Hints From Heloise: The gentle agitator

November 5, 2013

Dear Heloise: I looked everywhere to see if this hint was posted and couldn’t find it. To repair honey, jam, jelly or caramel that has CRYSTALLIZED, simply seal the container well and run it through a dishwasher cycle with your next load. Allow the jar to slowly return to room temperature with the dishwasher closed. The dishwasher provides gentle agitation. It’s not the fastest method, but certainly the easiest and most foolproof. -- Ronald S., via e-mail

Ronald, I had an older jar of crystallized honey that was just perfect for testing your hint. Not only did the honey return to its original state, but the sticky outside of the jar was cleaned, too! A two-for-one hint! -- Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com

JAM AND JELLY

Dear Heloise: You probably have answered this many times, but I would like to know what the difference is between jam and jelly. -- A Reader, via e-mail

I’m happy to answer this for you! Jam is made from crushed fruit. Jelly is made from fruit juice that is cooked and turns to a gel. An added hint: Jam is usually thicker than jelly, and both taste great on a bagel! -- Heloise

FROZEN BUNS

Dear Heloise: There are just two of us, and when we buy hamburger or hot-dog buns, there are always eight. How do we freeze the buns without them getting hard the next time we want to use them? -- A Reader, via e-mail

Major bread manufacturers don’t recommend freezing your buns, because it can compromise the quality, but many people do freeze them. Here’s the hint on how best to freeze them.

Force all of the air out of the bread bag, and seal it in a freezer bag before storing in your freezer for double the protection. Once you’re ready to use them, allow them to thaw on the counter. If the consistency isn’t what you were looking for, throw the buns on the grill for a light toasting to help with the texture. -- Heloise

LABEL HINT

Dear Heloise: I have been looking for a way to label my pans and trays that I take to family events and parties. They always seem to get mixed in and confused with others. I now mark the bottom of them with nail polish, and everyone knows it belongs to me. Even better, if the tray happens to get washed, the nail polish does not come off. This has saved me a lot of money, because I always get my trays back now. -- J.M. in New Jersey

SHREDDED CABBAGE

Dear Heloise: When a recipe calls for shredded cabbage, I just buy a bag of coleslaw mix and add as much or as little as needed. If there is any mix left over, I cook it down and freeze it. I make sure to date it for future use before storing. -- Marcia K. in Pennsylvania

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

, King Features Syndicate

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