Hints From Heloise: Cutting-board concerns

February 27, 2013

Dear Readers: Everyone has a CUTTING BOARD or two in the kitchen, and some are in pretty bad shape! Here are recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture regarding cutting boards to help keep food safe:

* Nonporous cutting boards made of plastic, glass or recycled materials are easier to clean than wooden boards.

* Keep at least two cutting boards: one for cutting only fruits and vegetables, the other for meats.

* After use, wash cutting boards with hot, soapy water, rinse and air-dry or dry with paper towels. (Heloise here: Don’t use a dish towel, because it can spread bacteria.) Nonporous and solid-wood cutting boards can be washed in the dishwasher. (Heloise here: Although the USDA states that a wooden cutting board can be put in a dishwasher, I hand-wash mine.)

* Over time, all cutting boards wear down and need to be replaced. A sure sign that they need replacing is deep grooves that become difficult to properly clean.

-- Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com

EGG SEPARATOR

Dear Heloise: I finally found a way to separate my egg whites from the yolks: I just break them into a small colander! The egg whites easily drop out of the colander, leaving the yolks behind. -- Sara B., via e-mail

After testing this hint in Heloise Central, it works, but it takes some time for the whites to get through the colander. What we did was use a slotted spoon to move the egg around a little, then just used the spoon to easily remove the yolk from the whites. -- Heloise

PIE SPICES

Dear Heloise: Please tell me what is in the apple-pie spice. I cannot find it in the markets. -- Janet K., via e-mail

Apple-pie spice typically is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice that gives an apple pie its distinct flavor. It should be available at the grocery store, since it is produced by major spice manufacturers. However, if you can’t locate it, the spice is available online.

You can add this spice blend to pies, cakes and cookies, or even coffee and French toast. There also is a pumpkin-pie spice available, which is the same blend. -- Heloise

STAY PUT

Dear Heloise: I had several computer mouse pads that I had received for free. I was at a loss as to what to do with all the other ones.

One day, I was in the kitchen trying to mix something in a bowl with the electric mixer. The only problem was that the bowl kept moving. I placed one of the mouse pads under the bowl, and it no longer slid! I now keep a mouse pad in the kitchen just for this purpose. -- Linda D. in Missouri

CUBED POTATOES

Dear Heloise: I often read of people complaining about cubing hot potatoes to make potato salad. I just cube my potatoes first. They cook quicker, and then you drain and are ready to make your salad. -- R.W., Bellville, Ohio

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate

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