10 Kitchen Tips From My Great-Grandmother

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I wanted to share some of Ma Horton’s kitchen tips. They were handed down to us by her daughters who put them in a family cookbook. I picked the top ten that I use in my own kitchen, to share with you.

10 Kitchen Tips From My Great-Grandmother

Pa and Ma Horton

William “Bill” and Exie Horton – Pa and Ma Horton

I was blessed as a child and, as children do, I took it for granted.  Not only knew my maternal and paternal grandparents, but I knew my mother’s grandparents (my grandmother’s parents) and one of my paternal great-grandmothers, Grandma Ellzey, she is the one who named me.  I have fond memories of them all.

Grandma Ellzey

Grandma Ellzey

I have a rich farming heritage, not because it was trendy like it seems to be today, but because it was just who they were. It is how they provided for their families, how they lived their lives. It is who I am.  We are farmers, homesteaders,  country folk, whichever term you like to use, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

10 Kitchen Tips From My Great-Grandmother

    1. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and sugar added to soup or vegetables that are too salty will remedy the problem.
    2. To determine if an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh; if it rises to the surface, throw it away.
    3. Use a whisk to stir the water into the flour when making gravy, this will eliminate lumps.
    4. For a meringue that will never fail or be weepy, add a teaspoon of cornstarch to the sugar before beating it into the egg whites.
    5. To keep waxed paper or plastic wrap (I don’t use plastic wrap or aluminum foil now, I use parchment or butcher paper) from sticking to the top of your pie, butter it before placing over the pie.
    6. A cloth dampened with apple cider vinegar and wrapped around your cheese will prevent it from drying out. I prefer to use cheesecloth.
    7. Your cream will whip better and faster if the bowl and utensils are chilled also. If your whipped cream is soupy, add an egg white and chill thoroughly. Then beat it to fluffiness
    8. Place a slice of apple in with your brown sugar to keep it from hardening. If your brown sugar does get hard, place a piece of fresh bread into the container with it for a couple of hours
    9. To keep your bacon from curling up, place it in a bowl of cold water for just a couple of minutes before frying, drip dry and place on a hot skillet (she used cast iron of course, so do I). Now I have found that this only works for thick sliced fresh bacon. It doesn’t work with store bought bacon – maybe the processing and preservatives?
    10. Before measuring honey or any other syrup, oil the cup and then rinse it with hot water. The honey/syrup will pour right out.

From Generation To Generation

Ma Horton’s kitchen smelling like molasses cookies, of Pa Horton playing “itsy bitsy spider” and “how the horse bites the pumpkin” with us, and of Grandma Ellzey always having a German Chocolate Cake ready for me when I arrived for a visit (still my favorite cake).

These helpful hints were used by my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and now me.  I am sure you have such treasures from your family. Please share them and your memories with us. Maybe, maybe, maybe… I’ll share my grandmother’s buttermilk biscuit recipe with you one day, maybe. 

Granny Making Syrpu

Granny making syrup

You can see more tips from Ma Horton in Tips For Your Household From My Great-Grandmother

Safe and Happy Journey,

Rhonda and the Pack



  1. Homespun Oasis #213 « Homespun Oasis on October 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    […] 2. 10 Tips From My Great-Grandmother’s Kitchen by The Farmer’s Lamp […]

    • Rhonda Crank on October 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you so much for the sharing. I appreciate the encouragement.

  2. Simple Lives Thursday #213 on October 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    […] 10 Tips From My Great-Grandmother’s Kitchen by The Farmer’s […]

    • Rhonda Crank on October 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much for the sharing and encouragement. I finally have the new website live, although it is still a work in progress.

  3. Rebecca | LettersFromSunnybrook.com on October 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Love these tips! Thanks so much for sharing your dear family with us 🙂 Saw this on Simple Lives Thursday.

    • Rhonda Crank on October 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks Rebecca, I am glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. Jason on October 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Great tips, and Well laid out. Thanks for share. Love the pics. http://Www.homsteadinfo.wordpress.com

    • Rhonda Crank on October 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Homestead Info. I have been blessed by the ladies in my family. So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the reshare.

  5. […] 10 Tips From My Great-Grandmother’s Kitchen. […]

  6. […] wanted to take the time to thank Rhonda from The Farmer’s Lamp for sharing her post titled  10 Tips From My Great-Grandmother’s Kitchen.  These are […]

    • Rhonda Crank on October 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for allowing me to participate in you Simple Life Sunday hop. I look forward to getting to know you and share our journeys together through our blogs.

  7. www.homeimprovementdaily.com on October 7, 2014 at 6:44 am

    There’s certainly a lot to find out about this subject. I like all
    of the points you’ve made.

  8. Rhonda Crank on October 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Yes, Mama, I am very glad you have such nice memories of your grandmother. She was something. I especially like the “Twinkle Twinkle little star, what you say is what you are.” I remember you saying that to us when we were little…many moons ago! 🙂

  9. Amy @ Tenth Acre Farm on October 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for passing on the generational wisdom of your family!

    I’ve been working hard to get my grandma to share stories of her life and kitchen tips. After all, she grew up on a chicken farm. Interestingly, it seems that she defined her life by moving to the city and becoming “civilized”. She doesn’t want to talk much about life on the farm during the Depression, and she will take many of her kitchen secrets to her grave with her!

    Thanks for sharing this post on the Homestead Blog Hop!

    • Rhonda Crank on October 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Amy, Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. I am glad you enjoyed the post. I was certainly blessed to have my great-grands and grands as a large part of my life. Sounds like your grandmother is part of that same generation (the baby boomers) as my mother. They fled the country life and left it all behind, which really hurt so many of those to come after them. I hope your grandmother will share with you once she understands how important it is to you. Thanks again for the kind words and let me know if I can ever be of help to you.

  10. Dakota on November 5, 2014 at 3:01 am

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  11. Julia @ Simplicity for Julia on November 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    This is great. Will certainly keep #1 and 10 in mind. I love the pictures as well.

  12. Kat on February 20, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Hi there! I SIMPLY love these tips and more importantly that they have stood the test of time and been handed down, generation to generation. Thank you so much for sharing on Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, you were selected as FEATURED! CONGRATULATIONS! Make sure and stop by to get your FEATURED button to proudly display and we hope to see you back this weekend! ~Kat
    P.S. We are looking for a few amazing co-hosts that have a heart to share inspirational devotions with the world…is that you?

    • Rhonda on February 21, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Kat, Wow! Thanks so much for your kind words and for allowing me the honor of being the Featured Blogger.

  13. […] 10 Tips From My Great Grandmothers Kitchen […]

  14. […] 10 Tips From My Great Grandmothers Kitchen […]

  15. Simple Saturdays Blog Hop on February 21, 2015 at 10:47 am

    […] 10 Tips From My Great Grandmothers Kitchen […]

  16. Mrs. Yeater on October 13, 2015 at 8:49 am

    These are wonderful! Some of them seem like such obvious solutions that I’m a bit disappointed in myself for not thinking of it- like buttering the plastic wrap. Grandma knows her business. I am bookmarking this page.

    • Rhonda on October 13, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed the tips. Strangely enough, I sometimes forget to follow her tips myself and then I’m like, “Rhonda! You know better than that!” LOL You are so kind to take the time to let me hear from you. Let me know if I can help in any way.

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