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Hints From Heloise: Scratch cooking a lost art

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Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about people no longer learning to really cook:

“I read lots of recipes for ‘shortcuts’ to a recipe. Whatever happened to cooks learning to boil beans, bake cornbread, fry potatoes or make hamburger gravy? Our young people know lots of desserts to make but don’t know how to boil an egg. Will they ever go back to ‘scratch cooking’? -- Carol in Ohio”

Probably not! -- Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

E-mail:

GEESE BE GONE

Dear Heloise: My husband and I have a beautiful landscaped lawn connected to a quarry filled with water. We have one problem: geese! They enjoy the quarry, too, but several times a day they come out onto our lawn and leave droppings. Is there any solution to end this geese problem? -- R.V. in Ohio

Geese, while fun and amusing to watch, can leave a big mess. There are several options to fix the problem. You can try things like balloons, flags or scarecrows, which need to be moved often, as the birds may get used to them.

Another way to go is a physical barrier, like a fence. You can run a small fence around the area to keep the geese off your lawn. The geese will still have access to the quarry but will be prevented from going any further.

There are products on the market from noisemakers to chemical deterrents, but most important is do not feed the geese! -- Heloise

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Other uses for bags that premade pizza crusts come in:

* Carry picnic snacks in one.

* Store toiletries for travel.

* Stash extra fast-food condiments in one.

* Store pens, pencils, markers, etc.

* Use to keep leftovers in.

-- Heloise

SELECTING A SCHOOL

Dear Heloise: I recently enrolled my son in preschool. I had a hard time deciding where to send him. I didn’t know what to look for when touring schools. My mother gave me some good advice that I think can help other people in many different situations. She said: “If there are rooms or places they will not let you look, then they are hiding something. And if that is the case, you don’t want him there.” Hope this helps your readers. -- S.S. in Texas

This is great advice! This can be used when looking for schools, but also when looking at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and boarding homes for pets. -- Heloise

VALUABLE VASES

Dear Heloise: When you get a gift bouquet of flowers, instead of throwing away the vase once the flowers are wilted, try calling your local florist to see if it can reuse the vase. My local shop was very appreciative of the vases I had accumulated through the years and rewarded me with a bouquet of spring tulips. -- Susan in Virginia

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate

© The Washington Post Company