Frequently Asked Questions
How good are eggs after the date on the carton?
Eggs are still good 4 to 5 weeks from the pack date. They must be kept refrigerated. The pack date is a Julian date which represents the numbered day of the year.
Can pumpkin butter be canned at home?
No! It is too thick and will not get thoroughly processed.
Can you substitute cooking oil for solid shortening in cookies?
No. It will make them too runny and give poor texture.
What causes food allergies?
The protein in foods is the source of food allergies.
How many pounds per cubic foot can a home freezer hold?
Home freezers can hold 2 to 3 pounds per cubic foot depending on the types of food.
How do you remove the skins from almonds?
Pour boiling water on the almonds and let stand for a maximum of 1 minute. Drain. Cover with cold water and drain again. Pinch or rub off the skins.
How should you adjust the baking times and temperatures when using a convection oven?
Reduce the temperature 25 to 50°F and shorten the cooking time.
Why do some recipes say to "make a well" in the dry ingredients and some don't?
By making a well in the dry ingredients, the liquid ingredients can be incorporated much quicker into the batter. This is commonly seen in making biscuits and muffins.
I made a cheesecake with cherries on top. I covered it with foil and the cherries ate through the foil, why?
Cherries are an acidic food. Acidic foods react with aluminum foil and eat through it. The food is safe to eat but may have an off flavor and off color.
Is it safe to can cake?
No! It is a potential source of Botulism. Because it is a heavy, dense product, research has shown that Botulism spores can survive the canning process. Therefore, cakes or breads should not be canned.
How long can separated egg whites be kept in the refrigerator?
Up to 4 days.
Is it safe to use Mexican Vanilla?
The Food and Drug Administration still recommends to NOT use Mexican Vanilla. Mexican Vanilla may contain coumarin which is prohibited in the US. If the vanilla is purchased in Mexico, be sure the label reads "Coumarin Free".
Can you leave salt out of a bread recipe?
No. Salt affects the texture, volume and flavor of bread. You can try reducing the amount by half.
The hot dogs I purchased have been recalled. Will cooking kill the Listeria?
When a food has been recalled by the USDA or FDA, always return it to the store for a refund. This protects the consumer and allows the manufacturer to get a thorough recall.
Can whipped butter be stored at room temperature?
Commercial whipped butter can be stored at room temperature because it contains nitrogen to make it shelf stable. Butter whipped at home should be stored in the refrigerator.
What is "sugar alcohol"?
This is used in diet foods to add sweetness. Examples are sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol.
My eggs have been at room temperature for at least 6 hours, are they safe?
No! Always use the "2-hour" rule for raw or cooked eggs left at room temperature. After 2 hours, they should be thrown away.
My freezer quit! Is the food safe and can it be refrozen?
If the food still has ice crystals or is not above 40°F it can be refrozen. The quality may be reduced but is safe to eat.
How should you store mushrooms?
Mushrooms can be stored best in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Do not wash them until ready to use. If they are washed and stored, they will get slimy. They can be frozen or dehydrated.
How long does Crisco keep at room temperature?
According to Crisco, 10 to 12 months.
What is the Whole Wheat Flour ratio to White Flour in recipes?
The ratio of Whole Wheat Flour is 1/4 to 1/2 of the total flour content.
Are terra cotta flower pots safe to cook or serve food?
Not recommended. Flower pots may contain lead. They are not made from a food safe material. To serve food, the pot can be lined with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Can you freeze mayonnaise and honey mustard dressing?
No. Mayonnaise and salad dressings will separate when frozen.
I purchased self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour. How can I use it?
One cup of self-rising flour contains 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Adjust recipes accordingly.
Can you freeze homemade pie meringue?
Not recommended. It will get sticky and tough.