DEAR HELOISE: Is blackstrap molasses the same as regular molasses?
- Louise S., via email
DEAR READER: No. Molasses comes from the juice of sugar cane or sugar beets. The juice is boiled to remove the sugar crystals. How many times the juices are boiled determines the “type” of molasses.
Light or regular is made from the first boiling, while dark comes after a second boiling. Blackstrap molasses is what remains after a third boiling, and it has a bitter taste. It’s used in slow-cooking recipes, e.g., baked beans or barbecue.
DEAR HELOISE: I lost your recipe for Heloise’s Chinese beets.
- Joan R., via email
DEAR READER: It’s been years since this family recipe was printed. Get together the following:
6 cups, or 3 cans (16 ounces each) sliced or whole beets
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
24 whole cloves (less if you don’t want a strong taste)
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons oil (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salt to taste
Drain the beets. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the liquid. In a medium saucepan, place the beets and reserved liquid. Then add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, or until the mixture thickens. Let cool before storing in the refrigerator. These beets can be too tangy for some people’s tastes. Adjust the recipe by using fewer cloves, and leave out the vanilla for a different flavor.
DEAR READERS: Do you know what hominy is or how to cook with it?
I just “rediscovered” it, and I started wondering. I know it’s corn, but …? It is the center of the corn that is left after the corn kernel is soaked in a solution to bleach it, then washed.
Hominy can be eaten by itself or added to recipes such as soups, stews and casseroles. I sprinkle it on my salad.
DEAR HELOISE: Cleaning out the pulp and seeds when preparing winter squash using a spoon was difficult. I looked in my utensil drawer and chose the larger end of my melon-ball cutter. The insides of the squash come out with very little effort. Don’t turn it; simply pull it along the inside of the squash. The pulp and seeds come out easily.
- W.B. in Texas
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio,Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email Heloise@Heloise.com
Food, Pages 38 on 09/11/2013
Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS