Dear Heloise: It seems that no matter what I do, I can't use the potatoes I buy before they start sprouting. What am I doing wrong? I hate it when I go to get a potato and end up with a withered, mushy, sprouting potato. P. Hall, Universal City, Texas
Who doesn't? Plus, doesn't it just irk you when you have to throw food out? The United States Potato Board says that potatoes sprout because they are trying to grow. Potatoes need to be stored in a cool, dark, dry area (and not in the fridge --Heloise) to keep them at their best.
If there are just a couple of sprouts or green spots, you can cut them off and still use the potato. Heloise
Dear Readers: Speaking of spuds, why do some potatoes turn green? Read below and find the correct answer.
A. Stored in a dark room.
B. Jealous of each other.
C. Being exposed to too much light.
As you can "C," the answer is pretty easy. When potatoes are exposed to too much light, the natural reaction of the potato is to turn green. This green area on the potato should not be eaten, but it can be cut off, and the potato can still be cooked. Heloise
Dear Heloise: Today I discovered a tried-and-true method of cleaning the pot in which I had a 1-inch layer of burned beans that would not budge. I decided to try our old pal white vinegar. I set the pot to boil, and in about 10 minutes the black, burnt crust started lifting; in 20 minutes it all came loose. Vinegar to the rescue once more. Barbara Warner, Runaway Bay, Texas
Don't you love vinegar? It's cheap, safe, environmentally friendly and can help you save money in so many ways -- inside the house to clean, and outside in the garden, garage and birdbath. To receive a copy of my six-page pamphlet, jammed with surprising hints, please send $4 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (60 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Vinegar is also handy to remove fish or onion odors from your hands. Just pour some in the palm of your hand as you would soap, and rub your hands together. Then wash and rinse, and voila -- fresh, clean hands! Heloise
Dear Heloise: My wife and boys love to go camping. One of the money-saving hints happened when I watched my wife filling a squeeze bottle of mayonnaise with a spoon. She told me the squeeze bottles are quite a bit more expensive than the regular jars, and she was trying to save money.
I figured out an easy way to fill the bottles. Take a sandwich bag and fill the corner up with about 2 cups of mayo and zip it closed, letting all of the air out. Take a pair of scissors and cut the corner of the bag off about 1/4 inch from the edge. Squeeze the mayo into the jar, toss the bag, and you have a filled squeeze bottle. Carey Williams, Aztec, N.M.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
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