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This article was published May 22, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: A couple of weeks ago, I attempted to boil some baby lima beans, but I let them boil dry and then burn. The bottom of my pot looked beyond cleaning. I remembered that I had your book Heloise From A to Z. I found the following hint for pots and pans: “ Cleaning aluminum: Put about 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar and about 1 quart of water in the gunky pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it continue to boil for about 10 minutes. Wash and rinse the pot well.” Worked perfectly! Thanks.

  • Emilie P. in Ark.

DEAR READERS: With Memorial Day weekend days away, it’s time to get the grill ready. Here are some hints:

Remove all grates, clean with soap and water, and rinse well.

Check all the parts of the grill: the burner, gas tubes and lava rocks (if used). Make sure there are no bugs (they love to hide in the little spaces), grease or dirt in the line to prevent gas from coming through the lines or out of the burners.

Wipe down the entire grill, inside and out, with soap and water. Rinse and let dry.

Clean out any old grease from the collection pans or ashes that have accumulated.

Make sure the grill is set up away from the house and is not near any bushes or overhanging trees.

P.S.: Your garage is not the place to grill, either. Just imagine if there was a mishap and a fire started! This applies to turkey fryers, too!

DEAR HELOISE: Is a pastry blender really a necessary tool to have when making pastry dough?

  • Joanne in Colo.

DEAR READER: The pastry blender is a baking tool that’s worth investing in. This tool, usually stainless steel, has a smooth, rounded handle, with curved wires creating a half-moon shape. The wires cut the shortening or butter evenly and quickly into the flour.

Use a pastry blender to blend the two ingredients before the butter or shortening starts to warm up and melt. It is bigger pieces of butter or shortening inside the dough that creates a flaky crust.

DEAR HELOISE: Watermelon can be roly-poly to try to slice, causing the knife to slip. I slice a small piece across one side so I can set it down without it rolling around. Slice away and enjoy. - Suzie, 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

Food, Pages 36 on 05/22/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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