2013-04-23 / Columns

Hints From Heloise

CANNING GREASE

Dear Heloise: After cooking greasy foods such as bacon, the grease is poured into a metal can (example: coffee) and placed in the freezer with the original lid.

After the can is full, the lid is taped and the can is placed in the trash bag on pickup day. This solves the issue of a lot of grease in the garbage can until trash day. – Lee G., via email

Lee, this is a good hint indeed, one that also can keep the plumbing lines from becoming clogged. Oils, fats and grease poured down kitchen sinks or toilets (folks, don’t do this!) can lead to sewage backups! A blockage or backup can cause flooding and major property damage. – Heloise

EASY OPEN

Dear Heloise: I struggled to open a bottle of nail polish that was impossible to open. Also, I’ve had water bottles that were difficult to open. I found a perfect “tool”: I used an old-fashioned nutcracker, and it worked perfectly. – Shirley M. in Texas

CLEANING LITTER

Dear Heloise: I use plastic grocery bags to clean my cat’s litter box. I place the bag into and around an inexpensive plastic wastebasket, and my job takes half the time. The bag is held wide open, and I don’t drop litter.

I also use plastic litter-box liners, but have one cat that tears holes in them. When I change the litter, I now put two liners in the box. When the top one becomes too shredded, I clean the waste and pour the remaining litter into the bottom liner, which is another timesaving hint. – Terrie S. in Indiana

WHITE PEPPER

Dear Heloise: What is the difference between white pepper and black pepper? Why use one instead of the other? – Linda W. in Indiana

Black pepper is harvested when the peppercorns are still green or black. It has a stronger smell and more distinct flavor than white pepper.

White pepper comes from fully matured berries that are yellow or red. Once the skin falls off, the white pulp is dried and processed to make white pepper. White pepper can be used in white or lightcolored creams and sauces because of its delicate, mild flavor. It also doesn’t show up as big, black flakes in a light-colored dish.

There is a big difference in cost between the two, and white pepper costs a whole lot more! – Heloise

BRACELET HOLDER

Dear Heloise: I have a dozen or more round bracelets, and they took up quite a bit of space on my jewelry stand. I came up with the idea of buying a kitchen papertowel holder and placing them on the holder. It holds many bracelets, freeing up lots of space for more jewelry on my jewelry stand. – Lorraine S. in Texas

FOLDING TABLE

Dear Heloise: For my houseguests, I put up our folding table in their room, which is the perfect height and size for an open suitcase. The area under the table is handy to stow any other items. I also have added a folding chair now for guests as they put on shoes or socks while dressing. These items go back to their storage area after the guests have gone. – J.M., via email

FLASHLIGHT BATTERIES

Dear Heloise: Please advise me on how to store flashlight batteries. I was told to put them in the refrigerator until using. Thank you for your assistance. – Irene B. in West Virginia

To see or not to see (with a working flashlight), that is the question! The refrigerator is NOT the place for flashlight batteries. Batteries today are not your grandmother’s batteries of yesterday.

You want to store your flashlight and batteries in a cool, dry, room-temperature location where you will remember you placed them if needed during an emergency.

Try to keep an unopened package of batteries with the flashlight, but not in it. This will preserve the battery life, and they will work when you need them most. Avoid temperature extremes of hot or cold, which can reduce how a battery performs, or cause it to leak and even rupture. – Heloise

GARLIC BREAD

Dear Heloise: When certain breads are on sale, such as French, Italian or sourdough, I buy a couple of extra loaves. I slice the bread, apply butter (that has garlic salt mixed in) to each slice and wrap it in aluminum foil. Now the bread can go straight from the freezer to the oven for heating. Garlic bread ready when needed! – Kim J., via email

PAYING BILLS

Dear Heloise: Reading of paying bills (Heloise hint: a previous column about organizing bill schedules), I have a hint. After once misplacing a bill, I now take my checkbook with me to the post office and pay the bills that came without taking them home. They go right into the mail slot. – Earl R. in Kentucky

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279- 5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@ Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c) 2013 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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