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What's Cooking?: Tips from the Kitchen

Books from the cooking collection provide more than recipes.   They give you a tour around the world, evoke memories during holiday seasons, how-tos for building gingerbread houses or brewing beer in a bathtub.  What I appreciate most are the tips, shortcuts, substitutions, and repairs in the kitchen that are generously shared by experienced cooks.

There are the common tips like adding a cut potato to a too-salty soup to absorb the saltiness or placing fruit in a brown paper bag to ripen it .   Ever have brown sugar that has been hardened?  To prevent this from happening, keep it soft by wrapping it tightly or storing it with an apple.  To soften hard brown sugar, microwave it.   How about those plastic containers that get stained with tomato sauce?  They won’t stain if you coat them with nonstick spray before filling them.  Here is another tip.  Want fluffier scrambled eggs?  Add a bit of water instead of milk.  How about recycling those spice jars by using them as toothpick holders with the shaker cap.  Now I love eating ice cream in sugar cones but eating it leisurely means the ice cream is dripping on the bottom tip while there is still ice cream on the top.  I don’t know which end to attack first.  What a mess and a sight I must be while enjoying both ends of the cone at the same time.  A neat trick I learned is placing a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of the cone before filling your favorite ice cream.  It slows the drip with a surprise finish.  Ingenious idea! 

Take a look at these books that are often overlooked.  They contain a treasure of cooking tips and secrets, and helpful cooking techniques.  Aside from the practical aspect of these resources, they provide interesting reading with a “sprinkle” of science to it.


Bittman, Mark.   How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Simple Recipes Anyone Can Cook 

Herbst, Sharon Tyler.  The New Food Lover’s Tiptionary

Hilton, Joni.  Cooking Secrets My Mother Never Taught Me

Joachim, David.  Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks On Food and Cooking

McGee, Harold.  The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

Wolke, Robert L. What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained

Wolke, Robert L. What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel: Further Adventures in Kitchen Science

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