Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Kitchen Alphabet

‘Household Hints’ always catch my eye. Perhaps therein lie solutions to problems I never knew I had?  An alphabetic list of almost anything is also pretty hard for me to resist, perhaps because of my love of words, but also because I love to see how the writer solves the problem of the letter ‘X’.

Today, just for fun, I give you an alphabetical list of household hints from a book published by a Brisbane newspaper, the ‘Truth’ and ‘Daily Mirror’ Cookery Book, (c 1943) under the name of Ruth Cilento.


A pinch of baking soda added to any boiled syrup will prevent it crystallising.
Before heating milk rinse the saucepan with cold water and it will not scorch so easily.
Cut bread lengthwise instead of across, when cutting sandwiches, it saves the bread.
Don’t pile leftover potatoes together, spread them on a large dish to prevent them going sour.
Efficient equipment is necessary in the kitchen. How are your spoons and strainers wearing?
Fish should be included on the menu once a week.
Gelatine is the  modern housewife’s magic; learn the many ways of using it.
Honey can be used to mix nuts for sandwiches.
If syrup goes back to sugar, reheat, and add a small piece of butter and it will be useful as a soft sugar.
Juice left over from tinned fruits is useful in preparing jellies.
Keep all fat not suitable for cooking, and use for making soap.
Liquid from mustard pickles can be added to salad dressing in place of fresh vinegar and mustard.
Marmalade spread between two thin slices of buttered toast is delicious for breakfast.
Nuts are most nutritious, and there are many ways of using them in the daily menu.
Oranges baked are excellent for a cold. Cut a slice not quite through to form a lid, then put in a teaspoon of lime juice, bake until heated through.
Peas too hard for serving plain may be cooked until tender, then pressed through a sieve and used for soup.
Quite a good plan, when cooking rice, is to have some left over; it can be used in many appetising ways.
Rubber rings from fruit jars should be kept and used for standing dishes on the ice to prevent slipping.
Salt frequently curdles milk, so it should always be added last in cooking.
Thermometers always mean good results in baking cakes.
Use up yolks of eggs – when whites only have been used – for scrambling.
Very few housewives know the food value of dates; they are excellent in salads and des[s]erts.
When cooking vegetables, cover those that grow under the ground, and leave uncovered those that grow above ground.
X,Y, Z. These are teaser, which the cook can discover for herself while the dinner is cooking.

So, the author clearly wimped out on Y, and Z as well as X. Or perhaps it was because the text would not then have fitted so neatly onto one page. I challenge you to complete the list.

As the recipe for the day, I give you an interesting version of pickled onions, from the same book.

Pickled Onions in Sauce.
Five lb. onions, 1 quart vinegar, 1 lb. brown sugar, ½ oz. ground cloves, ½ oz. allspice, 2 big tablespoons flour, ½ dessertspoon mustard, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 2 teaspoons turmeric.
Cover the onions with salt and water, and allow to stand 24 hours. Put the vinegar and sugar on fire to boil, and when it just comes to the boil, add all the other ingredients, which have been mixed to a paste with cold vinegar. Boil till it thickens, then pour this over the onions [which presumably have been drained from the brine!]. Keep for three weeks before  using so as to allow the flavour of this sauce to go into the onions.
This recipe is very economical because the sauce can be used as well as the onions.

Quotation for the Day.

The only think I like better than talking about Food is eating.
John Walters


SometimesKate said...

Xanthum Gum is used by people who are allergic to gluten to add volume and viscosity to bread and other gluten-free baked goods.

Yams are excellent when baked. I prefer mine with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter, but my sister likes them roasted and mashed with olive oil and rosemary.

Zesting citrus fruits means only getting the outside coloured bits. Avoid the bitter white pith.

Elise Fleming/Alys K. said...

Xecute xactly all xpected instructions – no xceptions!