Hints From Heloise: The basics of buckeyes

January 4, 2012

Dear Readers: Which of the following is true about the BUCKEYE NUT?

* The name is derived from its resemblance to the eye of a male deer.

* The nuts are poisonous.

* They are considered a good-luck charm.

* Ohio is called the “Buckeye State,” and the nut is the Ohio State University mascot.

If you guessed “Aye” to all — the ayes have it!

This chestnut-brown seed has a lighter-colored circular “eye” in the middle, looking like the eye of a buck.

Slightly poisonous, they are edible once heated and leached, but also can be roasted, peeled and then mashed.

Many carry these nuts in their pockets because they believe them to be a good-luck charm.

Do you have a buckeye recipe or story? Please share them. Send to Heloise@Heloise.com, or mail to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279 — Heloise

P.S.: Join me on Twitter and Facebook by going to www.Heloise.com for the easy direct links.

EGG SAFETY

Dear Heloise: How long can deviled eggs be kept? Would it be safe to make them on a Tuesday night for serving on Thursday? -- Nancy J., via e-mail

Yes, make them and serve them! The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that deviled eggs and egg salad be eaten within three to four days of making. Just keep them stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. However, they won’t last that long in most households!

Whatever type of egg you set out for a meal, remember to discard the eggs if they have been at room temperature for longer than two hours. -- Heloise

STORING BREAD

Dear Heloise: Is it better to keep bread in the refrigerator or keep it at room temperature, and why? -- J.R. in Falling Waters, W.Va.

Manufacturers recommend that bread be stored at room temperature for best quality and to maintain its freshness. Placing bread in the refrigerator actually can make the bread go stale faster.

However, you can freeze bread for three to six months. Just be sure to wrap it in the proper packaging, or double-bag for freezer storage and then thaw at room temperature. -- Heloise

BEAN HINT

Dear Heloise: Recipes that call for canned beans add unnecessary sodium from the processing. Dried beans (sodium-free) take time to prepare, so they are hard to put into last-minute preparations.

I cook large quantities of beans ahead of time. After draining the water, I put them on a cookie sheet, as you would to flash-freeze blueberries. Once frozen, they can be transferred to freezer bags and added to recipes as needed.

Often, my lunch is a quick, dirty-rice casserole made from leftover rice, beans, cheese and a diced jalapeno heated in a microwave at work. -- E.W., Rochester, Minn.

Good hint. In a hurry, I’ve been known to drain a can of black or pinto beans and rinse them off to eliminate some of the sodium. -- Heloise

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

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