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If you cook from scratch without using a recipe....

I have always cooked from scratch without needing a recipe, but lately I can't get the salt right. Do you have any good tips on measuring salt without having a recipe to follow? I don't know what I am doing wrong, but it seems like I screw up everything I am trying to cook lately by putting too much salt. I have tried cutting back, but then it isn't enough and I can't stand when my hubby pours the whole salt shaker on his food because I want to get it right when I am cooking it! ha ha. I can't get it right on anything. Today I screwed up the gravy...I have been making gravy from scratch for 7 years. The other day it was mashed potatoes. I don't know what my deal is. Any tips? Thanks!

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Asked by LilMae.N.MDJr at 11:15 AM on Feb. 6, 2009 in Food & Drink

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Answers (7)
  • pretty simple for me...I always take the less is more approach with can always add more but you cant take it away. If people have to add more at the table it doesn't nec mean you screwed up hon, some of us are salt junkies and others are not. You will never be able to hit the nail on the head for everyone..

    Answer by mamakirs at 11:22 AM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • Some people like more salt, it doesn't mean you're screwing up. The only thing I would suggest is tasting before salting, to see how much it really needs. I do that a lot, taste it first, b/c I don't want my kids to get a ton of salt, so I make sure it really needs it. Also, look at your other spices if you recently bought new. Maybe you got a garlic salt instead of garlic powder, or something like that, and that's where the extra salt is coming from. I've done that before, too. lol

    Answer by tropicalmama at 11:28 AM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • Let them use the salt shaker! Better than them getting sodium burns in their throats. LOL. I have tendency to oversalt things, myself. One thing I noticed is that there seems to be a "delay" in the salt taking effect. If I feel I've added enough salt, but it still tastes bland to me, I let it simmer a bit longer and then retaste before adding more. This has saved MANY gravies and sauces. I didn't used to have a salt problem - it just developed a year or so ago. LOL.

    Answer by BethLopez at 12:08 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • The best thing to do is start with a little salt and taste the dish. Add more if you need it and taste again. This is the only way to be sure it is seasoned properly.

    Answer by Marwill at 12:47 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • A couple things: Season throughout the cooking process. I don't mean salt every few minutes...what I mean is season the meat when you cook it, then when you make the gravy season that. Taste as you go for seasoning. If the food is bland, there are things you can add besides salt, but if it is salt you want, then season with a couple pinches, wait a few minutes and taste it. If your husband is a salter like my dad, who salts no matter what, then use a little less in the kitchen so he doesn't end up hypertensive.

    As for you, have you ever had your iron levels checked? I ask because I am anemic, and it effects the way food tastes, so maybe that's why you're off after doing the scratch cooking for so many years.

    Answer by jespeach at 1:15 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • I don't really add salt, just a touch. Let them add their own, salt isn't healthy in excess anyway. I also use No Salt, it is potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride. Don't feel bad, dh adds hot sauce to a lot of stuff I cook also! I put salt on my pizza, yum!!

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 2:28 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • If it ever gets to salty add a raw peeled potatoe to the gravy and let it boil or simmer for awhile it will take some of the salt out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:28 AM on Feb. 14, 2009

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