Avocados – If your avocados are ripe but you dont want to eat them yet, store them in the refrigerator to stop ripening further.
Bananas – If you put bananas in the fridge their skins will darken, but the flesh will stay firm.
Basil – To preserve the delicious flavour of fresh basil leaves, store them in oil with a little salt added. When you have to sue up all the basil, you can use the oil to make a basil-flavoured salad dressing.
Cakes – Tins are better than plastic boxed for storing cakes, because plastic is porous and may not give alright seal, and also because it tends to harbour smells.
Don’t store fruit cakes in silver foil for a long time, or the acid in the fruit may corrode the foil and form a mould.
Cream – store carton of double or sour cream upside down in the refrigerator and they will keep fresh longer.
Ripening fruit – If your pears peaches or tomatoes are under-ripe, put them in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple. Make a few holes in the bag and then leave overnight in a cool, dark place.
Lettuce – lettuce will stay fresh for several days if stored in a tightly lidded saucepan, or wrapped in newspaper in a cool place.
Parsley – Wash fresh parsley, shake dry and store in a plastic bag in the freezer compartment. When it is thoroughly frozen you can simply crumble off what you need, without having to chop it.
Refrigerator smells – To get rid of unpleasant smells, put a saucerful of charcoal in your refrigerator.
Mashed potatoes – Make mashed potatoes extra good by mixing with sour cream instead of milk, and adding freshly grated nutmeg. or mix with hot milk instead of cold.
Dried beans – When cooking Dried beans, do not add salt until the last minute, as it tends to harden them.
Custard – A teaspoonful of cornflour added to real egg custard will prevent it curdling.
Filming – If you make a white sauce, such as a cheese sauce or bechamel, in advance, put a few dots of butter on top while it is still hot to prevent a skin forming.
Brown stock – When making stock from meat bones, brown them first under a hot grill and the stock will have rich colour.
Cheese sauce – Make a cheese sauce more interesting by adding a sprinkling of dry mustard, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a dash of lemon juice.
To clarify stock – If your home-made stock is cloudy, add some empty egg shells to it for 10 minutes while it is simmering.
Seasoning cold dishes – When serving a cooked savoury dish cold, always check the seasoning at the last minute. You may need to add more, as flavours tend to diminish as food cools
Mustard – Always use cold water to mix mustard and mix it at least ten minutes before serving, to allow the flavour to develop.
Salt – When you double the ingredients in a recipe, you wont need twice as much salt, but one and half times as much.
White sauce – If you heat the milk before making a white sauce you will find that it blends in more smoothy and quickly.