Older cookbooks fascinate me. I enjoy reading through them and trying out some of the recipes our parents and their parents used. When on vacation this summer with my daughter and grandson, I found a Depression Era collection of recipes and tips collected and compiled in a simple cookbook, Depression Era Recipes by Patricia R. Wagner. Here are some of my favorites.
Adding water to eggs instead of milk will make scrambled eggs fluffier. It also makes the eggs easier to beat. Add about 1 tablespoon of water per egg. I never make eggs with milk anymore. It makes omelets light and fluffy; adding milk increases the carbohydrates (for diabetics) and calories.
Keep bugs out of your cupboards and canisters by putting a bay leaf in your flour, pasta or other grain container. Sprinkle some pieces of bay leaf in drawers and on shelves where baking and cooking ingredients are stored. I keep bay leaves around my cabinets and drawers; they provide a pleasant scent as well as keep bugs away.
To keep milk from sticking to the pan when you heat it, rinse the pan with cold water first. Of course, if you heat it too fast or forget about it, it will stick and burn.
Bits of butter or lard dotted near the edge of apple or fruit pies prevent the juice from running out while baking. I was surprised at the results when I tried this. My blueberry pie turned out beautiful without dripping all over the oven.
More juice can be squeezed from a lemon if it has been heated a little in the oven first. If the rind is to be used, grate it before heating. Today, the same advice can be used but with the microwave instead of the oven. I have found that rolling the lemon on the counter after heating produces more juice and makes it easier to obtain the juice.
To keep lemons, put them in water. Change the water once a week.
When baking cakes, cookies or doughnuts, if sour milk is called for and is not on hand, add about 1 tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of sweet milk and let stand two minutes. I had heard of adding lemon juice to sweet milk would create sour milk; I tried using the vinegar with the same result. This is one of the ingredients I usually have to create.