Dear Heloise: We tried the recipe for the Mock Apple Pie. My wife and I just looked at each other in total disbelief. I must admit, we were totally surprised. My question, though, is just what is the size of the "20 whole soda crackers"? I tried using 20 single stack, and it seemed quite runny, so I added a few more before I poured it into the pie shell. Many thanks. John Bergschneider, Jacksonville, Fla.
John, let me see if I can clear this up for you. The saltine crackers are the small, square ones (one-fourth of a big, sectioned cracker). And you are right, the mixture is a little soupy at first, but it does thicken.
Ann Kendrick of Lumberton, Texas, wrote in asking if the recipe was for regular salted crackers. The answer is yes, just old-fashioned saltines.
And A.J., via e-mail, says: "You would have to be 'crackers' to substitute salted soda crackers for apples in a pie. Yuck!" Well, A.J., you should really try the recipe -- it will surprise you! I know it sounds wacky, but it works. Unusual ingredients can add a special flair to pies and cakes. I have an easy chocolate tomato soup cake and a chocolate sauerkraut "surprise" cake that you can try. Both of these recipes, as well as some of my other favorite cake recipes, are available by sending $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (60 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cake, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. For those who want to try the mock apple pie recipe, visit my Web site, Heloise.com (click on Kitcheneering Recipes), or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the above address (Dept. P), and we will send you a copy, since space doesn't allow me to print it again this soon. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have an excellent use for old refrigerator-door shelves before taking the fridge to the recycling center. Unscrew the shelves from the doors and reattach them to a garage wall or wherever. They make wonderful shelves for small items. My appliance dealer thought it was a great idea and started suggesting this to his customers. Gil Hartmann, Minneapolis
Dear Heloise: I would like to share another important reason for storing wineglasses in the upright position. If stored in a cupboard on a shelf, up is the best way to do it. In today's cupboards and much of our furniture, the shelves are made of composite board -- board made up of wood fibers, resin and glues. Storing glasses upside down traps the odors inside the glass bowl and could affect the flavor of the liquid served in it. Anne, via e-mail
You are right! I guess this is one of the reasons people put down shelf paper. Heloise
Dear Heloise: As a lover of milkshakes, I had to come up with an alternative if I wanted to lose weight. This shake has about one-third the calories of the real thing. In a blender, I put in 1 cup of 2 percent milk, one average-size banana, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and two packets of sugar substitute. Blend for a couple of seconds. Pour into a cold, frosty glass and enjoy. Leslie R. Pratt, Avon, N.Y.
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