The Washington Post

Hints From Heloise: Lean on meat

Dear Heloise: Here is a question that we have thought about for quite some time. We buy the LEANEST GROUND BEEF when we do buy ground meat. Usually it’s 93/7 or 97/3, yet all show white flecks in the meat that look like ground-up fat. How do we know that we are truly getting very lean meat? -- P.J. in Pennsylvania

You are! What you see is ground-up pieces of fat and marbling that is found inside the meat. What you are buying is a ratio of 97 percent lean meat to 3 percent fat, which is considered extra lean by government regulations.

Here’s a hint when you want to buy the leanest cuts of meat: Look for the words “round” or “loin” in the name, such as “top sirloin” or “ground round.” -- Heloise

P.S.: When it’s on sale or a good buy, pick up some extra to keep in the freezer.


Dear Heloise: When friends or guests are going to be visiting, I like to serve cake with coffee. It seems the cakes tend to go stale rather quickly where the slices are cut. I now place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper over the sliced areas of the cake. As I cut each slice, I keep replacing the paper to keep the cake “sealed.” It really keeps the cake fresher longer. -- Stacy P., Hartford, Conn.


Dear Heloise: We grow okra in our garden every year here in East Texas. When I would cut up the okra to fry it, or blanch and cool it to put in the freezer, I always would have slick hands and bowls. By accident, I found that a mixture of vinegar and water sprayed on my hands, sink and bowls took away the slick from the okra. -- Josie S., Rusk, Tex.

I am never surprised at the many super uses for vinegar! It does cut through grease, slime and even okra slick! This is why I wrote my pamphlet Heloise’s Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More, filled with hints and recipes for using vinegar. To receive one, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Add cucumbers to apple-cider vinegar and water for 10 to 15 minutes to create a tangy, tasty treat. Adjust the amount of vinegar to your taste. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I use an empty cereal box that I lay on its side to transport baked goods. You can slide the covered dish, plate or whatever container inside. I close the top and tape it shut. Even if the box slides around, the plate inside stays covered and clean. -- Kathy M., Lewes, Del.


Dear Heloise: I save the jars and juices from sour pickles and jalapeno peppers. When I pull out my tomato plants, I take the small green tomatoes, slice them very thin and put them into the juices to make “pickled” tomatoes and “hot” tomatoes. -- Jerry in New Jersey

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

, King Features Syndicate



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.