Dear Heloise: Our Bible study group is 12 ladies. We have a brunch at the end of the year. We all bring a favorite dish, and everything is delicious. One friend could not attend, so I brought a 12-sectioned muffin tin to the brunch and placed one food item in each muffin section. I delivered it to her after the brunch so that she would be able to enjoy our brunch goodies. -- Corrinne Berkland, Universal City, Texas
Dear Heloise: Years ago when I worked in an office, whenever I found a brand and style of shoe that I loved, I would buy a pair in every color that I liked. One day I discovered at lunchtime that I had accidentally put on two different colored shoes -- one black and one gray. After that, I used a permanent marker to write the color of the shoe on the underside of each shoe where it would not wear off. I was never embarrassed (in that way) again. -- Madeline C., Rutland, Vermont
Baking Soda Solution
Dear Readers: To remove burned food from cookware, fill the pan with enough water to cover the bottom, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda and simmer on the stove until the burned food comes off.
Baking soda also can be used for cleaning, deodorizing and cooking. Learn more uses in my pamphlet "Heloise's Baking Soda Hints and Recipes." To get a copy, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (78 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: As some of us get older, we have issues with regular onions, so I have found that "sweet onions" (Maui, Vidalia, Sweet) can be digested better. These mellow onions don't cause me "tears" and are so easy to work with.
About 25 years ago, a friend brought me Maui onion seeds from Hawaii, and I was able to grow my own amazing onions. I bought a dehydrator and now have jars full of dehydrated onion on the pantry shelf that lasts for several years. Leftover pieces that I don't dehydrate get chopped and frozen in ice cube trays and are ready for use in future cooking.
I also order fresh onions from a Vidalia onion farm in Georgia and receive those beautiful fresh onions every April. With each wrapped in a piece of paper towel, they stay good in my refrigerator until December. It's a fun, yummy hobby, and I like that they are super fresh. I enjoy reading your column in the Los Angeles Daily News. -- Nancy Lukunich, Simi Valley, California
Getting Rid Of Hiccups
Dear Heloise: I saw on TV that a doctor developed a straw that restricts the flow of the drink, and that action gets rid of hiccups. But instead of buying one, I took a regular straw like you get with a fast food drink or you can buy in a pack at the dollar store. I pinched it near the top to restrict the flow as I was trying to sip a drink. That action got rid of my hiccups quickly, just as the advertised straw says it can do. I didn't have to go out and buy something; I already have recycled straws at home. -- Kathy Rodriguez, via email