by Stephanie Berenbaum – updated August 21, 2013
Answers to Your Kitchen Questions
As Fab & Fru as I am, I have a confession: I throw out more food than I would like to admit. Often it’s simply because I am just not sure about expiration dates and food safety rules. Thankfully, I came across “The Kitchen Answer Book” by Hank Rubin – the perfect antidote to my wasteful ways! It turns out a little knowledge about food safety can save you a lot of dough…
Preserve Your Parmigiano
Fresh Parmesan cheese is delicious – and expensive. Apparently wrapping it in plastic wrap isn’t enough – Rubin says to use a fresh wrap after each use. He also recommends storing it in the warmest part of your fridge (40 degrees) – who knew?
If I see even a hint of mold on cheese, I toss the whole thing out. Apparently, not necessary! All you have to do is cut about a half inch off the surface from the affected side, and use the remainder within a week. A definite money saver!
The best way to store eggs? In a closed carton – NOT in that cute little egg holder tray in the door! Door slamming combined with the repeated temperature fluctuations can deteriorate the egg quality.
Stamp of Approval
Ever bought a piece of meat just to realize there is some of that purple USDA inspection stamp still on it? Well I have and it creeps me out to see dye on the meat. But, not to worry – you don’t need to cut off the meat where they stamp it – apparently it is just harmless vegetable dye.
Steak is of course a pricey proposition, so I really wanted to know how long you can keep it in the freezer before using it. The answer is that while they can keep for many months if wrapped well, it is best to use a frozen steak within a month for the best taste and quality.
I can’t tell you how many times I have bought fresh, packaged poultry, just to forget about it and wonder if it is still good to use later in the week. Well, the recommendation is to use your fresh chicky within 2 days – which is sooner than I thought! Otherwise, wrap it well and freeze the package right away…
Prepare to Save!
A little knowledge can go a long way towards saving you food and money. We’d love to hear what your favorite tips are for extending the life of your groceries!
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