Here are a few kitchen tricks that I found in old cookbooks. They come from the days when you had to cook everything from scratch and often didn’t have everything you needed, so you had to substitute.. Hopefully they will help you.
1. Instead of shelling peas, wash them, discard the bad and throw the remainder, pods and all into a pot of boiling water. When they are done, the pods will rise to the top and the peas will stay at the bottom.
2. To speed up the cooking of baked potatoes, after you wash them, let them stand in hot water for a few minutes.
3. If you want celery in your soup and it is not available all year around, dry celery leaves when available. Store them in a jar until needed. When preparing soup tie a few of the leaves into a piece of cloth and drop into soup. The soup will taste of celery. The leaves can make a strong taste if too much is used.
4. To keep cream sweet, heat it to almost boiling and put it in a glass bottle, cover it and set it aside in a cool area. Cream treated in this manner will keep sweet and fresh for several days in moderate weather and over the second day in hot weather.
5. After boiling salted ham or tongue remove it from the fire and plunge it straight into cold water. This loosens the skin, which will them pull off. You can treat beets the same way.
6. If you are making cake and do not have fresh milk, butter milk, molasses or sour milk, use a cup of applesauce into which a teaspoon of baking soda has been stirred. This is an excellent substitute and makes a delicious spiced cake.