Dear Heloise: Black spots appear on the aluminum I use when I cook food. Is this something to be concerned about, and is it dangerous to consume the food cooked with aluminum? — Tiffany G., Ashland, Ohio

Tiffany, don’t be alarmed. Those specks of black that you can see are caused when aluminum comes in contact with food that contains salt, is highly acidic or spicy, or has vinegar in it. It’s not harmful, and you can eat the food cooked with aluminum. — Heloise

CREOLE ROAST

Dear Heloise: It’s been ages since I made your Creole Roast, but my husband never forgot how much he enjoyed it. For his birthday, he has requested that I prepare it for him. The only problem is that I cannot find the recipe! Would you reprint that recipe for my birthday boy? — Connie A., Glencoe, Minn.

Connie, happy birthday to your husband! Here is the recipe you requested. You’ll need:

2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon fresh snipped parsley or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Trim off excess fat from the tenderloin and rub with the Worcestershire sauce. Combine the parsley, salt, pepper, celery seed, red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and ground cloves. Sprinkle the mixture over the meat and rub in. Cover the roast and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

In a covered grill, arrange preheated coals around a drip pan; test for medium heat above the pan. Insert a meat thermometer near the center of the roast and place on a grill rack over the drip pan but not over the coals. Lower the hood and grill until the thermometer registers 140 degrees for rare (about 45 minutes), 160 degrees for medium (about 55 minutes), and 170 degrees for well-done (about an hour).

Besides my Creole Roast, there are several more great ideas for dinner, found in “Heloise’s Main Dishes and More” pamphlet. Each one is a tasty departure from the ordinary. To get a copy, go to www.Heloise.com or send a stamped, self-addressed long envelope along with $3 to: Heloise/Main Dishes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Every meal can be a memorable meal with a little kitchen magic from Heloise. — Heloise

STORING RICE

Dear Heloise: How long can you store rice? — Jean P., Forest Grove, Ore.

Jean, contrary to what you may have heard, rice does not keep forever, but it will last for a long time due to the lack of moisture. It must be sealed in a container and kept in a dark, dry place, then it will last for about three years.

Brown rice, however, is good for six months or maybe a little more if stored properly in a sealed container and kept out of sunlight. — Heloise

JUST A REMINDER

Dear Readers: You will find more ideas and recipes on my website, www.Heloise.com. — Heloise