Prevent Stinky Cabbage Smells & More Advice From The Past

These notes come from a large collection I’ve collected from old cookbooks and magazines from the 1940’s and 1950’s. Many are tried and true while others may be new to you. Enjoy!

25 Vintage Cooking Tips

25 Vintage Cooking Tips

  1. A little oatmeal adds much flavor and richness when used as a thickener for soups. Try it.
  2. Believe it or not, a boiled egg should never be boiled. Simmering produces tastier, better results. The same is also true of “hard-boiled” eggs.
  3. Cheese souffle will stay up high, light, handsome, if you use quick-cooking tapioca instead of flour to thicken the milk base. Take 3 tablespoons tapioca to 1 cup milk for a 3-egg souffle.
  4. Add one-quarter teaspoon soda to cranberries while cooking them and they will not require much sugar.
  5. Don’t add sugar to sweeten peas. It’s much cheaper, and tastier, to cook peas with a few empty green pods.
  6. To prevent the smell of cooking greens, add a lump or so of loaf sugar to the water, or put a piece of dry toast in a clean muslin bag and boil it with the greens. Another method is to add a teaspoonful of vinegar to the water when it is boiling.
  7. Lemon juice or vinegar in the water cauliflower is cooked in makes it keep its snowy-white color.
  8. To preserve the color of green vegetables, put them on to cook in boiling water with a pinch of soda, or keep the cover off the kettle while boiling them.
  9. If a vegetable or cereal burns, plunge the vessel containing the burned mass into cold water and allow it to remain for a few minutes before pouring the contents into another pan. This will do away almost entirely with the burned taste which is so disagreeable.
  10. Salt beef is improved in flavor if a few small onions and a dessertspoonful of brown sugar are added while cooking.
  11. 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.
  12. To prevent the odor of boiling ham or cabbage permeating the house add a little vinegar to the water in which they are boiled.
  13. When frying fish, use clarified dripping or salad oil. Lard smells, and butter fries a bad color.
  14. A teaspoonful of vinegar added to the water in which eggs are poached keeps the whites from spreading and makes the whites cook over the yolk.
  15. To prevent milk or cream from curdling when used in combination with tomato, add a bit of bicarbonate of soda to each before they are mixed.
  16. Sausages will shrink less and not break at all if they’re boiled about 8 minutes before they’re fried, or rolled lightly in flour.
  17. Wash leafy vegetables, such as spinach, thoroughly just before cooking. Add no water–the water that clings to the leaves is enough to cook them in.
  18. To keep cauliflower snowy white, soak for half an hour in cold salt water before cooking it.
  19. Lessen the odor of cooking turnips by adding a teaspoonful of sugar to the water. They’ll be more flavorful, too.
  20. When slicing potatoes, hold the paring knife over a gas flame or in boiling water and the potatoes will slice easily.
  21. Root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, etc., should be freed from all dirt and grit; those of the green variety should be allowed to soak for a few minutes in cold water to which a generous pinch of salt has been added.
  22. You won’t waste flour if you dust it from a large saltshaker onto meats, fish, or patties, instead of dipping the food into the flour. It’s easier, too.
  23. Retain flavor and vitamins and save waste by boiling carrots in their skins. Instead of peeling, mash them with salt and pepper.
  24. Keep sweet potatoes from looking dried out by greasing the skins with any cooking fat or oil before baking them.
  25. Why waste celery tops? Cut them up and use to flavor meats, stews, soups, roasts, stuffings.

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What Readers Are Saying: 4 Comments
  1. Bob Biga says:

    Using the brown parchment paper form a bowl. Rounding the edges. I cut across the bacon and make one and a half inch cuts and then seperate into 3 or 4 one and a half inch slices. It makes for a great breakfast treat for my grandkids. They love eating bacon in this manner. Great finger food too.

  2. Debra says:

    when baking and you need to measure shortning and the recipe calls for eggs, break the eggs into the measuring cup, swish them around and pour them into another bowl. when you add the shortning to the measuring cup the leftover egg will let it slid right out of it into your mixing bowl.

  3. Barb says:

    Before frying bacon just coat each slice with flour and you will have bacon that will NOT curl, will lie flat in the pan, will not shrink hardly at all and will have a wonderful crispy taste.

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