DEAR HELOISE: My neighbor had me over for dinner recently, and she served the best potato salad I've ever eaten. I asked her what the secret was, and she said she sprinkles a little fresh lemon juice over the potatoes after they're cooked and had cold water run over them. This recipe has a fresh taste to it that I really loved.
-- Debbie J., Hibbing, Minn.
DEAR HELOISE: Autumn actually begins this month, and we get a change of leaves early as a rule. It's my favorite time of year, and I love baking recipes that have pumpkin in them. That's why I'm writing to ask you to reprint your Pumpkin Bread recipe. It always tasted so good with a cup of coffee. Around Halloween I usually make a batch to give to friends.
-- Christine A., Marquette, Mich.
DEAR READER: Lately I've received several requests for this recipe. So, for all my pumpkin-loving readers, here it is:
Heloise's Pumpkin Bread
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped pecans
2 eggs, slightly beaten
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
Sift together the dry ingredients. Add nuts and mix well. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Mix just enough to blend. Pour into 9-by-5-by-3-inch greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes.
DEAR HELOISE: I hate it when certain foods such as baking powder or spices clump, because it was harder to break them down when using in a recipe. My mother-in-law told me to stir them into the sugar I use before I add flour. The sugar is gritty and breaks down the clumps and everything mixes better. Flour is soft and silky, which would make it harder to get out the clumps.
-- Ava N., Gateway, Colo.
DEAR HELOISE: It seemed as though the bottom of my cupboards would always be scratched and hard to keep clean. My pots and pans were dragged across the cupboards nearly every day. Finally, my husband had an idea that worked beautifully. He bought some linoleum on sale and measured each piece to fit the bottom of my cupboards. Now it's so much easier to clean, doesn't get scuffed up and looks much better.
-- Grace P. in Maryland
DEAR HELOISE: Cutting a frosted cake or a cheesecake can get so messy. I've found that if I run the knife under hot water, dry it off, then cut the cake, I won't end up with a big clump of frosting on the knife. It's much less messy.
-- Betty D., Toledo, Ohio
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