FYI: Helpful Hints (1B)

Smart Solutions
* To freeze a cake that's covered in frosting, pop it into the freezer without covering it. After a few hours, remove it and wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze.

* Apply pure vegetable shortening to cuts after a few days of healing. Make sure you've kept the area clean with antibacterial soap and ointment. Shortening speeds up healing and prevents scarring.

* Remove the plastic spine from a report folder, trim to the length of a knife and use it to protect the blade - and you - when not in use.



To Roast and Peel Chiles: Put chiles on a baking sheet. Place under a preheated broiler about four inches from heat. Turn the chiles until they are completely blistered and charred. Enclose the chiles in a paper bag and let them steam until they are cool enough to handle. Under running water, start at the blossom end and peel the peppers, discarding stems, ribs and seeds. Now they are ready to use. If a broiler is not available, use a fork and hold each chile over the flame of a gas stove top burner.

To Freeze Chiles: You need not blanch chile peppers before freezing them. Simply seed them (skin by roasting and peeling if desired), chop them up and freeze in small portions for later use.

To Dry Chiles: Cut entire whole plant at its base or harvest individual peppers and string them from the stem ends on strong thread. Hang up to dry in a coll, dry, airy place.


How to Preserve Lemons

Posted By: MissWeasel Date: Sunday, 27 February 2000, at 6:59 p.m.

You wash your whole lemons, cut them as if you would if you are cutting them into quarters but do NOT cut the whole way though. Use a spoon to fill the lemons with salt and stack them firmly into a jar. Finish by filling with water almost to the top. Set aside for a week or two ( I would store them in the frige) or until the lemons are slightly soft and have a decidedly more mellow taste to them compared to the tartness the lemons started with.That's all there is to it.


Hard Candy Information

Posted By: Lulu Date: Friday, 14 April 2000, at 10:10 a.m.

Hard Candy: Hard candy is one of the simplest candies to make composed of sugar, corn syrup, and flavoring agents (usually flavored oil bases). Suckers & Lollipops, Lozenges, Jolly Ranchers, and Tootsie Pops are favorites. The syrup can be poured into a variety of molds which is especially useful around holidays. Not all hard candy is 'hard'. Consider the nougat recipe included here where the hard candy syrup is whipped with egg whites and chocolate. (Hard Crack Stage 290-310F)

Toffee/Toffy: A hard but chewy candy made by cooking sugar, water (or cream) and usually butter. Depending on the recipe, a toffee mixture may be cooked to anywhere from 260 to 310F on a candy thermometer. Other ingredients such as nuts or chocolate are sometimes added. Toffee recipes are included here due to the high boiling point.

The boiling point of the sugary syrup falls above 290F:

STAGE: Hard-Crack
CANDIES: Hard Candy, Brittles, Sugar Glass
COLD WATER TEST: Solidifies instantly and is brittle enough to be cracked.

Hard candy is one of easiest and more straight forward to make so I recommend that you make a batch of hard candy to learn the basic skills necessary for all the other variations. The Basic Hard Candy recipe will produce a clear, sweet hard product resembling one very large slab of lollipop material. It's only natural to "spice it up" a bit by adding coloring, flavors (like butter and oils), and pouring it into smaller molds.


Shelf Life

Posted By: janell Date: Thursday, 20 April 2000, at 11:22 a.m.

Just to let you know, since I buy in large quantities, I need to keep tract of foods - especially canned food. Not all products have an expiration "in English," so this is what I do.

After shopping, I use a permanent marker & write the date I purchased the product on the bottom of the cans. It has helped immensely, especially for my EQ (earthquake/emergency) trash can items. I try to rotate every 6 mo or so - so, if the date is coming up for some tomatoes, I can use them up & replace when I can.

BTW- flour is cheap this wk - .79 (not cheapest, but cheaper), so I bought about 100 lbs (remember, I'm moving into the mtns next wk, no close stores).. I'd like to dump it all into one container - what's the best way to keep it fresh and keep away those disgusting fruit flies/mealy thingies??

Posted By: Leslie Date: Thursday, 20 April 2000, at 12:37 p.m.

Put it into a tightly covered plastic container--new trash cans work well. Put the flour, sugar, whatever into a clean trash bag and the bag inside the plastic container. Between the bag and the container(not in the flour) place two to three bay leaves. Bugs hate bay leaves and your food will stay pest free.



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