Thursday, July 28, 2011

Potato Helps

My fascination with my Grandma's 1927 Household Helps book continues!  Clearly I have not tried most of these "helps" (yet), and a few are pretty much obsolete for today's world; but they are just so darn interesting I had to share. Here are the helps on Potatoes.

When Peeling Potatoes or other hard fruit or vegetables, a piece of adhesive plaster over the forefinger and thumb prevents cuts and discoloration.

Sprinkle a Little Flour on potatoes before frying to make them a delicious golden brown.

Salt Added to Potatoes when nearly done insures flouriness and prevents them going to pieces. A teaspoon of vinegar in the pan just before straining makes them white and flaky.

When Baking Potatoes, first grease them with a little butter and they will be brown and crisp, with nice glazed appearance.

When Baking Potatoes, first let them stand in boiling water for 15 minutes; they will bake in one-half the usual time. Or, if time is short, try boiling them till nearly done and finish in oven. Pierce potatoes with a fork before baking them and they will not burst open in the oven.

If Cold Baked Potatoes are dipped for a moment in hot water and then placed in moderate oven till warmed through, they will be as nice as if freshly baked.

When Boiling Potatoes for mashing, slice them as for French fried instead of leaving them whole or cut in half, and you will save much time and fuel.

When Boiling Old Potatoes, add a few tablespoonfuls of milk, or a slice of lemon, to the water to improve the flavor and prevent them turning dark in cooking.

When Mashing Old Potatoes, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to two quarts of potatoes for greatly improved flavor; also use hot milk and they will beat up lighter. Adding a teaspoonful of baking powder when ready to mash and beating vigorously also makes them light and creamy. Try adding a little chopped parsley and onion to mashed potatoes.

When Preparing Potatoes for Boiling, instead of peeling the whole potato, just peel a narrow strip entirely around the middle of each lengthwise. When cooked the skins will slip off easily.

To Peel Potatoes Easily, wash them and drop them into a pan of rapidly boiling water for ten minutes. Remove and strip the thin skin the same as when thoroughly boiled. They will still be practically raw for use in preparing dishes such as scalloped or French fried potatoes, potato chips, etc.

Before Scraping New Potatoes, soak them about two hours in water to which add a little common soda; they will scrape and clean easily and the fingers will not be soiled as usual. Soaking new potatoes for 10 minutes in water in which a handful of salt has been dissolved also causes the skins to scrape off easily.

To Peel Sweet Potatoes Easily - Before putting them in the oven, grease the skins with lard; they will then peel easily without waste. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the water in which sweet potatoes are boiled; it improves flavor.

Who knew?!