Dear Heloise: Like many people, I keep a small box of BAKING SODA in my refrigerator to absorb odors. I replace the box every few months or so. Not wanting to waste the baking soda, I move it under my kitchen sink and then use it to clean the kitchen sink and the bottoms of pots. -- Eva W. in Florida
You have discovered one of the reasons baking soda is an all-time favorite of mine! As a nonabrasive cleaner, nothing works better or is more economical. I have a multitude of hints for baking soda in my Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and Recipes pamphlet. To receive one, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Need a handy container for your baking soda? Reuse an old, plastic, round grated-cheese container. Wash and dry, then fill it with baking soda to use as needed for household chores. Just be sure to label it clearly, and keep it away from children and pets. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: When purchasing fruit juice, have you ever wondered what the words “from concentrate” on the label mean? Well, water is taken out of the fruit when harvested, causing it to become “concentrated.” Once ready to make fruit juice, the concentrate is mixed with water during processing (essentially, restoring the juice to the way it originally was). -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I love to make sandwiches, lightly toasted, with melted cheese. When making a sandwich, take the bread, then layer the meat, followed by the cheese. Place both halves, cheese side up, in the toaster oven until melted. Now, when adding condiments to the sandwich, the cheese is on the inside, melted to the meat, NOT to the bread. Flip the cheese and meat from one slice of bread onto the other, and add the condiment directly to the bread. You can add condiments before finishing with any other ingredients. -- S.D. in Tennessee
Dear Heloise: I use my old microwave glass plate for cooling, cutting and serving homemade veggie and fruit pizzas. Since I use a nonstick-coated pan to bake the dough, I don’t like to cut the pizzas on the nonstick surface. So, I slide the just-baked pizza crust onto the microwave plate, which is the perfect size for a round pizza. -- MaryLou C., Bardstown, Ky.
Dear Heloise: I discovered an easier, less-messy way to grate cheese. I take the stand-alone cheese grater and place it inside a large, zipper-top plastic bag. Now as I grate the cheese, it all collects in the bag. Once I lift up the grater, the cheese is already contained and ready to store in the refrigerator. -- Sarah S., Birmingham, Ala.
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