Mashed made easyAmericans love mashed potatoes so much...

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August 15, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Mashed made easy

Americans love mashed potatoes so much they currently peel, cook and mash more than 1 billion pounds of potatoes a year to get their favorite potato taste, according to Ore-Ida, a leading producer of frozen potato products in Boise, Idaho. The process just got easier: Ore-Ida has introduced frozen mashed potatoes that are stirred up with a little milk and quickly cooked on the stove or in the microwave. The Ore-Ida potatoes contain no additives or preservatives and come in 14-ounce and 28-ounce bags for suggested retail prices of $1.49 and $2.69, respectively.

Has your beer been tasting a little flat lately? Maybe what's needed to perk up the popular brew is a little fruit flavor.

That's the philosophy behind Bicycle Beer, which its inventor calls "the first fruit-flavor beer on the market." It comes in regular 12-ounce bottles in flavors of VeriBerry, Misty Lime, and Apricot Stone. The taste is described as "slightly sweet." It is distributed locally by Bond Distributors. Cost of a six-pack is about $4.99.

photo info B Visitors to Maryland's 112th state fair will have a chance to savor the flavors of Maryland -- everything from crab cakes and catfish to corn on the cob to beef to pork to lamb to eggs and chicken -- when commodity groups from around the state showcase their products. There'll be cooking demonstrations, samples and recipe giveaways at the Maryland Foods Pavilion (across from the Cow Palace) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., from Aug. 28 to Sept. 6.

Commodity group days scheduled so far are: pork day; egg day; poultry day; lamb day; dairy milk day; seafood day; fruit-and-vegetable day; and beef day.

Recipe contests are perennial favorites with fair-going food-lovers. This year there are two open to the public as part of the Maryland State Fair: one from SPAM Luncheon meat; and one from Land O Lakes.

Entries in the SPAM contest must be original hot or cold dishes, and must use at least one 12-ounce can of SPAM. Prizes include cash, gift certificates, collectibles, and a chance at a national grand prize of a trip for two anywhere in the world SPAM is sold.

The Land O Lakes contest is for quick breads using Land O Lakes Light Sour Cream. Prizes include cash, certificates, aprons and a chance at a national grand prize of a year's supply of Land O Lakes products.

For information or entry forms, call the state fair at (410) 252-0200, Ext. 231. Advance registration by Aug. 25 is required for the SPAM contest. Advance registration is not required for the Land O' Lakes contest.

Here's a sample recipe from an Ohio State Fair winner of the SPAM contest.

SPAM a la orange

Serves 6 to 8

2 cans SPAM Light Luncheon Meat,cut into julienne strips

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon ginger

2/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup orange marmalade

1/2 pound baby carrots,cooked

1 green pepper,cut in large pieces

1 red pepper,cut in large pieces

1/4 cup tasted almonds

1/2 to 1 cup hot cooked rice for each serving

In large skillet, cook SPAM and mushrooms in butter until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet. In small bowl, combine brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Stir in orange juice and marmalade. Add orange-juice mixture to skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Add carrots, meat mixture and peppers; stir to coat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serve over rice.

Most of us have one: a kitchen gadget drawer. If yours is typical, it's crammed with measuring cups, measuring spoons and other stuff that serves only to clog up the drawer so it won't open all the way. And you can never find a tablespoon measure when you need it.

Now there's a solution for such clutter -- or at least some of it. It's the Adjust-A-Measure set from Kitchen Art, a three-piece collection of two spoons and a scoop that does the work of 14 other measuring items.

Each of the three pieces consists of a hollow channel with a handle on which various measures are noted, and a sliding top with a lip that fits snugly into the channel. The teaspoon measure measures amounts from 1/8 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon. The tablespoon measure goes from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, and the scoop measure goes from 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) to 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons).

Marketer Mary Anne Schiavone (a Maryland native), says the scoops can be used for liquid measures simply by applying a little pressure on the top.

The devices, made of high-quality plastic, are dishwasher safe. They are available for $11.95 for all three, plus $3.50 shipping and handling, from Mary Anne's Gourmet Trader, 137 S. Robertson Blvd., Suite 108, Beverly Hills, Calif. 90211.

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