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Archive for Wednesday, June 23, 1999

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June 23, 1999

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For years we made homemade ice cream in our old crank freezer using fresh whole eggs and evaporated milk " no cooking " and it was delicious. Since the admonitions about not using raw eggs in ice cream, we don't know what to do. Is there any way to substitute so I can still use my recipe?

Yes. You can either use a pasteurized egg product, such as Eggbeaters, in place of the raw eggs in your favorite recipe, or convert your recipe to one that begins with a cooked base.

Because I always seem to be in a hurry when I'm planning to make homemade ice cream, using a refrigerated egg substitute is my preferred method -- it's quick and lower in cholesterol, too!

Prepare your recipe as usual except substitute the recommended equivalent on the egg-product carton in place of the required fresh eggs. No cooking is required.

Federal regulations require that all egg products -- including whole eggs, egg whites and egg yokes in refrigerated liquid, frozen and dried form -- be pasteurized to destroy salmonella. Therefore, no additional heating is required. However, remember that even though the pasteurized egg product is salmonella free, it should be handled properly to avoid contamination and spoilage.

If you prefer the rich, creamy texture that is associated with homemade ice cream using a cooked "stirred custard" base, it's easy to convert your old recipe. For best results, cook the milk (excluding the amount of milk needed to fill the freezer at the end, if your recipe calls for it), sugar and beaten eggs over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermometer is the most accurate measure, but you may also use the "spoon test" to indicate temperature. At 160 degrees, the mixture will lightly coat a metal spoon. Remove the custard from the heat before adding other ingredients. Chill the custard base completely before freezing in your ice cream maker.

Is it safe to take potato salad to a summer picnic, even though it contains mayonnaise?

While all mayonnaise-based salads should be kept on ice, the mayonnaise you buy at the store is not a food poisoning villain. Its high acid content actually slows bacterial growth. But homemade mayonnaise, if made without lemon juice or vinegar, can be risky. When making summer salads, keep in mind that often it is the low-acid foods (such as potatoes, eggs, chicken, etc.) combined with the mayonnaise that cause the problems. They are the villains, if we're gong to point fingers!

Many of the people who become ill became ill because of eating foods after they returned home from a picnic. Foods that have not been kept cold during the afternoon of play and the ride home in the hot car are often the culprits. The slogan of keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold in order to prevent the growth of food spoilage and food-borne micro-organisms holds true throughout the day and not just during the time before the picnic.

In environmental temperatures of 90 degrees or warmer, keep perishable foods out no longer than one hour before reheating, refrigerating or freezing. Below 90 degrees, keep potentially hazardous picnic foods out no longer than two hours.

-- Susan Krumm is an extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper. She can be reached at 843-7058.

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