Dear Heloise: I read the column about cutting hard-boiled eggs, fruits for salads and things for side dishes. After reading, I wondered if there is a certain knife or something for cutting fresh corn off the cob. -- Laura H. in Louisiana
There are products available, such as corn peelers or zippers. As the name states, the peeler is run along the sides of the cob. The zipper is a tool shaped like a circle on the end, and it goes completely over the cob, getting all the kernels off in one pressing-down motion.
Here’s a hint to try if you cannot find or do not want a special tool: Carefully hold the cob on the inside ring of a Bundt cake pan and, using a knife, you can cut the kernels off, allowing them to be caught in the pan. -- Heloise
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Dear Heloise: Is there any way to freeze fresh cilantro? I cannot use it before it spoils, and I would love to have it handy in the freezer. -- Gina, via e-mail
Gina, I have the same problem. You CAN freeze cilantro, either whole or chopped up! Just be sure you store it in an airtight container. It is not recommended that you thaw cilantro before using, so try freezing it in ice-cube trays with a little water or a favorite stock. When needed, add the entire ice cube to your cooking.
When buying cilantro, look for leaves that are dark green in color, firm and crisp. Wash before using (or freezing) in a bowl of cold water. Gently move it around with your hand to get the dirt particles out of it. Be gentle, because the leaves are fragile. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I was making goulash for a group of people. As usual, I overmade the hamburger and sauce mixture. I boiled the elbow-shaped noodles in a separate pan. This enabled everyone to have as much sauce and noodles as he wanted. I was feeding a group of guys, and they really liked this arrangement. -- Debbie K., via e-mail
Dear Heloise: Here is a hint to help cut down on the grease when you make meatloaf: Just line the pan with stale bread or rolls. The bread soaks up the grease, and the meatloaf pulls off the bread easily after it is baked. This even makes cleanup easier! I have been doing this for a while, and it works every time! -- K.K. in Pennsylvania
Dear Heloise: A previous reader, Patricia, wrote that she makes a bowl of low-sodium soup using vegetable juice. My granddaughter came up with a jazzed-up version. She adds cheese and basil, and calls it a tomato basil soup. It is quick and delicious. I like to throw in a handful of oyster crackers for added crunch. -- B.N. in Arkansas
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