Dear Heloise: A friend works as a home chef and makes meals for many families. She usually makes me CHICKEN SALAD once a month or so. It is so delicious, I asked her to make me extra, and I would have it for longer instead of a couple of days.

She said that chicken salad wouldn’t keep that long in the fridge. I think it will, so I was hoping you could answer this pressing question. Thanks so much! -- Sara in Texas

How lucky for you that your friend makes this delicious dish for you. After checking with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, here is what they had to say: For best quality, chicken (as well as egg, ham, tuna and macaroni) salads should be kept only three to five days in the refrigerator (stored at 40 degrees or lower).

Also, chicken salad can be frozen; however, when thawed, it won’t be the same as fresh. It can become runny and not taste as good. It isn’t a safety issue, but a personal preference. So, have your friend make enough for only a few days, and you will be fine. Thanks for writing, and hope this helps. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Elena Amico, via e-mail, sent a photo of her 12-year-old beagle, Pattycake, wearing a cute blue top hat. Elena says, “I found Pattycake on the street along with another beagle, Baci, which my friend adopted.

“We live in Staten Island (N.Y.) and were flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Pattycake and I were rescued by boat. She was not thrilled. We are still rebuilding.”

To see Pattycake wearing her hat, visit my Web site,, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Dried eggshells can be easily crushed for recycling calcium for houseplants, as well as for needed nutrients for gardens. I have crushed 1 quart and will broadcast this over my small garden prior to tilling. Calcium is expensive at garden centers. -- A Reader in Indiana


Dear Heloise: I was having trouble with my terry-cloth mop when I tried to apply cleaner to my hardwood floors. (By the way, be very careful to use only manufacturer-approved cleaning methods and products for your hardwood floors, or you could damage your floors and also void the warranty — no steam cleaners, for instance.)

Anyway, the mop handle kept “telescoping” and shrinking the handle length, no matter what I did. I wrapped a thick rubber band on the handle, just below the ring where the mop handle began its slide, and the problem was solved, and of course the band can easily be adjusted. -- Pat S., Front Royal, Va.


Dear Heloise: I just figured out an easy way to clean a dog’s teeth. You’ll need dog toothpaste, a toothbrush and a consumable dental chew/treat. I put toothpaste on all the outer surfaces of the teeth. Then I give the dog the chewy, and the teeth “brush” themselves. -- Mary Jensen, via e-mail

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.

, King Features Syndicate