A re­turn to food ba­sics

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK -

DEAR HELOISE >> As a culi­nary teacher, I can tell you that some­times my stu­dents for­get cer­tain BA­SICS OF FOOD PREPA­RA­TION. It’s al­ways good to re­mind them to do some of the fol­low­ing to make cer­tain there is no cross-con­tam­i­na­tion when cook­ing:

• Be­fore do­ing any­thing, wash your hands and make sure all uten­sils are clean, es­pe­cially your cut­ting board.

• Can open­ers need to be kept clean and rust-free.

• Al­ways cook seafood thor­oughly.

• Keep ALL foods con­tain­ing eggs or dairy prod­ucts re­frig­er­ated un­til you use them.

• Re­frig­er­ate all left­overs in cov­ered con­tain­ers. • If in doubt, throw it out. — M.J.W. in Philadel­phia

DEAR HELOISE >> Want a new dessert to sur­prise your fam­ily? Break a cake into pieces and layer it with softened ice cream in a loaf pan, freeze and slice. You can driz­zle a fla­vored liqueur over the slice. Try cof­fee-fla­vored liqueur over choco­late ice cream and an­gel food cake, or per­haps or­ange liqueur over vanilla ice cream and lemon cake.

— Elaina in Con­necti­cut

DEAR HELOISE >> I had sev­eral left­over french fries, and I de­cided to re­use them the fol­low­ing morn­ing at break­fast. I cut them up into small pieces, warmed them in a skil­let, added some chopped-up onions, then some eggs and scram­bled the whole bunch into a de­li­cious break­fast.

— Lor­raine B., Roanoke, Va.

DEAR HELOISE >> Did you know you can freeze but­ter­milk? I freeze but­ter­milk in muf­fin tins (each mold holds about ¼ cup). Af­ter they freeze solid, I re­move them from the muf­fin tin and store in a plas­tic bag. When I need but­ter­milk for one of my recipes, I just take out the needed amount.

— Mary Ann Y. in Hawaii

DEAR HELOISE >> I bought fine china about the time I got mar­ried, and for years it was rarely used for any­thing ex­cept hol­i­days. I fi­nally de­cided that it was time I used it ev­ery day. So I do. My chil­dren don’t want it; the pat­tern is not mod­ern enough for them. I fig­ured my hus­band and I can down­size our home, give away our ev­ery­day dishes and start us­ing our best for us!

— Glo­ria in Ari­zona

DEAR GLO­RIA >> Glo­ria, that’s a great idea, al­though some china needs to be hand-washed, which might lead to ex­tra work. But go ahead and use all your pretty things. All too of­ten we for­get that we need to treat our­selves with as much care as we show our guests.

DEAR HELOISE >> I had a boyfriend who wouldn’t eat squash of any type. I in­vited him over for din­ner one night and pre­pared a chicken dish that in­cluded a va­ri­ety of veg­eta­bles. While eat­ing, he re­marked that he re­ally en­joyed the dish. He said the cooked cu­cum­bers were es­pe­cially tasty. I replied: “That’s zuc­chini. It’s an Ital­ian squash.”

— N.I.R. in New Mex­ico

Write to Heloise at P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5000; Fax 210-HELOISE; or email [email protected]

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