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This article was published December 25, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: For Christmas dinner, I will once again host family and friends and make a turkey as the main dish. Is it really true that turkey makes you tired when you eat it?

  • Carol J. in New Hampshire

DEAR READER: No, it’s not true. We just think it is because many folks overindulge with too much food and drink, as well as the stress of the never-ending rush, rush, rush!

Everyone has heard that eating turkey, which contains tryptophan, makes you sleepy.Many meats and foods contain the same amino acid, but they don’t seem to make you tired. Plus, tryptophan is effective as a“sleep” enhancer, but many sources say only when ingested on an empty stomach. And I’d say that is not the case for a big old holiday meal!

So, enjoy the turkey, and, especially if you are hosting dinner, go ahead and nap afterward - you earned it!

DEAR READERS: Many of you have requested the recipe for Heloise’s Spicy Swedish Meatballs. You will need:

2 cups breadcrumbs

1/2 cup milk

8 ounces ground beef

8 ounces sausage meat (spicy)

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (optional)

5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, chopped

In a large bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and milk. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Roll the meat into balls (about 1 1/2 inches each) and put on an ungreased baking sheet with sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and place on paper towels to drain. Try these meatballs with an easy-to-make and unusual jelly sauce. Heat equal parts grape jelly and cocktail (red, shrimp) sauce in a saucepan, stirring constantly over low heat until bubbling. Pour over the meatballs.

DEAR HELOISE: I use my old wine corks to keep fondue forks and barbecue skewers sharp. Instead of letting them bang around in a drawer, I stick the ends in a wine cork. This protects anyone reaching into the drawer from getting pricked, while keeping the fork and skewer ends sharpened.

  • Sharon W., New Mexico

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 38 on 12/25/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS

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