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Quick Fixes

SAUCES / GRAVY
Lumpy sauce or gravy:Pour gravy or sauce through a strainer and mash out lumps with a wooden spoon. Reheat very slowly.

Gravy won't thicken: Stir a small amount of flour into a cup of cold water. Add mixture to gravy slowly, stirring constantly.

Too much fat in gravy:Cool and skim off the fat, or pour through ice cubes into a bowl. The fat will solidify and can be removed.

Curdled/separated mayonnaise:Mix 1 tsp mustard, 1 tbsp curdled mayonnaise in a bowl. Beat with whisk until creamy. Add mayonnaise slowly until blended.

COFFEE / TEA

Weak coffee:Add a little instant coffee to the pot.

Bitter / Overbrewed coffee:Add a pinch of salt to pot.

Weak tea: Add a pinch of baking soda to the teapot

COOKING / FOOD ODORS
Smell of onion or garlic on hands: Rinse hands in cold water, rub with salt or baking powder, rinse again, then wash with soap and water.

Onion or cabbage cooking odor:While cooking, set a tin cup of vinegar on stove and let it boil.

Fish odor: Rub fish with lemon juice and salt to prevent the odor from being absorbed by other food.

Food smells in the refrigerator: Open a box of baking soda and leave in the refrigerator. Replace with fresh box every month or two.

KEEPING FOODS FRESH
Fruits: Sprinkle sliced fruits with lemon juice.

Keep sugar soft: Place a slice of bread in the container and cover tightly.

Keep sugar from lumping: Place a couple of salt crackers in the container and cover tightly.

Keep brown sugar soft: Place a slice of apple in the container and cover tightly.

If brown sugar is hard: Place in 200° oven until dry and crumbly. Powder it in an electric blender or use a mortar and pestle.

Dried out, leftover cheese:Don't throw it away! Store in freezer. Frozen, it will crumble easily. Slice it thin without thawing to use in recipes calling for grated cheese. If cheese is covered with mold, wipe off mold with vinegar-soaked paper towels. Scrape off heavy mold with knife. Cheese flavor isn't affected. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Dried out coconut:Put coconut in a strainer over a steaming pot of water for a few minutes.

Dry, granulated honey:Place honey container in a pan of heated water.

Slightly stale bread: Sprinkle bread with water or milk; wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F about 8 minutes. If hard-crusted, open foil for 3-5 minutes more.

MISCELLANEOUS TIPS
Sticky rice:Rinse rice thoroughly with warm water to wash out the excess starch. Grains will separate.

Sticky pasta: Add salt or oil to noodles while boiling.

Pasta Tip For Busy Mom's Everywhere:- When cooking ANY type of pasta,always cook twice what you need. When the pasta is done add oil, stir, and drain. This is the trick, now, place all the pasta in cold water for a second,just long enough for it cool a bit. Take out what you are going to be using then (and use it) the rest can be frozen and used later. Easy to thaw, just dump it in hot water, no need to cook twice! Love this one! Contributed by Pat, lta61@mindspring.com

Too much salt:Add a little vinegar and sugar, then taste. A raw potato helps absorb salt in soups or stews.

Too much sugar: Add a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar.

Tough, rubbery omelette: Add one tsp boiling water per egg to mixture.

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