I had a request from a Bryan shopper to write about
Meyer lemons, available now at Chief and Rays. The source
of my information is Field Guide to Produce by Aliza Green.
Meyer lemons originated in China. They are a cross between
a regular lemon and a tangerine. Plant researcher
Frank Meyer brought these highly fragrant lemons to the
U.S. in 1908 from the area near Peking. Although the peak
season for Meyer lemons is November through January,
they're occasionally available until April. When choosing
Meyer lemons look for bright, shiny fruit with a richly
colored orange yellow rind, indicating the fruit was fully
ripe when picked. Store all lemons in a plastic bag and use
Meyer lemons within a week of purchase. Personally, I use
them like regular lemons but there are dessert recipes that
specify Meyer lemons.
HOW TO TELL IF FOOD IS SAFE
I can't tell you how often I have had calls from people
wondering if their food is safe to eat.
The majority of packaged foods are stamped with a label
saying "best before," "use by" or "sell by" followed by a date.
These terms are more about the food's quality than
safety, explains Georgia Giannopopoulos, RD, CDN, CNSC,
a dietitian at Weill Cornell Medical Center. "A 'best used
by' date marks when the food should be consumed for the
best flavor or quality. A 'sell by' date marks how long a
store can sell a product. A 'use by' date marks the last date
to use the product while at peak quality, but many foods
are still safe to consume after this date."
Giannopopoulos added that there is no absolute "expiration
date" that guarantees the food is safe prior to
the date or that it's harboring harmful bacteria after that
date. For example, if you open a container of sour cream
and there's mold in it, it's unsafe regardless of the "sell by"
date. To minimize your risk of food borne illness, you will
have to rely on your common sense and your senses and
adhere to safe food storage practices. "When in doubt,
throw it out" is still your best option.
Source: Weill Cornell Food & Fitness Advisor, February 2011.
MACARONI AND CHEESE IS IN!
Judging by how many macaroni and cheese recipes
and variations that I see in newspapers, magazines, cookbooks
and the internet I'd be remiss if I didn't include one
in Mary's Memo such as Elaine Robinson's Macaroni Casserole
from The Church Potluck Supper Cookbook. It's nutritious,
easy to make and very affordable per serving!
•2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
•2 cups milk
•2 cans Campbell's Healthy Request cream
of mushroom soup, undiluted
•(1) 2.5-ounce jar dried beef, chopped
•4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
•2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
(reduced fat kind, if available)
Mix all ingredients together and spoon into 2-1/2 quart casserole
dish. Refrigerate overnight. Next day bake in 350ºF
oven for 1 hour or until macaroni is tender. Recipe makes
Source: Adapted recipe from The Church Potluck Supper
Cookbook by Elaine Robinson; Adams Media Corporation/$
AN A+ FOR THIS BARBECUED BEEF!
Watch for chuck roast sales to make this savory sandwich
filling. I make a day ahead so I can lift as much fat as
possible from the mixture.
BARBECUED BEEF FOR SANDWICHES
•4 pounds boneless chuck roast
•1 rib celery, chopped
•1 green bell pepper, chopped
•2 large onions, sliced
•(1) 14-ounce bottle catsup
•3 tablespoons Montgomery Inn brand barbecue
sauce (my preference)
•1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
•3 tablespoons cider vinegar
•2 tablespoons chili powder
•2 teaspoons kosher salt
•1 teaspoon pepper
•1-1/2 cups water
Trim as much fat as possible from meat before cooking. Put
meat in large roaster pan. Mix other ingredients together
and spoon over beef. Bake, uncovered, in preheated 300ºF
oven for 5 hours or until meat is tender enough to shred.
Chill entire mixture overnight in a stainless steel or glass
container. Next day lift off any hardened fat. To serve, reheat
filling and spoon onto buns. Note: Sandwich filling can
be frozen in smaller amounts to use as needed. Download PDF of Memo #2203