Kitchen Guide 

Keeping Food Fresh

Bananas

• Toss freshly peeled bananas in lemon juice and they will not darken.

• Freeze bananas that are on the verge of going bad. They also make delicious popsicles.

• If they've darkened, peel and beat slightly. Put into a plastic container and freeze until it's time to bake bread or cake.

Bread

• A rib of celery in your bread bag will keep the bread fresh for a longer time.

Broccoli

• Broccoli stems can be cooked in the same length of time as the flowerets if you make X incisions from top to bottom through stems.

Brown Sugar

• Store in plastic bag. Wrap tightly. Place in coffee can with snap-on lid.

• Or, store in refrigerator.

Butter

• A butter stretcher: To make 2 pounds of butter, slowly beat in 2 cups of evaporated milk (a little at a time) to 1 pound of butter. Pour into pan and chill.

• Grating a stick of butter softens it quickly.

• Soften for spreading by inverting a small heated pan over the butter dish for a while.

Cake

• Place 1/2 apple in the cake box.

• Or, a slice of fresh bread fastened with toothpicks to the cut edge of cake will keep the cake from drying out and getting stale.

Celery and Lettuce

• Store in refrigerator in paper bags instead of plastic. Leave the outside leaves and stalks on until ready to use.

Cheese

• To keep cheese from drying out, wrap in a cloth dampened with vinegar.

Cocoa

• Store cocoa in a glass jar in a dry and cool place.

Cookies

• Place crushed tissue paper on the bottom of your cookie jar.

Corn

• To keep sweet corn yellow, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the cooking water a minute before you remove it from the stove.

• Salted cooking water only toughens corn.

Cottage Cheese

• Store carton upside down. It will keep twice as long.

Crackers

• Can be kept crisp in the most humid weather by storing in the refrigerator. Be sure they are wrapped securely.

Cranberries

• Cranberries will grind very neatly when frozen. Wash the berries, pat dry and freeze in plastic bag until ready for use.

Fish and Shrimp

• Thaw fish in milk. The milk draws out the frozen taste and provides afresh-caught flavor.

• Or, try soaking fish in vinegar and water before cooking it for a sweet tender taste.

• The fishy smell can be removed from your hands by washing with vinegar and water or salt and water.

• To get rid of the "canned taste" in canned shrimp, soak them in a little sherry and 2 tablespoons of vinegar for about 15 minutes.

Fruit

• Instead of using afruit ripening bowl, place green fruits in a perforated plastic bag. The holes allow air movement, yet retain the odorless ethylene gas which fruits produce to promote ripening.

• Ripen green bananas or green tomatoes by wrapping them in a wet dish towel and placing them in a paper sack.

• Bury avocados in a bowl of flour.

• Toss the freshly cut fruit in lemon juice and it will not darken. The juice of half a lemon is enough for a quart or two of cut fruits.

• Or, cover with 1 cup syrup made of equal parts of water and sugar cooked until syrupy.

Garlic

• Garlic cloves can be kept in the freezer. When ready to use, peel and chop before thawing.

• Or, garlic cloves will never dry out if you store them in a bottle of cooking oil. After the garlic is used up, you can use the garlic-flavored oil for salad dressing,

Honey

• Put honey in small plastic freezer containers to prevent sugaring. It also thaws out in a short time.

• If it has sugared, simply place the jar in a boiling pot of water.

Ice Cream

• Ice cream that has been opened and returned to the freezer sometimes forms a waxlike film on the top. To prevent this, after part of the ice cream has been removed, press a piece of waxed paper against the surface and reseal the carton.

Lemons

• Store whole lemons in a tightly sealed jar of water in the refrigerator. They will yield much more juice than when first purchased.

• After you've squeezed a lemon for its juice, wrap and freeze the rind. When a recipe calls for lemon rind, you will not have to grate a fresh lemon.

• Submerging a lemon in hot water for 15 minutes before squeezing will yield almost twice the amount of juice.

•- Or, warm them in your oven for a few minutes before squeezing.

Lettuce and Celery

• They keep longer if you store them in the refrigerator in paper bags instead of cellophane ones. Do not remove the outside leaves of either until ready to use.

• Lettuce will not rust as quickly if you place a paper towel or napkin in the storage container.

• Line the bottom of the vegetable compartment with paper toweling. This absorbs the excess moisture and keeps all vegetables and fruits fresher for a longer period of time.

• Or, put a few dry sponges in the vegetable compartment to absorb moisture.

Limes

• Store limes, wrapped in tissue paper, on lower shelf of the refrigerator,

Marshmallows

• They will not dry out if stored in the freezer. Simply cut with scissors when ready to use.

Milk

• Milk at room temperature may spoil cold milk, so don't pour milk back into the

carton.

Olive Oil

• You can lengthen the life of olive oil by adding a cube of sugar to the bottle.

Onions

• Wrap individually in foil to keep them from becoming soft or sprouting.

• Once an onion has been cut in half, rub the leftover side with butter and it will keep fresh longer.

Parsley

• Keep fresh and crisp by storing in a wide-mouth jar with a tight lid.

• Parsley can also be frozen.

Too Many Peeled Potatoes

• Cover them with cold water to which a few drops of vinegar have been added. Keep refrigerated and they will last for 3 or 4 days.

Popcorn

• It should always be kept in the freezer. Not only will it stay fresh, but freezing helps eliminate "old maids."

• "Old maids" can also be eliminated by running ice cold water over the kernels before throwing into the popper.

Potatoes

• A leftover baked potato can be re-baked if you dip it in water and bake in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes.

Poultry

• After flouring chicken, chill for 1 hour. The coating adheres better during frying.

• For golden brown chicken every time, put a few drops of yellow food coloring in the shortening before it has heated.

• Wear rubber gloves to transfer a turkey from roasting pan to a platter.

• Truss the bird with dental floss when grilling. Dental floss does not burn and is very strong.

Salt

• Since most recipes call for both salt and pepper, keep a large shaker filled with a mixture of both. 3/4 salt and 1/4 pepper is a good combination.

• When to add salt:

Soups and stews: Add early.

Meats: Sprinkle just before taking off the stove.

Vegetables: Cook in salted water.

Smoked Meats

• Wrap ham or bacon in a vinegar-soaked cloth, then in waxed paper to preserve freshness.

Soda Crackers

• Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator.

Strawberries

• Keep in a colander in the refrigerator. Wash just before serving.

Vegetables

• To restore a fresh flavor to frozen vegetables, pour boiling hot water over them, rinsing away all traces of the frozen water.

• Try cooking in broth for a nice flavor.

• Exposure to direct sunlight softens tomatoes instead of ripening them. Leave the tomatoes, stem-up, in any spot where they will be out of direct sunlight.

• Remove the tops on carrots, beets, etc. before storing.