If you’ve ever taken a glance around you and wondered how the chaos that has come to be known as your kitchen evolved- you’re not alone.
Between curious rovers in the family sniffing out food, being crunched for time at breakfast, and being too exhausted to do a deep-clean on your kitchen when you get home at night, things can get out of hand pretty darn fast.
Thankfully, though, there are some nifty food and kitchen hacks out there that make your life so much easier that it almost seems like they’re magic. And these old-school hacks are some of the most brilliant among them.
If you’ve ever wondered how grandma always made the perfect cake, kept things organized, and always had time to spare, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 15 food hacks your grandma likely used that are still just as useful today.
1. Decorate your cake like a BOSS!
When it comes to cake decorating, it turns out you don’t really need all those fancy tools and attachments from Michael’s or JoAnne’s. In fact, the only two things you really need to give any of your baked goods an extra bit of flair are a fork and a spoon.
From stippling and cross-hatching to stripes and waves, fiddling around with your forks and spoons can give you just about every texture you can imagine.
2. Wage war on fruit flies with a simple trap
Tis the season for your fruits and veggies to start attracting these unwanted critters in your kitchen. Thankfully, granny found the perfect weapon for battling fruit flies, and it couldn’t be any easier to make.
Mix 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (or another fruit vinegar) in a small dish with 1 Tablespoon of water and 3 drops of dish soap. Put the dish next to your fruit and watch the fruit flies fall!
3. Grow your own
One of the smartest tips you can take from granny that will save you serious money, in the long run, is to get in touch with your inner gardener. This doesn’t mean you have to dig up your yard and slave away over pulling weeds, though.
You can easily regrow many foods from your kitchen scraps, including onions, green onion, celery, garlic, lettuce, mint, basil, and more- all from a glass of water and a window box.
4. Speed up time
Want to make banana bread but don’t have any bananas that are “ready” yet? No problem! Just lay out as many bananas as you need for your recipe on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop in the oven at 400℉ for 20 minutes. Then let cool, peel, and mash and carry on with your baking!
5. Stop peeling your hard-boiled eggs
While there are endless tips and tricks on how to make your hard-boiled eggs easier to peel, bypassing the peeling altogether is definitely easiest.
To do this, just remove a small portion of the shell off the bottom of the egg (where the air pocket is). Then, put your mouth over the hole and while cupping your hand beneath the egg, give it a good, solid blow and the rest of the shell will crack and your egg will pop out with ease. Catching it will be the biggest challenge.
6. Start peeling potatoes the easy way
If you’ve ever tried to peel a pot full of potatoes, you know how time-consuming it can be. Do away with the peeler and the hard work by boiling the potatoes with the skins on and then placing them into a bowl of ice water for 15 seconds.
Then, using your hands, gently rub the skins off the potatoes with utter ease.
7. Quickly soften butter
Butter too hard to spread on your bread? No worries! Just fill a glass with hot water and let it sit for just a moment until the glass is heated through. Then, dump the water out and place the glass over the butter and let it sit for 1 minute.
Remove the glass and be amazed at how easily it spreads!
8. Keep odd-shaped veggies organized
Veggies like leeks, celery, and carrots are powerhouses when it comes to health, but a pain in the tuchus to store in your fridge. They don’t easily fit in the crisper and take too much space when laying flat in the fridge.
Well, put an end to all the fridge drama by using magazine holders you can get from the dollar store to keep them organized.
9. Keep your freezer organized
Speaking of organized- everyone knows that the freezer is basically the equivalent of an over-stuffed closet just waiting to dump your frozen goods all over your feet and the floor.
Instead of dealing with all that, take small organization bins (also found at the dollar store) and make up cute labels for what you will store in there. One for fish, poultry, beef, fruits, and veggies will keep your freezer in tippy-top shape.
10. And your condiments
Condiments are just as bad when it comes to storing them in the fridge- unless you’ve got a lazy-Susan handy. Placing one of these in the fridge will keep your condiments in one, easy-to-reach place.
11. Keep snacks on hand and ready for munching
One of the amazing things about grandma’s house is that she always seems to have something ready to munch on. That’s because she’s the master of prep.
We all know that fruits and veggies are far more likely to get consumed if we take the leg-work of cutting it up out of it. So, when you have veggies you want to get eaten, cut them up into grabbable, snackable shapes, and store them in mason jars in the fridge door.
12. Binder clips work wonders
Tired of ending up with smashed berries and cherry tomatoes in the crisper? Well, solve that problem in a literal pinch with binder clips.
Just seal your goods up in zip-lock bags and use a binder clip to hang them from the fridge racks.
13. So does velcro
Have glass shelves in your fridge with no place to hang anything? Then you’ll be happy to know that velcro works wonders, too! Just place one side of the velcro strip on the fridge door and cut the other side of the strip into 2 or more pieces and place them on the bottom of some small food storage containers.
Now, you can stick them right to the fridge door, ready to grab.
14. Know your eggs
Having trouble determining whether or not your eggs are fresh? Use the age-old floating trick. Just place the egg in a tall glass of water and see what it does. If it’s fresh, it will sink to the bottom of the glass. If it’s ‘spoiled’, then it will float.
Pro tip: fresh eggs are notoriously harder to peel when hard-boiled, so use up your older eggs if this is what you’re planning on doing.
15. No-mess mixing
While you can always drape a towel over a stand-mixer, this is most definitely not the case with a hand mixer. Thankfully, there’s a hack for that, too. Just take a paper plate and cut holes just big enough to fit your beaters through and voila! No more mess when mixing.
Get step-by-step instructions for these hacks and more by watching the video below.
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