SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
Dear Readers: What’s in your refrigerator? How often is the door opened? Does it work the way it should? Here are some hints from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make sure your refrigerator is working at its best for you:
* DON’T OVERPACK THE REFRIGERATOR. The cold air must move around the items to keep them cool.
* KEEP SPILLS CLEANED UP. Drips, especially from meat products, can cause cross-contamination with other foods. Keep them cleaned up!
* CHECK EXPIRATION DATES. Regularly clean out your refrigerator, throwing out foods that have expired or gone bad.
* KEEP ALL FOODS COVERED. Whether in storage bags or containers, keep all food items covered when stored in refrigerator.
* KEEP TRACK OF TEMPERATURE. An inexpensive thermometer kept in the refrigerator will keep you aware of the actual temperature -- 40 degrees F or lower is best.
For more information, visit the Web site at www.fda.gov or call 888-SAFEFOOD (723-3366). Be patient, as there are prompts you must go through to reach someone. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: When using a microwave egg poacher recently, I accidentally overcooked the eggs to the hard-cooked stage. Then it hit me: What a perfect way to make hard-cooked eggs for use in egg or potato salad! Best of all, there’s no water to boil, no pan to wash and no shell to peel!
So, next time you need a hard-cooked egg in a hurry, try using the microwave. A small, ceramic dish covered with a plate will work. Add a few drops of water, and be sure to pierce the yolks before cooking. -- Susan C., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Love it! I tested this, and it’s easy to do, but be sure to pierce or puncture the yolk several times! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have an electric deep fryer that I use when entertaining large crowds. I place a layer of newspapers over my kitchen island and then place the fryer in the center so there is no fear of it falling. The newspapers are perfect for catching any oil that spills, and are absorbent enough to keep splatters to a minimum. Just throw away the papers when done. -- S.D., via email
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.
2012, King Features Syndicate