Proper storage preserves taste of potatoes

Dear Heloise: As a senior-citizen widower, what cooking I do is limited. Baked and sweet potatoes are a favorite and easy to prepare.
To save on my grocery costs, I buy a number of them when I find their price reduced. I keep them on a shelf in the refrigerator until I get ready to use them. This keeps them from sprouting and shriveling out, like they do if kept at room temperature. D.R., Alabama
Well, if this works for you, I'm glad to hear it. But one note for others: Potato experts say that potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator. The cold turns the starch to sugar, which can affect the taste.
The ideal way to store potatoes is in a dark, well-ventilated area between 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, don't store them with onions or in a plastic bag. And here's a tasty tidbit: OK, who would you guess gets the credit for being the first American to introduce french fries at a dinner party?
George Washington.
Abraham Lincoln.
Thomas Jefferson.
Yes, it was one of these presidents. And the correct answer is Thomas Jefferson, who served the fries at a White House dinner. Heloise
Dear Heloise: Whenever I bake cakes or cookies, I work on the counter that is above the dishwasher. If I have spilled any flour, sugar or any other ingredients in the mixing process, I just open up the door to the dishwasher and wipe it all in with the dirty dishes. The remnants are small enough to dissolve while the dishwasher is doing its job. Cleanup is much faster this way. D.H. of Crosby, Texas
Dear Heloise: I like to cook soups on Sundays and have them for the rest of the week. My favorite is vegetable beef, and there is always a lot to clean up from the vegetable trimmings.
When I was watching a cooking show, a chef used a large bowl to put the trash in. This is a timesaver when it's time to clean up, but you still have a dirty bowl and the mess in it. What I do as an improvement is to take a plastic grocery bag and line the bowl. When I am done, I take the organic waste from the vegetables and use the bag to carry it to my compost pile. Then I properly recycle the plastic bag. The bowl that I used only needs a wipe and it's clean. Joseph Kuronyi, Somerset, N.J.
King Features Syndicate

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