Dear Readers: Here's a question for you: What is the third most popular fruit grown in the U.S.? Answer: The peach! Do you know why some are called "cling" peaches? Because they cling to the pit, while freestone peaches don't.
If you plan on eating peaches right away, choose ones that are soft and blemish-free. If you are going to use them within the week, choose ones that are a little firmer.
Also keep in mind that peaches won't get any sweeter after they're picked, although they might still get juicier and softer. Doesn't a peach seem to be just the perfect healthy snack right now? Heloise
P.S. One of my favorites -- Texas Hill Country peaches, peeled, mashed and served with pancakes.
Dear Heloise: It's quite possible that you saved my life or the life of one of my family members. Some time back, while on vacation, I purchased a bottle of garlic-flavored oil. I liked it very much but was never able to find it in my city, so I decided to make my own, putting fresh garlic cloves into a bottle of oil. Imagine my horror when I read in your column (The Huntsville, Ala., Times) that this could cause botulism! I had never heard or read of this anywhere before. Needless to say, the bottle of oil was immediately discarded. Thank you so much for this eye-opener, and keep up the good work. Marie in Alabama
Marie, so glad everyone is all right! Let me share the caution again. If you make a homemade garlic oil, only make enough to use that day. And the Food and Drug Administration suggests that leftovers shouldn't be stored in the refrigerator for more than a few days. There is probably a very small chance of a problem, but it's not worth taking the risk. Heloise
Dear Heloise: Recently, I was taking a tub of ice cream out of the freezer, and a light bulb came on over my head. I always have to clean up the dripping, melted ice cream left on the lid when putting it back on. So, I placed the lid straight into the freezer while scooping my ice cream, and voila! No melted drips! Leo, via e-mail
Dear Readers: I wanted to share the following: When you are buying a new appliance, before making your choice, call several repair shops or service people for their opinion on the brand and model you are considering.
If the appliance is the first of a new type, you might want to wait to be sure that all the kinks have been worked out. Here's to getting the best for your buck! Heloise
Dear Heloise: Hang a toilet deodorizer in your garbage container to keep it fresh and clean! Be sure to remove the deodorizer on trash day so that it is not removed from the container. It will work for about a month. S.B.W. in Texas
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.
King Features Syndicate