Use Bacon As A Substitute For Salt Pork

Posted: July 22, 1992

Dear Polly: I have several recipes calling for salt pork (stews, chowders, etc.), which I cannot find in my local supermarkets. Is there a substitute? - Mrs. D.G.

Salt pork comes from the fatty belly of the pig. It is heavily salted (hence its name) and can be kept in the refrigerator for four to six weeks. I usually substitute bacon for salt pork. The bacon contributes a different flavor, since it is smoked and salt pork is not. Personally, I prefer using the bacon to the salt pork since I find the smoky flavor of bacon more attractive and interesting in these dishes, though purists may object. If you prefer to use the salt pork, you might ask the butchers if they can order it specially for you.

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Dear Polly: Gardening is my tension reliever, and I have roses to fertilize. To make it easy, I mix plant food in a five-gallon bucket. Then I fill plastic milk jugs that have a small hole punched in one of the bottom corners. (Hold your finger over the hole while filling and carrying the jugs.) I set the filled jugs at the base of each rose plant about three inches from the plant. The fertilizer solution will gradually run out into the ground, feeding the plant. Don't screw the lid on the jug as the liquid won't run out if it's tightened. I also use this method for my tomatoes. - Peggy

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Dear Polly: The way I fix mashed potatoes retains all the vitamins: First, boil the potatoes. When done, drain and save the liquid. Mash the potatoes, adding the potato cooking liquid as needed along with dry, powdered milk. Season to taste. If making gravy, use any leftover cooking liquid in it. - Ellen

Dear Polly: To get ink out of clothes, put hydrogen peroxide on the spots. It just bubbles out the ink, and you can then throw it in the washer. - Arlene

Dear Polly: We bought an old-fashioned porcelain sink that has heavy rust stains in it. How can I remove these stains? - N.V.

Dear N.V.: Rust stains can be tough. Here's a cleaner that should be safe for any porcelain surface, but it's strong stuff, so wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and be sure the area is well-ventilated.

Chip or grate a bar of naptha soap into a bucket. Add a gallon of hot water and stir to dissolve the soap. Then pour in 1/2 cup mineral spirits (from the hardware or paint store) and stir it in. Use this mixture to scrub the stains, using a stiff scrub brush. Rinse thoroughly with clear water.

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