This page contains answers to some commonly asked questions.
Q: Hi Pam. I was reading an article about produce sprays and was wondering if you use fruit and vegetable washes for your fresh produce. Where can I buy produce sprays?
A: As a matter of fact I do and have been for many years now. Washing with water alone does not remove the wax and dirt found on some veggies and fruits. I look for plant based sprays.
I also spray whole fruits such as melons, oranges and lemon rinds before cutting, then wash off with cool water. This way when you cut into the fruit the skin is clean.
Your best bet is to get them from a store such as Whole Foods, Fairway, or any health food market. You can ask an employee which one they would suggest. I switch between different kinds all the time, and every once in a while if I run out, I use Arm and Hammer baking soda veggie powder. It’s the same baking soda but is just in a bottle with holes to make for easy sprinkling. Just remember, after spraying any of these washes or baking soda, wash them off well with cool water or follow the directions on the bottle. Hope this helps. Thanks for writing.
Q: Do you use a strawberry huller? Is it just for strawberries?
A: I do use one and I love it. I just recently bought one having never used one before this year. Now I see how easy it is to hull a strawberry! It’s so neat and you don’t waste any fruit when using one. It’s also great for tomatoes too. They are relatively inexpensive and I think it’s a great tool in the kitchen. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond. I saw a few in Target and Walmart as well.
Q: I just saw a recipe and it called for caster sugar. What is it?
A: Caster or castor sugar is the same thing as super fine sugar. In Britain they call it castor/caster sugar. Here in America we call it super fine sugar and you can find it in any grocery/market.
Q: What is the difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar?
A: Both light brown and dark brown sugar are a mixture of granulated sugar and molasses. Dark brown sugar just has more molasses than light brown sugar. Light brown sugar has a delicate flavor while dark brown sugar has a stronger more intense molasses flavor. So if a recipe calls for brown sugar and does not specify dark or light you can use whatever your preference is.
Q: Help! I am making a recipe that calls for buttermilk and I realized I don’t have any in the house. Can I substitute anything?
A: Yes you can. Take 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice and place in a glass measuring cup. Now add 1 cup of milk and stir once or twice. Let sit for about 5 minutes. It will give you similar results as buttermilk. Hope that helps.
Q: I have a recipe and it calls for currants. I don’t have them in the house. Can I substitute raisins in the recipe?
A: Yes you can. Currants are much smaller so you may want to cut the raisins up before adding them to the recipe. That is usually the reason they would call for currants in certain recipes because of the size.
Just a little info…
Raisins are dried white grapes. They are dried to produce a dark, sweet fruit.
Currants are dried black, seedless grapes. They are dried to produce a black, tiny, packed with flavor fruit.
Sultanas are also a dried white grape but from a seedless grape. They are golden in color, are much more plump and a bit sweeter than dark raisins. They are also called golden raisins.
Look for some recipes coming your way that will have currants and raisins… Delish!