Dear Heloise: Recently, I was looking through a cookbook and found a recipe, only to notice that one of the ingredients listed was plum tomatoes. What is this? I have heard of cherry and grape tomatoes, but not plum. Help! Annette in Texas
Annette, we took your question to the California Tomato Commission, and here is what it had to say: Plum tomato is another name for a Roma tomato. You should buy Romas that are plump and brightly colored, with no bruising or broken skin.
Don't refrigerate tomatoes. Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature but not in direct sunlight. However, if you buy tomatoes that have been refrigerated, they should be refrigerated again when you get home. Heloise
Here's a Heloise flashback from Oct. 6, 1963. It's as good a hint today as it was then:
Here is a timesaving and mess-saving idea that I discovered one day when I was in a hurry.
Try putting your cupcake batter in a pitcher or something with a spout. Then it's quick and easy to fill cupcake papers. This eliminates the dripping on the pans and cabinet, and it's much, much faster. Mrs. M.J.H.
Dear Heloise: My husband loves chunky applesauce. I've figured a way to achieve that double texture in my own kitchen. I prepare by slicing the peeled, cored apples into pieces. A couple I cut into chunks, and the rest I chop finely. The microwave does the rest. Result: The finely chopped get "apple-saucy" and the sliced ones provide the chunkiness. N. Sherman, San Diego
Sounds good to me. Did you know that you can substitute applesauce for some of the oil in cakes, muffins, breads or brownies? It really isn't recommended for pie crusts or most cookies. Use the equivalent amount of applesauce, up to 1/2 cup, to replace the amount of oil, butter, margarine or shortening. An example: If the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, use 1/2 cup applesauce along with 1/2 cup of oil.
For more easy substitutes, send three dollars and a self-addressed, stamped (60 cents) business envelope to Heloise/SSS, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001. No flour? In a pinch, use pancake mix in many recipes. Be sure to leave out baking powder or soda. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I don't use my mixer (on a stand) very often, so it gets dusty between uses. I keep it on a shelf in my laundry room. When I clean it up after use, I slip it into a trash bag for storage.
When I use my mixer, the ingredients sometimes splash and get into the crevices where the mixer fits onto the stand. I bought a small paintbrush, and it cleans the parts perfectly. Catherine White, Lafayette, La.
Dear Heloise: I feel that we have grown up together, with my learning many good hints and shortcuts from you and your readers. Now I have one for you using clothespins. I take a clothespin to the grocery store with me. I clip it to my grocery cart to hold my list. That way, I always have the list available in sight. Kathy in Prattville, Ala.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) HELOISE, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
King Features Syndicate