Blanched tomatoes slip right out of their skins

Q: How do you peel tomatoes?

A: The best way to peel a fresh tomato is by blanching it. First bring water to a full boil in a medium pot. In the bottom side of each tomato make a crisscross incision just through the skin. Have a large bowl of ice water ready near the boiling water. Working with just a few tomatoes at a time, drop in boiling water and then remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice water. Pull skin away from cooled tomatoes with a knife or your fingers.


Q: How long can I keep a fresh turkey? Once a frozen turkey is thawed, how long can I keep it before cooking?

A:The Reynolds Consumer Services answers that a fresh turkey should be cooked within 2 to 3 days. Once thawed, a frozen turkey should be cooked within 2 to 3 days.


Q: Is it OK to cook a turkey all night if I use a low-oven temperature? Or, could I roast it halfway the day before, refrigerate it and finish cooking it on Thanksgiving?

A: For food safety reasons, turkey should not be cooked at an oven temperature lower than 325 degrees. Therefore, overnight fTC cooking is not recommended. Never partially cook a turkey and finish cooking it later. If the turkey must be cooked ahead of time, roast it until done. Slice the turkey, cover and refrigerate, then reheat when ready to serve.

Q: What is the difference between jam, preserves and marmalade?

A: The main difference between these three types of cooked fruits (and sometimes vegetables) is their density and texture. A jam is a thick puree of fruit cooked down with some sugar and sometimes pectin. Preserves are similar to jams but the fruit is left in much larger chunks. Marmalade is a thick preserve of fruit or vegetable but also contains the rind of usually a citrus fruit.

Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, 21278. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.