It’s almost Mother’s Day, and the Test Kitchen staff has put together a list of tips they have learned from their mothers, grandmothers or special women in their life. Here are a few quick tips or tricks that might help you in the kitchen, too!
“For raising yeast dough in a warm spot, my mom taught me to fill a 9” square pan with hot tap water and place it on the lowest rack in a cold oven. Place your dough on the shelf above, covered with a clean tea towel. Shut the oven door. The warm water creates a warm moist environment – just right for raising dough. Be sure to remove the pan of water when you remove the dough from the oven, prior to preheating your oven for baking the dough.”– Becky, Director of the Test Kitchens
“To butter a pan, place a piece of butter in a small resealable plastic food bag. Use the bag to hold the butter while you butter the pan – no messy fingers! Even better, you can use the bag to store the butter in your fridge so it’s ready the next time you need to butter a pan.”– Becky, Director of the Test Kitchens
“My mom always said and still says, it doesn’t have to be pretty – as long as it tastes good, it is good!”
– Mallory, Test Kitchens
“When I was a little girl we had an elderly German couple that lived next door to us who became surrogate grandparents. I could not pronounce their last name so I called them Mom Hauer and Dad Hauer. Mom Hauer came over from Germany after World War II, and along with her she brought a family butter cookie recipe that we named “Mom Hauer Cookies”. These delicious butter cookies became our family recipe also and we make them every Christmas. Mom Hauer taught me years ago to make sure to not let my unsalted Land O’Lakes Butter (which she used) get too soft before mixing with the dry ingredients so the cookies would not spread.” – Lisa, Consumer Affairs
“My mom’s #1 kitchen rule was always wear an apron. Grandma always used to say to clean your kitchen work space as you go – no one wants treats from a dirty kitchen!” – Susie, Web Team
“My mom is a baker extraordinaire! She is known for always having a variety of cookies in the freezer ready to be shared with kids, grandchildren and friends. One of her favorite tips is to always use parchment paper when making cookies. You can slide the paper right off the tray onto your cooling rack and clean-up is a breeze! She also had a great tip for storing cookies. She advised us to freeze baked cookies at 12-18 or so at a time on a plastic plate or tray a pop into a zipper seal bag. Stored that way, the cookies are ready to be thawed on the counter for serving or handed to visitors as they head out the door.” – Vicky, Manager of Consumer Affairs
“Don’t be afraid to try new recipes. After all, that recipe could become a new family favorite (and many did).” – Deb, Consumer Affairs
“I love the memory of my grandma at her kitchen table easily peeling peaches and the pile of peach peels left on the carefully laid out newspaper. She always shopped all the grocery ads for the best buys. She would be so happy with a good deal on a crate of peaches! When she got the crate home, she taught me how to blanch them. Add peaches to boiling water for about one minute, place in ice water, and the peel easily slips off with a paring knife.” – Lorraine, Consumer Affairs
What invaluable tips have you learned from your mom? We'd love to read about them -- leave a comment below!