All you Nancy Drew lovers, and you know who you are, listen up. Several months ago, I came across
The Nancy Drew Cookbook, Clues to Good Cooking by Carolyn Keene while volunteering at the library used book store. Daphne and I are Nancy Drew fans and so I bought the hardcover book for 50 cents. I didn’t even know Nancy had a cook book. This book was published in 1973. That’s when a hardbound book cost $3.95. I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and share Nancy’s cooking tips in place of a recipe. So get a pen and take notes so that you’ll be a master chef like Nancy.
- Unless you are an expert, follow the recipes exactly.
- Put on an apron and wash your hands before starting to work.
- Set out pot holders, utensils, and ingredients before beginning to prepare food.
- Keep the handles of the saucepans turned inward on the stove so they will not be knocked over.
- Use a chopping board, instead of cutting directly on a table or counter top.
- Never put rubber or plastic utensils in pots which are over heat – they will melt.
- Place aluminum foil or a cookie sheet beneath the baking dish or on the oven rack to keep what you are cooking from dripping onto the oven bottom.
- Before you use a hand beater or electric mixer, place a damp cloth beneath the mixing bowl. The cloth will keep the bowl from jiggling or “walking” on the counter or table top.
- Get a clock with large, distinct markings so you can keep track of the minutes; or use a timer and set for the desired length of time.
- Make the quantities in measuring spoons and cups level, rather than heaped up.
- Mix all liquid ingredients together. Then combine them with dry ingredients, pouring the liquid slowly into the dry ingredients and stirring.
- Use a fork for stirring dry ingredients, particularly ground meat, and use a spoon for stirring liquids.
- Grease baking dishes with wax paper or a paper towel dipped in butter, margarine, or cooking oil.
- Use a cup or cream pitcher to transfer mixtures to muffin cups or freezer trays.
- To prevent the discoloration of peeled apples, pears, and peaches, sprinkle lemon juice over them; or soak them in pineapple or grapefruit juice.
- Put onions under the water while you peel them so that your eyes won’t “cry.”
- Eggs can be tested for freshness by leaving them in cold water for a little while. If they rise to the top, they are bad!
- Unless the recipe states differently, break the egg in half. Tap it against the sharp edge of a bowl just enough to crack the shell. Hold it over the bowl and with your fingers open the crack to let the whole egg drop into the bowl.
- Use cold water to clean chocolate or egg from dishes.
- When you have finished cooking, be sure that the oven burners, and lights of the stove are turned off.
- Always try to keep your kitchen clean and neat as you cook. Use only the dishes you will need. Measure ingredients on wax paper whenever possible. Wipe up any spills quickly.
Well, there you have it. Tips from Nancy Drew that will help you prevent mishaps in the kitchen. (I wanted to add a few comments to some of these tips, but I refrained from doing so. Honestly, it was really, really hard.) Next up in Mama’s Kitchen will be a recipe from Nancy Drew herself that you can make.