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Miscellaneous Cooking/Baking Helps

The way that great grandma used to cook and how she did it.

Whipping Cream: Chill cream thoroughly. Pour into a chilled bowl and whip with a dover beater (old fashioned eggbeater), or an electric eggbeater, until stiff. Cream, when whipped, approximately doubles in bulk. (Note: Do not overwhip or you will end up with butter.)  If making sweet cream, sprinkle sugar a little at a time, to taste, while beating. Add vanilla, to taste, at the end – about ½ to 1 teaspoon.


Whipping Evaporated Milk: Heat milk over hot water (double boiler) until a film forms on the surface. Stir until blended. Pour into a bowl, and chill thoroughly. Beat with an eggbeater until stiff. Evaporated milk may be prepared for whipping by boiling in the can for 5 minutes, and thoroughly chilling before whipping it. Evaporated milk, when whipped, approximately trebles in bulk.


Caramelizing Sugar: Heat sugar in a heavy frying pan or saucepan, stirring constantly until a golden brown syrup is formed. Remove from heat immediately.


Changing a Sweet Milk Recipe to a Sour Milk Recipe: ½ teaspoon baking soda is the equivalent in leavening property of 2 teaspoons baking powder. 1 cup sour milk requires ½ teaspoon baking soda. Therefore, if a recipe requires 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 cup sweet milk, it may be changed to a sour milk recipe by using 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and 1 cup sour milk.


Milk Cooking: Foods consisting largely of milk, such as custards and white sauces, should be cooked at a moderate temperature. For this reason, soft custards and white sauces are cooked over hot water, and baked custards are cooked in a moderate oven (375º F.). The dishes containing the custard are set in a pan of warm water before being placed in the oven.


Evaporated Milk is unsweetened. It has a much lower water content than fresh milk. It may be diluted with water in the proportion of 1 part milk to 1 part water. Less dilution may be used if desired. It is suitable for use in any recipe which requires milk.


Sweetened Condensed Milk has a lower water content and a higher sugar content than fresh milk. It may be diluted with water in as high a proportion as 1 part milk to 3 parts water. When substituted for sweet milk in a recipe requiring sugar, the sugar should be decreased 2 tablespoons for each ¼ cup of the sweetened condensed milk used.


Scalded Milk: Heat milk over hot water until a film forms on the surface. When ready to use, stir film into milk.



A croquette is a small fried food roll usually made from a combination of ingredients of which can include, mashed potatoes, and/or minced meat (veal, beef, chicken, or turkey), shellfish, fish, and vegetables with spices to tase. It is then dipped in egg and coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. The croquette is usually shaped into a cylinder or disk shape. The croquette gets its name from the French word croquer, “to crunch.”


General Directions for Preparing Croquettes:  Grind food material or separate it into fine shreds. Prepare a thick, well –seasoned white sauce. Add 1 cup sauce to 3 cups of prepared food. Mix until well blended. (The mixture should be as soft as can be handled.)  Cool. Scoop about 1 to 2 tablespoons for each croquette. Form with hands or  spatulas on a lightly floured board into cylinders, cones, or balls. They should be uniform in size. Dip into slightly beaten egg, diluted with 1 tablespoon water, roll in the breadcrumbs, and then dip again in egg. Fry in deep, hot fat (375º F.) until brown. Drain on absorbent paper.


General Directions for Preparing Creamed Foods:  Use freshly cooked or leftover meat, fish, poultry, or vegetables. Leave whole, cube, or shredded, as desired. Prepare a medium white sauce. Add sauce to food to be creamed. Mix lightly or add sauce to food after it has been placed in the serving dish. Allow from ½ to ¾ cup sauce for each cup of food. If cubed or shredded, it is often served on top of buttered toast or hot biscuits.


General Directions for Preparing Soufflés: Use finely shredded or chopped meat, fish, and vegetables, or grated cheese. Prepare a thick, well-seasoned white sauce. Add ½ cup food to approximately ¾ cup sauce. Add the well-beaten yolks of 3 eggs. Stir until blended. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour it into a well-oiled baking dish. Bake in moderate oven (375º F.) until an inserted knife comes out clean.


General Directions for Preparing Scalloped Foods:  Use finely shredded or chopped cooked meat and fish and diced or sliced uncooked or cooked vegetables. Fill a well-oiled baking dish with alternate layers of food and medium white sauce. Cover the top with buttered breadcrumbs or cheese. Bake in moderate oven (375º F.) until the food is thoroughly cooked. Uncover and allow to brown.


Adding Flavor to Foods: Natural flavors of foods may be intensified or developed by adding suitable seasonings.  A few grains of salt will improve the flavor of nearly every food. The tartness of lemon juice will emphasize the milder flavor of other fruits. Sugar in small quantities, added to fresh or canned vegetables, will improve the flavor of the vegetables.


A bit of garlic, garlic salt, dehydrated onions, or finely diced onion will prove helpful in developing the flavor of many meat combinations, salads, and salad dressings.


Factors Which Affect Fat Absorption of Foods: Croquettes or other foods cooked in deep fat will absorb fat if the mixture is too thin, too rich, has rough surfaces, or if the fat is not sufficiently hot.


Buttered Bread or Cracker Crumbs: Roll dry bread or cracker crumbs until fine. Add melted butter or butter substitute (margarine) in the proportion of 2 tablespoons to each cup of crumbs.

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