Dear Heloise: I bought a FAT SEPARATOR. It looks like a measuring cup with a plastic lid that has perforated holes. How do I use it? -- Pam C. in Virginia

After pouring your gravy into the separator, watch as the fat rises to the top and the gravy goes to the bottom. You will be able to see the line separating the two once all the liquid settles.

The lid with the holes is the strainer portion of the separator. Once the gravy has settled, remove the perforated lid and start pouring the gravy. The cup is designed to allow you to pour the gravy out, but stop short of pouring when you reach the fat layer.

Separators work because fat is less dense and always rises up, whatever liquid it is. Fat separators are designed to separate fat from the gravy/liquid it is in, therefore enabling you to just pour off the desired gravy. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: I have a simple question for you: What is whole grain? -- A Reader, via e-mail

Well, according to the Whole Grains Council, a whole grain can be any type of grain (corn, rice, wheat, oat, barley, etc.). What actually makes the grain “whole” is keeping 100 percent of the original grain seed/kernel as it is found in nature. These grains can be made into flour or eaten “whole, cracked, split or ground” while still being considered “whole” because it has all its parts contained within the husk (the bran, germ and endosperm). -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My husband recently stopped at a fast-food restaurant on the way home from work. He used the drive-thru instead of going inside to order. When he got home, we discovered that several items were missing that had been paid for. Of course he went back to the restaurant, but this wasted gas and time.

Since this has happened numerous times, my hint is to always park the car and place your order inside. You can watch the order as it is placed in the bags, or at the very least check it before leaving. Additionally, you will not hold up the drive-thru lane as you check the bags. It takes more effort, but especially if ordering for several people, it ensures that you get home with everything you wanted, and no one is left disappointed. -- Lydia P. in Ohio


Dear Heloise: I am an avid recipe collector. I have hundreds of recipes. I needed a way to sort them and dispose of the unused ones. I came up with a solution. In 2012, every time I clipped a new recipe, I made a mark with a pink highlighter on the corner of the recipe card. In 2013, I plan to use a green highlighter. If I have not tried a new recipe in a year, then it is time to dispose of it. The color-coding allows me to see how old the recipe is and clean out old ones. -- Ann M. in San Antonio

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