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HELPFUL HINTS

By HELOISE

This article was published November 14, 2012 at 3:59 a.m.

— DEAR HELOISE: Years and years ago, my dad found a recipe in your mom’s column for cream of mushroom soup. He made a huge potof soup and in the morning filled his thermos with it to take hunting with him. I remember how delicious that soup was, andI would love that recipe.

  • Lisa D., Elmira, N.Y.

DEAR READER: I would love to share the recipe for Heloise’s Generic Cream Soup. Add to this base whatever main ingredient you want: mushrooms, broccoli or potatoes, to name a few. Collect the following ingredients:

1 cup nonfat dried milk powder

1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. For a soup base, add 2 cups of cold water to mixture and heat, over medium heat, in large saucepan. Stir constantly until the soup thickens. Add your main ingredient for a soup that makes 4 to 6 cups. Need to thicken your soup? Add instant mashed potatoes, little by little, until the soup is of the thickness you desire.

DEAR READERS: Avocados are a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed year-round. Here are some hints:

You cannot tell by the color of an avocado, whether it is ripe. When selecting, give the fruit a slight squeeze. The fruit should feel firm, but give slightly when pressed.

To peel an avocado, hold it in the palm of your hand while taking a knife to slice it lengthwise up to the seed. Twist the cut avocado halves while pulling them apart. Remove the seed and then scoop out the meat with a spoon.

When you find avocados on sale, buy extra, because they can be frozen for up to six months. Once the fruit is peeled, puree it with a tablespoon of lemon juice for every couple of avocados you are freezing. Store the pureed fruit in an airtight, freezersafe container or bag.

DEAR HELOISE: Here is a hint I discovered after making a cake: I was cleaning the electric mixer before putting it away, and I noticed that dry cake mix had gotten into the holes where the beaters areplaced. I used damp cotton swabs to clean the crevices.

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

Heloise@Heloise.com

Food, Pages 38 on 11/14/2012

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