Place thin-skinned fruits in a bowl and cover
with boiling water. Let stand for 1 minute then
peel with a paring knife.
Spear fruit with a long-handled fork
and hold over a gas flame until the skin cracks,
they'll be easier to peel.
When preparing cut fruit ahead of
time, toss the pieces in lemon juice so that they
will not darken. The juice of 1/2 lemon should be
enough for a quart or two of cut fruit.
Place green fruits in a perforated
plastic bag. The holes will allow air to
circulate while retaining the ethylene gas that
fruits produce during ripening.
Ripen green bananas by wrapping in a we dish
towel and placing in a paper bag.
Freeze ripe bananas for later use.
First peel, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and
store in freezer bags.
Freeze lemon peel and then use when a recipe
calls for fresh lemon rind.
Whole lemons will yield much more
juice if stored in a tightly sealed jar of water
in the refrigerator. Yield will also increase by
submerging a lemon in hot water for 15 minutes
before squeezing. Or: warm in the oven for a few
minutes before squeezing.
Wrap limes in tissue paper and store on the
lower shelf of the refrigerator.
Strawberries will stay fresher when kept in a
colander in the refrigerator. Don't wash until
just before using.
Direct sunlight will soften tomatoes, not
ripen them. Leave them stem-side up out of direct
sunlight but in a warm place.
Store tomatoes with stems pointed
down and they will stay fresher, longer.
Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes,
warmth does. Find a nice warm spot near the stove
or dishwasher where they can get a little heat.
Save the juice from canned tomatoes
in ice cube trays. Store the cubes in plastic
freezer bags for cooking or use in tomato drinks.
Begin with cold, refrigerated
tomatoes. Hold tomato firmly and scrape with a
paring knife from the bottom to the top several
times. Prick the skin with the point of the knife
and the peel will remove easily.
To improve the flavor of inexpensive
tomato juice, pour the can into a refrigerator
jar and add one chopped green onion and a cut-up
stalk of celery.
To cut vegetable odors when cooking, simmer a
small pan of vinegar on the stove or add vinegar
directly to the cooking water.
General - All:
No More Tears - Onion Cutting Tips If you put
your onions in the fridge and let them get good
and cold before cutting them, they won't make
your eyes tear. Another trick for tearless
cutting is to light a candle and place it next to
the cutting board.
To freshen up wilted or blemished
vegetables, pick off brown edges, sprinkle with
cool water and wrap in a towel. Refrigerate for
Put vegetables in water after the
water boils to preserve essential vitamins.
Remove the tops of carrots, beets,
etc., before storing.
For overcooked vegetables, put the
pot in a pan of cold water. Let pot stand for 15
minutes to 1/2 hour.
Vegetables will stay fresher in your
refrigerator if you line your crisper section
with newspaper and wrap vegetables with it.
Excess moisture is absorbed and veggies stay
Leftover corn, peas, green beans,
carrots, celery, potatoes, onions? Just store in
a container in your freezer and use when making a
soup or stew.
When cooking carrots, peas, beets or
corn, add a small amount of sugar to the water to
keep the flavor.
Onions, broccoli and Brussels
sprouts will cook faster if you make an X-shaped
cut in the base.
Ripen avocados by burying them in a bowl of
To speed up the ripening process for
Avocados place them in a brown bag with an apple,
banana or tomato. The gases emitted from the
fruit hasten the ripening process.
When cooking dried beans, add salt after
cooking. When added in the beginning, it slows
the cooking process.
If beets lose their color when boiled, add a
little lemon juice to the water.
Put half a lemon in the water when cooking
cabbage to keep the smell from filling the
kitchen. Overcooking makes the smell worse too,
so keep it crisp.
Marinate carrot sticks in pickle juice for a
zesty flavor. Or try adding sugar and horseradish
to cooked carrots for a nice change of pace.
Store celery in paper bags, not plastic. And
leave the outside leaves and stalks alone until
ready to use.
Clean cucumbers with a ball of nylon net
before making pickles.
To keep sweet corn yellow, add 1 teaspoon
lemon juice to the cooking water just about a
minute before taking off the stove.
Never salt the water you cook corn
in. It will only toughen the corn.
Corn on the cob will be simple to
open if you wash them with cold water, place in a
plastic bag and freeze for an hour or so before
To perk up soggy lettuce, add lemon juice to
a bowl of cold water and soak lettuce for an hour
in the refrigerator.
Lettuce won't rust as quickly if you
place a paper towel or napkin in the crisper or
container. Or: put a few dry sponges in the
crisper to absorb excess moisture.
Store lettuce in paper bags, not
plastic. And leave the outside leaves and stalks
alone until ready to use.
To avoid 'onion eyes' peel under cold water
or refrigerate (or freeze) before chopping.
For lunch box sandwiches, sprinkle
with dried onion instead of fresh onion. They
will have turned into crisp onion pieces by lunch
Wrap onions individually in foil to
After an onion has been cut in half,
rub the cut side with butter to keep it fresher,
Overcooked potatoes can get soggy when milk
is added. Sprinkle with dry powdered milk for the
fluffiest mashed potatoes.
To hurry up baked potatoes, boil in
salted water for 10 minutes. Then place in a very
Insert a nail into a potato to
shorten baking time by 15 minutes.
Cut potatoes in half and place them
cut side down on a baking sheet in the oven for a
quicker baking time.
When making potato pancakes, add a
little sour cream to keep from discoloring.
When making mashed potatoes, save
some of the water the potatoes were boiled in and
add to some powdered milk for use when mashing.
This restores some of the nutrients lost in the
For sensational taste, try using a
couple of tablespoons of cream cheese instead of
butter. Or substitute sour cream for milk when
making mashed potatoes.
Leftover squash can be improved by adding
some maple syrup before it is reheated.
For the very lightest pancakes, replace
liquid with club soda. Use up all the batter as
it will go flat if stored.