Dear Heloise:

Can you please give us some information on cheese? What is its shelf life, how long can it be kept in the refrigerator, and can it be frozen? If so, for how long?

Madeline and Richard

in New Mexico

Natural cheese in one-pound blocks can be kept in the refrigerator if you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in an airtight container. It will usually remain fresh for one to two months in the refrigerator.

Most natural cheeses can be frozen for six to eight weeks. Be sure to wrap it well (even double-wrap for extra protection), and label and date the package.

Keep in mind that hard cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, etc.) freeze better than soft cheeses (brie, feta, etc.).

Cheese must be thawed in the refrigerator, and freezing can change the texture of cheese, making it crumbly or mealy.

P.S. Natural cheese is cheese that is made from milk.

Dear Heloise:

I love your bread-pudding recipe and have used it often. Now I've misplaced it and was hoping you could print it again. Thank you so much in advance.

Barbara

in Colorado Springs

Yum! Bread pudding is a favorite and a good way to use leftover, stale bread. I'd be happy to reprint this for you.

BREAD PUDDING

Place a beaten egg in a casserole dish (size according to how much you plan on making). Add 1 or 2 cups of milk, again according to the size of the dish. Simply add torn-up buns, bread, sweet rolls or doughnuts until the milk is almost all soaked up but still very juicy.

You won't need sugar if you're using sugared rolls or doughnuts; otherwise add a couple of teaspoons of sugar, a little cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and stir thoroughly. Bake the mixture for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and enjoy.

Dear Heloise:

After washing baseball caps, I stuff them with wadded-up plastic grocery bags to keep their shape. Just set them on a rack to dry.

Margaret Ney

Bad Axe, Mich.

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