10 timeless kitchen tips from the past we still use today

Nothing is better than grandma’s cooking. Well, maybe a few things, but it’s toward the top of the list. I don’t know what it is about them, but grandmothers just seem to know more about making delicious meals and keeping a perfectly running kitchen than anyone else.

Is there some secret book of kitchen tips that they’re not telling us about? Or have they simply learned through decades of trial and error? Or maybe, there’s no secret. Maybe they’re just waiting for you to ask if you can learn from them. And I have no doubt that if you’re willing to listen, your grandmothers would love nothing more than to teach you the tricks of the trade.

1. Paper bags ripen fruit

Whether you buy fruit from the grocery store or grow it yourself, you occasionally end up with some fruit that isn’t quite ripe enough. While there are multiple ways you can attempt to speed up the ripening process, the most tried-and-true method involves putting your fruit into a simple paper bag. After the fruit is in the bag, seal the top, and ignore it for a few days. When you open the bag again, your fruit should be ready to go.

2. Testing eggs for freshness in water

If you no longer remember when you bought that carton of eggs in your refrigerator, don’t automatically assume they’re past their prime and throw them away. Instead, place the eggs in a bowl of water. If they sink to the bottom and lie on their sides, they’re still fresh. If they stand up straight on the bottom, you should hard-boil and eat them as soon as possible. But if they float to the top, they’re no longer fresh and shouldn’t be eaten.

3. Lemons in hot water for more juice

There are several ways to maximize the amount of juice you can squeeze out of a lemon. You can microwave them, cut them a certain way, roll them on the counter, etc. But the quickest way to get more juice out of a lemon is to place it in warm water for about a minute. This will make it softer, which allows it to produce more juice. Just make sure you take it out of the water as soon as the skin feels warm.

4. Water prevents dessert from burning

Do you have trouble getting your desserts to bake perfectly? Do you tend to burn pie crust, or frequently have to scrape burnt-on cake out of the pan? To avoid burning your baked goods, fill a bowl with two quarts of water and place this in the oven during baking. Just make sure the bowl can be used safely in the oven.

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