CLEANING A BEATER -- When baking, your hands are always spotless, washed with soap & warm water at the beginning, end, and in between.  And use clean terry towels (no lint) for wiping.  Therefore, when finished beating, you use your fingers (thumb & 1st finger for these wires) to wipe along the wires or flat spokes, & wipe the fingers on the edge of the bowl.  When finished, use a spatula to wipe the batter off the edge of the bowl & mix it in.  You just don't see this on cooking shows because they're under a time limit.  

CRACKING AN EGG -- On T.V. you always see everyone cracking an egg on the rim of a bowl.  But I was taught to crack two eggs together (only one will crack).  Many times cracking on the rim produces many tiny shell bits vs. the larger pieces when cracked against another egg.  Use your thumbs to open the egg & the safest way is to open it into a small dish in case any shell bits also fall out.  Remove them with the half-shell.  Then pour the egg into your batter.  In this way you'll never have any shell bits fall into your batter.  Also, if the egg has a blood spot in it you want to remove, or it happens to have an off odor, is spoiled, etc., you can throw it out before it was "cracked" into the other eggs.

MEASURING BAKING SODA -- When you get a new box of baking soda, with the tip of a paring knife, carefully puncture along the perforated tab.  Whenever you want to use any baking soda, lift the tab, put the measuring spoon into the box (tipping as necessary to fill the spoon), & pull the spoon along the top of the hole so you get a "level" teaspoon, etc., of baking soda.  Dump the baking soda into the palm of your other hand, & with your thumb, rub through it in case there are any lumps.  You want a perfectly fine powder when you mix it with the other ingredients.  This is especially necessary since most people do not use a "sifter" anymore, but a wire whisk to mix the dry ingredients prior to adding them to the mixture you're making.

MEASURING BROWN SUGAR - "PACKED" -- All recipes calling for brown sugar say "packed."  That means pressing as much as you can into the measuring cup.  It was more difficult & a messier process when powdered & brown sugar only came in 1# boxes (back in the 40s-60s.  And somewhere along the way it then came in 2# plastic bags (a blessing!).  So put your measuring cup inside the bag, using the bag to press the sugar into the cup, & then leveling it off with your hand sweeping across the top of the cup while it is still in the bag.  There is absolutely no mess with this method.   

         The "hammer" is a plumber's mallet that I bought after being told by a butcher/chef to use one to flatten chicken breasts (that are between 2 pieces of waxed paper) for cutlets.  If brown sugar has some hard lumps in it, I use it to whack the sugar inside the bag to loosen it.  But be careful because you could end up with some holes in the bag, so I then just put the entire thing in another zip-closure bag.  I've also heard that to put hard brown sugar into the microwave for a few seconds will soften it, but have it in a microwave container!  Before I had a food processor, I used the plumber's mallet to crush dried bread, crackers, cookies, etc. to crumbs.