You're out of . . . .
The recipe calls for cream. You open the refrigerator and discover -- oh no, the few teaspoons of liquid in the bottom of the container are sour. What to do?
Reach for "This for That," by Meryl Nelson (R&E; Publishers/This 'n That Press, 1992, $6.95), subtitled "A treasury of savvy substitutions for the creative cook." Substitutes for cream, according to the book: If it's a small amount, a dab of vanilla ice cream. Or non-dairy creamer, mixing one part powder to the same amount of very hot water. Or, "add the richness of cream, without the cost, to any cream soup you're making from scratch by adding some non-dairy creamer." Or, "1 cup of undiluted evaporated milk can be substituted for 1 cup light cream. Or plop 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine in a measuring cup and add milk to the 1-cup line. (If the butter and milk have to be kept separate, just reduce each cup of milk by 2 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons of butter.)"
There are substitutes for chocolate chips and for specific spices, as well as general tips, such as how to soften hardened brown sugar. Some of the "recipes" aren't that appetizing -- "pizza" made from bread, ketchup and cheese, for instance -- but there's plenty of useful information.
The book is available at bookstores or by mail order. To order, send $6.95 (which includes shipping and handling for first-time orders) to This 'n That Press, P.O. Box 504, Galt, Calif. 95632. Or, for more information, call (209) 745-1000.
For people who love omelets, cakes, custards, vegetable frittatas and Hollandaise sauce, but who can't eat ordinary eggs because of a cholesterol problem, there's a new product out that may allow some of their favorite foods back on the menu. It's called Simply Eggs -- a pasteurized, liquid, whole-egg product that is treated to reduce cholesterol, the processor says, by 80 percent.
One serving of Simply Eggs has 45 milligrams of cholesterol, compared with 215 milligrams in one large egg. Because they're pasteurized, Simply Eggs can be used to prepare foods normally made with uncooked eggs without concern for harmful bacteria.
However, each serving of Simply Eggs still gets 64 percent of calories from fat -- far above the recommended 30 percent. Health professionals agree that all foods fit into a healthful diet, but, like regular eggs, Simply Eggs and products made from them need to be part of a balanced, low-fat diet.
An inn cookbook
You might not expect a woman whose first culinary experience involved dropping a raw egg on her shoe to grow up and write a cookbook, but when you know that Martha Murphy (who was only 8 when she dropped the egg) sandwiched a degree from Johnson & Wales culinary university and a successful career running a bed and breakfast inn between the two events, it makes more sense.
Ms. Murphy runs Murphy's Bed & Breakfast in Narragansett, R.IGuests breakfast on pancakes, waffles, French toast, ham, sausage and bacon and eggs as well as on Welsh country scones, British broiled tomatoes and a "24-hour souffle" that is refrigerated overnight before being baked. For "The Bed & Breakfast Cookbook" (Stemmer House, 1992, $35), she gathered recipes from B&Bs; in all 50 states.
Here's a recipe from the Strawberry Inn in New Market, operated by Jane and Ed Rossig.
Makes 1 loaf.
1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries, thawed
3/4 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Puree strawberries in a food processor or blender; set aside. Beat together the eggs and oil. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the egg and oil mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Blend in the strawberries. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake approximately 50 minutes, or until done. Cool on a rack in the pan for a few minutes, then turn loaf out of pan to cool completely before slicing.
for photo C: There's something quite fitting about the sylvan surroundings of the new Green Earth grocery at the corner of 39th and Canterbury in Guilford, where green lawns and tall trees edge the boulevard. The cheerful, cozy store offers organic, preservative- and sugar-free produce, bread, cereal, pasta, and other foods that once might have been called "hippy health food," but which now have virtually universal appeal as environmentally sound in both content and production.
"We don't preach a way of life," said manager Kim Acton. "We give people an alternative, a healthy way of eating. We pick only fresh, healthy items. . . . We will not carry anything with refined sugar or preservatives."
Ms. Acton is especially proud of the deli, where sandwiches, salads and other light fare are prepared daily, and of the produce, which is almost entirely organic, much of it certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers organization. "We get two deliveries a week from California," Ms. Acton said, "but we also buy from organic farmers in Maryland and Pennsylvania."
If an item isn't organic, Ms. Acton said, it will be labeled.
The store has a wide selection of dairy-alternative and meat-alternative items, as well as goat cheese, "free-range" eggs, refined sugar and preservative-free jams and spreads, honey, bulk items such as herbs and lentils, and a small library of books for reference or purchase on various aspects of healthful eating.
"We pride ourselves on being informed, and on customer service," Ms. Acton said. Customers who don't see an item they seek can ask for it, and Green Earth will order it, she said.
The store, which is the second for Green Earth (the other is at 823 N. Charles St.), is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The address is 3811 Canterbury Road, in the Ambassador building. The phone number is (410) 467-2585.
Sample the bounty
Crab cakes, apples, nachos, popcorn, oysters, Old Bay, beer and wine -- all Maryland's favorite foods and beverages will make an appearance at the "Bounty on the Bay," a celebration of made-in-Maryland food and wine, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway.
There will be demonstrations of net-making, sheep-shearing, wool weaving, pottery throwing and other crafts. There will also be music and door prizes. Admission to the event, which includes entrance to the museum's fascinating galleries, full of artifacts from Baltimore's working past, and to all children's activities, is $5 for adults and $3 for children 6 to 12; youngsters under 6 may enter free. For more information, call (410) 727-4808.