Dear Heloise: My favorite use for a POTATO MASHER is to make interesting decorations and patterns on cake icing. Just use a light touch. -- Jim G., via e-mail

Good idea. Here are some uses we came up with at Heloise Central:

* Crush fruit when making jams or jellies.

* Make designs on peanut-butter cookies.

* Mix up items in a round pot or bowl.

* Break up ground meat when cooking.

* Mash eggs when making egg salad.

And here is a potato-masher use from Peg L. of Mansfield, Ohio: “I use the potato masher for my cream soups. Cook potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower in water. When cooked well, use the potato masher to mash up the chunks, and finish the soup. Great cream soup.”

Send your favorite use for a potato masher, and I will print as many as possible and pick 10 favorites to receive a Heloise pamphlet. Send your hint to:; fax to: 210-HELOISE (435-6473); or mail to: Heloise/Potato Masher, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Hope to hear from you soon. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Frank of Laurelville, Ohio, sent a photo of his black-and-white cat, Moo, waking up in her Buckeyes bed. Frank says, “She is a sweetheart!” To see Moo, visit www. and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I bought a shell curtain when I was at the Texas coast and hung it over the bathroom entrance (since my bathroom is decorated with fish). I loved it, but every time my husband would go through it, I was afraid he was going to break the shells.

We were having a party, and I worried that with the traffic in and out of the bathroom, the shells would get broken. So, I pulled all the strands together and looped them around a large candle sconce by the door. This way, everyone could go through the door without a problem. Worked great, and no broken shells. -- Kay in Louisiana


Dear Heloise: A social-media friend of mine asked all her social-media friends if they would kindly mail a birthday card to an older friend. Imagine her delight when her post-office box was overflowing on her birthday with cards from as far away as Italy! As a sender, I can attest that her friend wasn’t the only one who felt the joy! -- Chris Marchand, Manchester, N.H.

Lovely hint! Who wouldn’t get a kick out of receiving lots of cards on his or her special day? -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I wash my bras in a mesh bag in the washing machine. The hooks always catch on the mesh and twist up. Today I hooked up each bra and nothing got twisted. It was so easy. -- Gail, via e-mail

You discovered what many have known always — hook the bra and no snags. -- Heloise

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate