March 11, 2004
Old cook’s tales

recipe thursdayWhen I’m in the kitchen, all sorts of phrases come to mind. They are the procedural recipes that I’ve learned over the years.

“Hot pan, cold oil, foods won’t stick” from Jeff Smith’s Frugal Gourmet runs through my head every single time I put oil in my fry pan.

“Frequent turning makes crisp bacon,” comes from my mother’s best friend’s mother, Mrs. Allen. I never met her, but I think of her every time I cook a big breakfast.

“Cold start soup.” I made this one up myself. Vegetables started in cold water release their flavor to the water, like soup stock. Potatoes should be cooked from cold water, so they lose their starchiness, but grean beans and carrots should be dropped into boiling water to retain flavor.

“A pint’s a pound the world around,” doesn’t come up too often anymore, but I used that to estimate weight. These days I’m more likely to recall “100 grams = candy bar and 1 gram = a paperclip.”

“Measure twice, cut once” belongs in the wood shop, but sometimes I apply it to recipes. Have you ever put in a tablespoon of a seasoning instead of a teaspoon? Yeah, me, too.

What phrases, rhymes and kitchen wisdom do you love?

Posted by kuri at March 11, 2004 08:32 AM


“A watched pot never boils” - That’s an old cliche, and I’ve discovered it’s true. Pots don’t boil, but liquids do on high heat. And…you can watch it happen if you are so inclined.

“Too many cooks spoil the soup” - Another cliche, mostly untrue. Too many cooks make the kitchen a mess, but often it’s more fun that way.

“Peanut butter does not mix with vodka” - Does more need to be said here? I think you’ll remember where this one comes from.

“The three second rule” - This one comes from our friend Chad, and his first job at Franklin’s. Do I use this rule? Depends on the foodstuff that has fallen, and how much cat hair is on the floor.

Posted by: Jenny on March 11, 2004 11:55 PM

That first one is supposed to be “untrue.”

Posted by: Jenny on March 11, 2004 11:56 PM

“use the proper tools”

Posted by: Devin on March 12, 2004 12:24 PM

Hey, I didn’t post that! Someone’s trying to impersonate me!

Posted by: devin on March 12, 2004 05:02 PM

not really wisdom but for the first time in ages this question from Animal Guesser popped into my head, “Does it make a kick-ass puttanesca?”

Posted by: Laga on March 14, 2004 02:44 AM
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