Sunday, July 4, 2004

Helpings



Question: Can I freeze leftover celery?

Answer: Celery and other foods high in moisture become mushy when frozen. That's because the water in their cells expands and ruptures the cell walls. One way around the problem is to reduce the water content before freezing. You can accomplish this by cutting up the celery and blanching it for a few minutes in boiling water, or sauteing it in oil or butter. Then pack into containers, wrap well and freeze.

Celery secret: Celery leaves make an interesting peppery flavor addition to salads, says the Joy of Cooking (Scribner; $30). The pale, whitish leaves at the heart of the celery are best.

Best santoku: If you're ready to chop and dice the summer harvest, Cook's Illustrated magazine rated the best Japanese santoku (chef) knives in its August issue. MAC Superior Santoku ($55) finished first, followed by Kershaw Shun Classic ($89.99), Wustof Grand Prix ($69.99) and Global Oriental Cook ($78). MAC knives are available from A Cook's Wares: (800) 915-9788 or www.cookswares.com.

Tube Food: Get your fill of ice cream today on the Food Network with several shows featuring the favorite summer dessert, including The Best of at 2:30 p.m.; Emeril Live at 3 p.m., Ice Cream Toppings Unwrapped at 4 p.m.; and Tyler's Ultimate at 6 p.m.

Hot Date: Volunteers are welcome to help clean the fresh garlic harvest at Grailville Retreat Center 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday in Loveland. Lunch is served, but advance reservations are required: 683-2340.




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Helpings

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