HELOISE Get to the bottom of burned-on food

Dear Readers: I recently had Dr. Joyce Brothers on my nationally syndicated radio show, and she brought a query about how to remove burned-on food from the bottom of a pot. She said that it probably wouldn't be a concern except the pot was a favorite oldie-but-goody that had been given to her as a wedding gift in 1949.
Let me answer this often-asked question: One of the easiest ways to remove this stubborn gunk is to pour some baking soda in the bottom of the pan and add a little bit of water. Let this soak for an hour or so, and when you are ready to clean it, the whole mess should just lift right up. A little bit of scrubbing might be necessary to make the pan look like new.
We got to thinking about favorite pots and pans and decided to pose a question to you, the Heloise readers: What is the oldest pot or pan you have, and does it have a special significance? Send us a picture with all the specifics, and we will pick the 10 oldest and send those readers a set of Heloise pamphlets, plus we will put the photos on the Heloise Web site.
I have my grandmother's and mother's cast-iron skillets. I checked with the women in my office, and here is what a couple of them had to say:
UKelly said that she has pots that her mother-in-law gave her when she first got married -- 21 years ago.
UJoyce threw all her old ones away and bought new ones.
UBrucette said she has a cast-iron frying pan that is 30 years old. Heloise
Dear Heloise: If I have used canned fruit and I wish to save the juice for future use in another dessert (gelatin, for instance), I put one slice or piece of the fruit in the container with the juice so I can identify the flavor. That way, I don't need to glue a label onto the container. Ellen Jo Fleming, North Little Rock, Ark.
Dear Heloise: I know you're busy, so I'll keep this right to the point: When I relined my kitchen cabinets, instead of using paper or shelf liner, I bought some inexpensive (peel and stick) floor tiles and put them on my shelves. They are easy to work with, can be cut with scissors, are extremely durable and can be wiped off with a damp cloth when needed. So lining shelves becomes a one-time project!
I even cut strips from the scraps and covered the front edges of the shelves. Now when I open my cabinets, it looks like I have solid-marble shelves! Anni Giacapuzzi, Merrimack, N.H.
Dear Heloise: I don't like to use a garbage disposal. When I peel potatoes, first I lay a paper towel in the sink over the drain. To clean up the peels, I just pick up the paper towel and throw the works in the trash. Mary A. Marston, La Mesa, Calif.
XSend a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax: (210) HELOISE; e-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate

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