We were invited to my folks’ house for supper . . . a risky proposition at any time, but especially when my dad is at the grill and I’m watching what I eat a bit more than usual because I want to fit into last year’s summer clothes (imagine that) before this summer . . . and Mom has just made The Best Multi-Grain Bread Ever and neither Mom nor Dad care a wit about how much I weigh, or how tight my summer skirts might be . . . see why it’s so risky, Gentle Readers? Risk upon risk!
Honestly. I am so blessed, but the flip side of the blessing of having kind and indulgent parents who make such incredible food, is that the very moment I step in the front door–boom!–I instantly gain at least 5 pounds. And who is surprised at this? Nobody. Nobody is. After all, you see in the photo above, what Dad was serving on this particular night.*
As we helped Mom get the rest of the meal ready in the kitchen, one after another Mom shared kitchen tips with us. You don’t cook every day for nearly 60 years without learning lots of shortcuts. And Mom is always learning, always sharing, always tweaking and always discovering. (However. One thing Mom is not always doing is sharing her donut recipe with me, unfortunately . . . )
I’ve been teasing Mom to let me make donuts with her (she is quite famous locally, for her raised donuts, and I’m sure that I’ve posted pictures of them before, but you’ll notice that I’ve never posted her recipe. As generous an indulgent as my mom is, she has never agreed to share her donut recipe, nor even have a donut-making session with me, even after repeated, teary requests) and this she has not (yet) agreed to, but a blogger takes what she can get, and so at this time, I’ll share the tips that she shared. And I’ll be grateful. 🙂
Quandary: You hate to toss that piece of aluminum foil that you used for light-duty only, since you know it is still perfectly good and heck, the landfills aren’t getting any smaller, after all, but you don’t want random bits and pieces of used (but still good) foil to clutter up your kitchen.
Mom’s Quick Tip: After you’ve rinsed the foil (if it needs it) and allowed it to dry, simply roll it up on an empty paper towel roll. Voila! Easy as 1, 2, 3 . . . and you have small pieces of foil handy to use, stored neatly until you need them!
Quandary: You need a stick of softened butter, but you don’t want to microwave it (’cause you know you’ll get a pool of melted butter) and you forgot to take your butter out of the freezer. Help!
Mom’s Quick Tip: Unwrap the butter and stand it on end. It will thaw much quicker, allowing you to cut it up into chunks, within minutes. Voila! Softened butter.
Quandary: You are frying fish or hamburgers or (cough) a big batch of donuts to share with your (deserving) kids and you have a ceiling fan right above where you do your frying. You know what that means: gross, greasy ceiling fan. You don’t want to spend the evening cleaning your fan, but if you don’t, it’ll be a dusty, grimy mess within a few days. What are you to do?
Mom’s Quick Tip: Take the thin plastic bags that your daily newspaper comes in (old bread bags would work here, too, if you don’t get the daily newspaper) and slip them over the fan blades. This simple trick, which will take just seconds, will save you a greasy hour of scrubbing later!
That’s it for today! Thanks Mom, for sharing these tips with me. Would you be interested in the kabob recipe? I think I could tease that out of Dad, if I get enough comments about it.
And about that donut recipe, Mom . . . maybe next time? 😉
*Oh! A personal note to my Dad: Dad, the next day we were out running errands and we had to stop to grab something to eat. I asked the kids what they felt like: a hamburger? A taco? A runza? Immediately Amalia said “Kabobs. I want more of those kabobs that Grandpa made.” Of course, then that’s all we were hungry for. They were that good.
- It’s no-turning-back-awesome: a better way to plant onions!
- Kondo-ing it in Nebraska with sister Mollie, one soft, gray shirt at a time