Helpful Hints/Opinion

Helpful Hints

DEAR HELOISE: My granddaughter tells me that the fine art of cooking is now gone! She swears that only "boomers" still cook, but that her generation looks down on cooking as a time-consuming and tedious chore. I then asked her what she eats, and she said she and her husband often get takeout or prepare some easy meal with vegetables and fruit. Has cooking really gone out of style?

-- Elizabeth D.,

Newark, Del.

DEAR READER: No, cooking has not gone out of style. In fact, many of my recipe requests have been from newlyweds or people who say they are under 35 and never really learned to cook.

Home economics classes in high schools have become obsolete in many places, and many working moms don't have the time or energy to teach their children to cook something other than scrambled eggs. However, anyone can read a cookbook, and there are so many new, handy pieces of equipment for kitchens now (such as air fryers, slow cookers, and microwave and convection ovens) that anyone can cook ... if they want to.

Many younger people today would rather enjoy their free time doing other things and have perhaps forgotten the fun and joy of gathering around the dinner table to talk about their day. But times change, and so must we.

DEAR HELOISE: I was given an espresso machine for Christmas. But I've never understood the difference between espressos and cappuccinos. Or are these just two different terms for the same thing? I've never tried either one, and to be honest, I'm not excited about making fancy coffee. It seems like a lot of work for such a tiny cup of "Joe."

-- Wade P.,

Sheridan, Wyo.

DEAR READER: Let me break it down for you. Espresso is just water forced through a machine, through a tightly packed bed of coffee, and into a small cup (1 ½ ounces) in about 20-25 seconds. The term "doppio espresso" is just a double shot of espresso.

A basic cappuccino is ½ espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk. That makes about 6 ounces.

Put your feet up and enjoy a tasty beverage of flavored coffee or tea. The world can wait.

DEAR HELOISE: When buying chicken breasts in bulk, I separate them into units of two, three and four, and then place them in freezer bags. This allows the chicken a shorter thawing time and doesn't waste food. It's also handy because I can stack these freezer bags in a way that takes up less space in my freezer.

-- Janice C.,

Brookhaven, Miss.

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

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