Dear Heloise: I’m wondering if large eggs sold today are not what we considered “large” in the past. How do we follow recipes that call for large eggs? Has the sizing changed?
Gloria H., Monroe, Ohio
Gloria H.: Eggs have not really gotten larger, but I know what you mean — they seem bigger than years ago. Large eggs are just more commonly used today than small ones, so continue to use them in recipes as usual.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, egg size does not actually refer to dimensions, but rather the minimum required net weight when packaging a dozen eggs for sale. No two eggs will be exactly the same size in a carton. Body weight, types of feed and food intake all result in larger eggs, which are in more demand because most people cook with medium- to jumbo-size eggs.
P.S. Ever wonder why it’s hard to find smaller eggs in the grocery store? They are sold mainly to restaurants or are used for making powdered eggs.
Dear Heloise: I have come to realize that my vegetable peeler is useful for so much more than potatoes! I use it regularly on hard cheeses when adding to pasta. I also use it to peel slices of cold butter, creating smaller pieces that melt faster on whatever I add them to. So versatile!
Cindy W., Colorado Springs
Cindy W.: Don’t forget using it on chocolate! It’s a great way to decorate desserts!
Dear Heloise: I read you in the Joplin (Mo.) Globe. I learn a lot of things from your column. Recently, a reader wrote about how she disposes of bacon grease. I wonder if she knows she can use it to fry potatoes, season vegetables and pop popcorn. It is really good with popcorn! I keep it in a jar in the refrigerator. It keeps a long time.
Pat V., Frontenac, Kan.
Pat V.: It sure does! Many people use it to fry such foods as pork chops. Your hint is a great reminder to keep some in the refrigerator.
Dear Heloise: When I make a baked spiral ham, I always save the ham bone to make my pea soup. There is a lot of ham around the bone, so I cut it into small cubes. I then bag them in little plastic bags and freeze them for future use in casseroles and soup. With bacon being so expensive, I use it to make ham and eggs, too.
Ann A., Staten Island
Dear Heloise: I have to be careful what I eat due to health issues, so I always watch calorie intake and sodium levels in food. However, in trying to eat more vegetables, I still need them to have flavor in order to enjoy them. I now add fat-free flavored bouillon to vegetables cooking in water. It’s delicious!
Jim D. in Tennessee