Dear Heloise: For fun family and friends times, we like to go picnicking. Here are some hints we use for food safety and to stay organized:
▪ More than one cooler or basket is an absolute must: a cooler for the cold food and drinks, a basket for chips and snack foods, and a basket or tote for accessories (knives and forks, napkins, plates, blankets, games, etc.).
▪ Only cold food goes in the cooler. Don’t expect the cooler to cool foods; refrigerate them the night before, and layer wrapped frozen meats with ice cubes in the cooler. Pack the cooler full to help keep it colder.
▪ Don’t sear or preheat meats at home. Bacteria can grow rapidly on food that is not cooked thoroughly.
▪ Grab those extra condiment packs from a quick-serve restaurant.
▪ Hot foods, including vegetables, should be eaten within two hours of preparation.
▪ Don’t forget to have fun! Leave the electronics turned off, and grab a football, deck of cards or board games. Time to make some memories!
Tracey D. in Alabama
Dear Heloise: When I was adopting my dog at the shelter, my adoption counselor reminded me that I am saving two lives: I’m taking home my new family member, and I’m making space in the shelter so they can save another animal.
My mantra is: Adopt don’t shop!
Carrie R. in San Antonio
Dear Heloise: There’s no need to slice yourself instead of your bagel. Lay the bagel flat, cut first downward so that you have two semi-circles. Then stand each half-bagel on its flat cut and slice downward again.
Four perfect quarter-bagels that still fit in the toaster just fine. If you then insist on having circles again, just spackle the pieces together with a little extra cream cheese!
Neil S., Falls Church, Va.
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