A sur­face look at cut­ting boards

The Record (Troy, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK -

DEARHELOISE >> Could you tell me the ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of dif­fer­ent kinds of CUT­TING BOARD SUR­FACES? Thanks!

— Joe S., via email

DEARJOES. >> Hi, Joe! Happy to! The U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (www.usda.gov) has good in­for­ma­tion on food safety and cut­ting boards. Both wood and plas­tic boards are OK, but keep one for raw meat, in­clud­ing beef, poul­try and seafood, and an­other for veg­gies and bread. This will help pre­vent cross- con­tam­i­na­tion.

To keep clean, wash with hot, soapy wa­ter, and san­i­tize with 1 ta­ble­spoon of bleach per gal­lon of wa­ter. Im­merse the board in the bleach wa­ter for 10 min­utes.

When the board de­vel­ops grooves from cut­ting, re­place it.

DEARHELOISE >> I en­joy your handy hints. I take a marker pen and put the date on condi­ments and other dry goods when I open each prod­uct. This way, I know when to toss them if I’ve held on to them too long, es­pe­cially items in the fridge.

— Colleen in Hemet, Calif.

DEARHELOISE >> I was at lunch with my girl­friend, and she was be­moan­ing that she had to go home and clean house. I said: “Why clean it? It will just get dirty again!”

— Lor­raine L. in Louisiana

DEARLORRAINE L. >> Ha! Ac­tu­ally, sim­i­lar to one of my mother’s tenets: Don’t stress too much about house­work. It will al­ways be there!

DEARHELOISE >> The wife and I en­joy your col­umn. My ques­tion is, why do restau­rants have the ther­mostats set so low that it is COLD in there. While we are at it, the mu­sic vol­ume is so high, you can hardly hear each other. We are talk­ing about qual­ity restau­rants, not fast-food places.

— Joe D., Chatsworth, Calif.

DEARHELOISE >> Oys­ter crack­ers should be put in a zip­pered bag! They fall all over the pantry floor in those thin plas­tic bags that are now used, and they stay fresher in my zip­pered bag. — Ruth E., Val­paraiso, Ind.

DEARREADERS>> Do you know the three golden rules of stain ces­sa­tion? They are soon, slow and sev­eral: get to the stain as soon as pos­si­ble, work at it slowly, and you may need sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions. The longer it sits, the harder it is to get out. Some stains are more stub­born than oth­ers.

I’ve com­piled my best hints for stain re­moval, us­ing prod­ucts you prob­a­bly have in your home al­ready, in my eight-page Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Cloth­ing. Would you like to re­ceive one? It’s easy! Go to Heloise.com to or­der, or send a long, stamped (71 cents), self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope, along with $5, to: Heloise/ Stain Guide, P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5001. When us­ing a spray-type laun­dry stain re­mover, turn the stained item in­side out and spray the stain from the “wrong” side.

DEARHELOISE >> How do I un­clog a cof­fee maker after it has hard-wa­ter de­posits in­side?

— Ellen Y., Carol City, Fla.

DEARELLENY. >> Ellen, fill the wa­ter reser­voir with white vine­gar and run a cy­cle just as you would if mak­ing cof­fee. Re­peat if nec­es­sary. Be sure to run a few cy­cles with plain wa­ter be­fore mak­ing a pot of cof­fee.

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