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Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Dear Heloise: When I see the advertisements for scrambled eggs, they always look so fluffy and light. I can’t seem to get mine like that. Do I have to put in some water? Help me! — Amy R., Anaheim, Calif.

Amy, first and foremost, whisk the eggs vigorously for at least 30 seconds to be sure they are fully beaten and airy. You can add a little milk or water while whisking.

But the trick to making tasty, fluffy scrambled eggs is in the cooking. Lightly coat the pan with butter, and when the pan is fully heated, pour in the eggs, then use a spatula to push the eggs away from the edge toward the center of the pan. For even cooking, keep pushing until the eggs are no longer runny. Turn the heat off when the eggs are almost done and as soon as they no longer have runny spots, take them off the stove. Serve immediately. It may take some practice, but delicious scrambles are worth the effort. — Heloise

SAVE THE BRINE

Dear Heloise: I enjoy gourmet pickles, and I quickly eat them up. Recently, a reader shared how she reused brine, so I thought I would add to the idea. I just hate to pour all that good flavor in the brine that is left over down the drain.

I started adding raw vegetables to the brine, and in a day I have delicious pickled vegetables to enjoy and I get a lot more value out of my gourmet pickle purchase.

Some of my favorite vegetables to brine and use in salads are purple onions, cauliflower and bell pepper strips. Whatever vegetables you have on hand can be used to bring a new flavor to your plate.

P.S. I enjoy your column in the Colorado Springs Gazette. — Deadra M., Colorado Springs, Colorado

GRILLING TIME

Dear Readers: There’s no substitute for the great taste of food cooked on a charcoal grill. Here are a few basic grilling reminders:

* Always place your grill away from dry grass, bushes or other combustibles.

* Close all windows near the grill.

* Never add starter fluid to hot or even warm coals. You could cause a flare-up, which could be very dangerous.

* Do not light charcoal with kerosene, gasoline, alcohol or any other volatile fuels. An explosion can result. — Heloise

IS IT A FRUIT?

Dear Readers: Midsummer brings tomato season, but what is a tomato? Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Let’s see what the experts say. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the tomato is botanically a fruit because it contains seeds. But, with its vitamin content, low sugar and its use as part of a main dish or side dish, it is considered by nutritionists to be a vegetable. Fruits are usually served as a snack or dessert; vegetables generally aren’t.

However you want to categorize them, tomatoes are a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal. — Heloise

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