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— DEAR HELOISE: I bought a fat separator. It looks like a measuring cup with a plastic lid that has perforated holes. How do I use it?

  • Pam C. in Virginia

DEAR READER: After pouring your gravy into the separator, watch as the fatrises to the top and the gravy goes to the bottom. You will be able to see the line separating the two once all the liquid settles.

The lid with the holes is the strainer. Once the gravy has settled, remove the perforated lid and pour the gravy. The cup is designed to allow you to pour the gravy out, but not the fat.

Fat is less dense and rises up, whatever liquid it is in.

DEAR HELOISE: What is whole grain?

  • A Reader, via e-mail

DEAR READER: According to the Whole Grains Council, a whole grain can be any type of grain (corn, rice, wheat, oat, barley, etc.). What makes the grain “whole” is keeping 100 percent of the original grain seed/kernel as it is found in nature. These grains can be made into flour or eaten “whole, cracked, split or ground” while still being considered “whole” because it has all its parts contained within the husk (the bran, germ and endosperm).

DEAR HELOISE: My husband recently stopped at a fast-food restaurant. He used the drive-thru instead of going inside to order. When he got home, we discovered that several items were missing that had been paid for. Of course he went back to the restaurant, but this wasted gas and time.

Since this has happened numerous times, my hint is to always park the car and place your order inside. You can watch the order as it is placed in the bags, or at the very least check it before leaving. It takes effort, but, it ensures that you get home with everything you ordered.

  • Lydia P. in Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: I am an avid recipe collector. I needed a way to sort them and dispose of the unused ones. In 2012, every time I clipped a new recipe, I made a mark with a pink highlighter on the corner of the recipe card. In 2013, I plan to use a green highlighter. If I have not tried a new recipe in a year, then it is time to dispose of it. The color-coding allows me to see how old the recipe is and clean out old ones.

  • Ann M. in San Antonio 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 02/06/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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