Dear Heloise: With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I'd like to serve some pumpkin bread, but I don't have a good recipe. Can you help me with this?

Sophie L., Macon, Ga.

Sophie L.: I have a very good recipe that's easy to make and delicious:

1⅔ cups flour

1¼ cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup chopped pecans

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup salad oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

Sift together dry ingredients. Add nuts and mix well. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Mix just enough to blend. Pour into 9-by-5-by-3-inch pan that is greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes. There's nothing like a warm slice of pumpkin bread to bring back the taste and smell of an autumn day. If you like this recipe, you'll find it in my Baking Soda Hints and Recipes pamphlet, along with several other uses for baking soda that'll save you time and money. To receive a copy, send $5 and a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Did you know that the interior walls of the Statue of Liberty were cleaned using baking soda? Talk about multiple uses!

Dear Heloise: I've been told by a dietitian that one cup of green tea has less caffeine than one cup of "decaf" coffee. Can you tell me if that is true?

Marilyn and Jerry, via email

Marilyn and Jerry: According to the Mayo Clinic, the caffeine content of a drink varies due to several factors, such as origin, processing and more. However, it offers as a guideline the following information: 8 ounces of brewed decaf has 2-5 milligrams of caffeine, while 8 ounces of brewed green tea has 25-29 milligrams of caffeine. This refers to green tea, which is not decaffeinated.

Dear Readers: We had a lot of letters concerning a recent recipe for Swedish meatballs, most of which were accompanied by an old (and delicious-looking) family recipe, but none of them were alike:

Mark S. wrote: "Real simple: Your meatballs may be very good . . . but those are not Swedish meatballs."

Karin O. wrote: "It's not the recipe that our Swedish family or my late mother would recognize."

Arlene N. wrote: "Your meatballs seem more Italian than Swedish."

"Swedish meatballs" seems to be a generic term for many meatball recipes out there, but the ones sent in all sound wonderful! So, whatever you call your meatballs, "bon appétit."

Dear Heloise: I have a hood over my range that I use only when the range or oven is on. I don't use it for any other purpose.

I know, therefore, that when I see it on, my range is in use.

Diana M., Wapakoneta, Ohio

Diana M.: A great safety hint!

Heloise's column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or email it to

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