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DEAR HELOISE: My "from scratch" yellow cake tends to be on the dry side. What can I do so it's more moist?

-- L.R., Harrisonburg, Va.

DEAR READER:There are several things to try:

• Add one box of instant pudding mix to your dry ingredients. Vanilla with your yellow cake would taste nice.

• Separate the white from the yolk of one egg used in the recipe and use only the yolk.

• Try brushing your cakes with simple syrup to keep them moist. You might even want to add a little flavoring or liquor. But don't oversoak the cake.

It's not necessary to use all these on one cake. Experiment to see which hint you prefer.

DEAR HELOISE: I make a gelatin (molded) salad that my family loves. It's become a tradition to have it every Thanksgiving. This year, we'll be celebrating outdoors, and as you probably know, it's very warm here on Thanksgiving. I want the gelatin to stay firm in warm weather. Any hints?

-- Georgette T., Florida

DEAR READER: To help your gelatin stay firm, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to the recipe. Also, take the serving plate and put it in the freezer the night before.

DEAR HELOISE: I read an article that championed the cause of Medicare and Medicaid paying for fresh vegetables and fruit for people 65 and over who have health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. It's preventive medicine to encourage people to eat healthier, and a boon to American farmers. There could be a dollar limit per month, per person, but it would help many people avoid complications due to dietary deficiencies, and cut down on health care costs.

-- Keith L. in San Antonio

DEAR READER: The cost of administering such a program might be prohibitive. Still, it could benefit many people.

DEAR HELOISE: I use a lot of banana, but I've heard it's possible the banana as we know it will be extinct soon. Is this true, and if so, why?

-- Brenda G., Oregon

DEAR READER: The most common banana is the Cavendish. In 1992, a fungus was discovered in Asia that had a devastating effect on the Cavendish. This fungus has wiped out banana plantations in many parts of the world. There are other varieties of bananas, but the future of the Cavendish is still unknown.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Food on 09/11/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints


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