Question: How long is it safe to keep bottled water? I'm updating my earthquake preparedness supplies and wonder how often the water should be replaced.
Answer: According to Sandy Oliver of Arrowhead Drinking Water, the one-gallon plastic bottles of water should be rotated every six months. This is a safety precaution because the containers are biodegradable and can develop stress cracks if not stored under optimum conditions. The water inside is good indefinitely.
Q: I've noticed several recipes that mention white chocolate. Where is it available?
A: Williams-Sonoma stores carry white chocolate in both bar and chip form. Check your telephone directory for the nearest store. You can also find it at Bit of Sweetland, 8560 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, and Edelweiss Candy Kitchen, 444 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills.
Q: Would you please tell me where I can purchase Acini de Pepe. It is like tapioca and is used for fruit salads.
A: You've completely stumped us, but perhaps another reader will know where it is available. Anybody have a suggestion?
Q: Some time ago I clipped a recipe on making pineapple guava chutney. I found the recipe super and easy, but I can't recall whether I peeled the guavas or not. Can you enlighten me?
A: "Sunset Fresh Produce--A to Z" (Lane Publishing: 1987, $6.95) states: "The thick, waxy skin is too tart to eat fresh, but it can be used in pickles or preserves."
So to answer your question, the pineapple guavas used for the chutney may be used either peeled or unpeeled. Incidentally, we repeat information from the Nov. 12 You Asked About . . . column in which we explained that the pineapple guava is not actually a member of the guava family, but a feijoa.
And for those who missed the Pineapple Guava Chutney recipe in Nov. 1983, here it is again:
PINEAPPLE GUAVA CHUTNEY
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon chili power
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped preserved ginger or 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
4 cups sliced pineapple guavas
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced, blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat sugar and vinegar in large saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add chili powder, garlic and ginger and cook 5 minutes. Add guava slices, raisins, almonds and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick. Ladle into hot clean jars. Adjust caps according to manufacturer's directions. Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 (8-ounce) jars.
In response to the Oct. 29 You Asked About . . . column on epazote, M. Trotter of San Diego writes: "We have fresh epazote merrily growing in our large herb garden outdoors."
The herb is available at some nurseries and by mail order from Taylor's Herb Gardens Inc., 1535 Lone Oak Road, Vista, Calif. 92084.