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.
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P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
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
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
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
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
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