Posted: February 19, 2014 at 2:34 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: In a previous column, you wrote that the American Egg Board suggests storing eggs in the refrigerator in the egg carton with the expiration date on it. There are two large, popular food stores in my area that sell eggs. Neither of them prints the expiration date on the carton. They print a code.

I have two cartons of eggs in my refrigerator, each purchased from a different food store. The code on one of them is 050 P-1065. Someone told me that the code refers to which week of the year it is. I wish they would put the date on it instead. Any thoughts?

  • Lori F., via email

DEAR READER: The three-number code you are referring to is the Julian date. It will read 001 to represent Jan. 1 and 365 as Dec. 31. This represents what day the eggs were packed. So, your carton number would be read as Feb. 19 for 050. You have four to five weeks after that date to use the eggs.

The “P-number” represents the plant that packaged the eggs. The plant that processed your eggs is No. 1065. Confusing? Yes. I’m with you and would prefer to have just a clearly printed expiration date.

DEAR HELOISE: I’ve been using large flour tortillas for years as impromptu pizza crusts. Just spread the tortilla with a dab of leftover spaghetti sauce, some grated cheese, pieces of salami, ham or other lunch meats and random vegetables. Pop in the toaster oven, and you have a quick and easy lunch.

Also, the other day, when I was out of hot-dog buns, I used half a tortilla to wrap around a precooked sausage before heating it in the microwave.

  • Susan, via email

DEAR HELOISE: If a small amount of sugar is required in a salad or salad dressing and all I have is confectioners’ sugar, can I substitute it?

  • A Reader in California

DEAR READER: If you substitute confectioners’ sugar for granulated sugar, the taste may be the same, but the consistency might be off. But my motto is “Hey, why run to the store if you don’t have to?” Also, don’t tell on yourself, and your family or friends probably will not know the difference. As long as it tastes good, that’s all that counts in my book.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Food, Pages 35 on 02/19/2014