Dear Heloise: I enjoyed your hint about using cream of tartar on aluminum cookware to restore the shine. It works! I have also used half a lemon in the pot with boiling water. The acid in the citrus gets rid of the dull appearance. Works better than steel wool pads. — Ruth F., North Canton, Ohio
NOVEL BREAD BOX
Dear Heloise: I have a small kitchen and have found that using the microwave as a bread box saves space. Some may think it is a bother to take out the loaf of bread every time they want to use the microwave, but it quickly became a habit for everyone. — Betty, via email
SAVE THOSE CANS
Dear Heloise: I rinse and save a few cans from beans, etc. and use them to dispose of cooking oil and grease. Once the grease is in the can, I refrigerate it to congeal the grease, then put the can in the garbage. If the grease or oil doesn’t congeal, I put several gently used paper towels (that I save in a container under the sink) in the can to absorb the grease and then dispose of it properly. — Vonnie, via email
Vonnie, this is a great way to safely get rid of leftover grease and cut down on the mess. Thanks! — Heloise
SALT OR NO SALT
Dear Heloise: When preparing dry beans, should I add salt to the water the beans are soaking in, or wait until they’re done cooking? — Cassandra in Pennsylvania
Cassandra, putting salt in the water the beans are soaking in will cause the skins to toughen. Just add the salt a few moments before serving, after the beans are cooked and ready to be eaten. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I ran out of bread for sandwiches, but instead of running to the store, I made wraps by placing all the ingredients in lettuce leaves and rolling them up. Not only did they taste great, I lowered the number of calories I was consuming. Now I make all my sandwiches this way. — June in Utah
Dear Heloise: If you want delicious blueberries, take fresh blueberries and run them under hot water for a few seconds. It helps bring out the flavor.
Also, if you love homemade blueberry muffins, add frozen blueberries to your batter and gently stir. This will help keep down that bluish color that seeps out, and the berries will be nice and firm when baked. — Marla in Oklahoma
Dear Heloise: My family loves coleslaw, and I have a recipe with an unusual ingredient. Pickle juice! After we finish a jar of pickles, we save the brine to add to the coleslaw. Start with adding a tablespoon of pickle juice, then add more to taste. I also put cucumbers and onions in the jar of brine for a delicious treat. — Susan in Oregon
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Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001; or Email Heloise@Heloise.com.