Home Ec 101 with Mairlyn Smith

Taking you back to Home Ec. Class, Mairlyn ‘schooled’ Tracy on the kitchen basics.

Straight from her blog, Mairlyn Smith is described as “the only professional home economist in the world who is also an alumnus of the Second City Comedy Troupe.”  She brings food and nutrition to the table, and strongly believes that there is a strong link between the food you eat, and your health. 

Taking you back to Home Ec.Class, Mairlyn ‘schooled’ Tracy on the kitchen basics:

1. Spoon your flour into dry measuring cup, and always level it off.  Don’t over pack or under pack your cup.  Finish it by using a knife to level the measuring cup off.

2. When pouring liquids into your wet measuring cup, look from the side of the measuring device, with your eye level to the top of the liquid.  You will see a dip in the liquid – that’s called the “meniscus.”  Ensure you are reading from the bottom of the line, giving you the most accurate measurement. 

3. No buttermilk?  Don’t sweat it.  Pour out the required amount of milk – only use 1% milk for this to work – and add a tablespoon of acid (i.e. apple cider vinegar).  Use as buttermilk would be required in any recipe.

4. Avocados are great for your heart.  When cutting an avocado, pick one that is not too hard or soft – ensure there is a little give.  If you know you won’t be using the avocados for a few days, pick a harder avocado and let it ripen on the counter.

5. If you love mangoes, and you’re trying to introduce more into your own kitchen, remember that there is a long skinny pit in the middle.  Curl your fingers in, and use the knife to get a feel for the pit.  Cut off both sides for the flesh.

6. Leeks are grown in water and are full of dirt.  Remember to cut the stem of the leek, and always rinse it under running water to get rid of the dirt before cooking with it.

7. Olives add a great salty flavour to your cooking.  To de-pit an olive, gently squeeze it to release.  Be careful, olives are not a weapon – they can shoot out pretty quickly!

8. Lastly, when storing apples, don’t keep them on the counter as they’ll dry out too quickly.  Keep them in a bag, as the moisture will be trapped inside; keeping the apples juicier, for longer.


  • Yogurts and salsas are considered solids, not liquids.
  • According to Canada’s Food Guide, one serving of fruit juice is equal to ½ a cup.

Mairlyn is the author of Healthy Starts Here, available in bookstores now.

Watch the first part below, and view the second installment by clicking here.

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