Dear Heloise: I read your column every day in the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. There is a warning on the Internet that you should not eat an onion that has been sliced and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Is this true?
Marilyn K., via email
Marilyn K.: Bunk! Hogwash (no offense to hogs here)! And just plain dumb! This absolutely is not true! This is a perfect example of a “perfect storm’’ of wrong information being posted, people thinking it’s correct, it being challenged by experts, part of the post being removed but some still left out there. Then it gets passed on and on and on! Think before you trust!
The information (which was wrong to begin with) apparently was part of an anonymous post on a food blog.
Here is the truth from the National Onion Association, the folks you can trust: You can store cut onions in the refrigerator for up to seven days safely. Do wrap in plastic wrap, put in a container or pop into a plastic storage bag.
P.S.: This is exactly why I’m here — to help you. I put on my Heloise hat and become Heloise hints detective.
Dear Readers: Here are a few hints from readers about cutting squash:
A Reader, via email, said: “One day I mentioned to a worker in the produce department that we liked squash but preparing it was a chore. He told me his wife places the squash in a microwave on high for 15-20 minutes. A conventional oven works, too, but it will take longer to soften the peel.’’
Caren R., via email, said: “To make cutting a spaghetti, butternut or acorn squash easier, pop the whole squash into the microwave for about a minute. It makes the skin softer and easier for the knife to slice through.’’ Note: Poke holes in the skin before microwaving.
Carla H. in Chelsea, Maine, wrote: “Poke a few holes to let out steam, and place the squash on a baking sheet. Bake around 325 degrees for as long as it takes to slightly brown the squash. Cool and peel off the skin, slice the flesh in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp.’’
Thanks to all of you!
Dear Heloise: I make a couple of boxes of instant pudding and put it into individual serving cups. After a few days in the refrigerator, the pudding tends to crack and harden on the top. To prevent this, I cut small squares of stretch wrapping plastic and gently press a piece onto the pudding surface after the pudding has set up. The plastic lifts off easily, with no mess.
Marilyn W., Hedgesville, W.Va.
Dear Heloise: Greetings from the Bluegrass State! I made blueberry muffins and remembered that I wanted to send my hint for filling the cups. My gravy ladle is just the right size to fill the cups half-full, which is the recommended amount for perfect muffins.
Vada J., Radcliff, Ky.