Question: Where does one get the "Ball Blue Book, The Guide to Home Canning and Freezing?"
Answer: The book is available from Ball Corp., Box 2005, Muncie, Ind. 47307-0005. Price of $3.50 includes postage and handling.
Q: What formula is used to substitute honey for sugar in recipes? One would imagine that it might be different for various foods, but there must be a rule of thumb that one could use.
A: According to information from the California Honey Advisory Board, recipes especially created and tested for honey give the best results. In recipes that call for no more than one cup sweetening, however, one may replace the cup of sugar or syrup with one cup of honey. If the recipe calls for additional liquid, omit one-quarter cup. When baking is required, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
Q: Recently The Times ran a recipe calling for mirin. Please define this ingredient.
A: "The Von Welanetz Guide to Ethnic Ingredients" (Warner Books, 1987: $10.95) by Diana and Paul Von Welanetz describes mirin as: "a sweet, syrupy rice wine (that) is an essential Japanese ingredient, and is used to flavor perhaps half of all Japanese dishes--as a seasoning, as a cooking ingredient and as a glaze for cooked dishes. You can make an acceptable substitute by cooking together equal parts of sake (or even Sherry or white wine) and sugar to make a syrup, though several Japanese cooks have advised us to simply substitute one teaspoon of sugar for each tablespoon of mirin called for."
Mirin is available at Japanese markets and in the Oriental sections of some supermarkets.
Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About . . ., Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.