in boiling water containing a little soda.

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Published: June 19, 2009

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One Comment to “Cooking Tips {Vegetables} Timeless Wisdom Collection”
  1. Joan says:

    The last tip I have a problem “given a final rinse in boiling water containing a little soda.” Adding the soda destroys all the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables. Best not to do it. Joan


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