Hints from Heloise

Dear Heloise: How do I get rid of weevils in my pantry? - Janice in Indiana


Janice, first take everything out of your pantry and cabinets. Destroy boxes and bags that have any trace of weevil activity in them. Check everything, including cereal, flour, spices, dry pet food, pasta, dry beans, etc. To destroy unhatched eggs, place items in which weevils are not visible in the freezer for four days.


Next, scrub your shelves with hot, soapy water. After that, spray shelves and doors with an insecticide, making sure you get every crevice. Close the doors and leave the pantry and cabinets shut for at least four hours. (Over night is better.)


After doing all of the above, put everything in sealable jars before returning the food to the shelves. Also, buy smaller quantities of staples and freeze them before opening and using. This is a good habit to get into to keep weevils out of your home. - Heloise


SPICED VINEGAR


Dear Heloise: I'm looking for a homemade salad dressing recipe. Do you have one? - Loretta, via email


Loretta, I sure do! This one is great on salads or even as a marinade for chicken. You'll need:


1 quart cider vinegar


1/2 ounce celery seed


1/3 ounce dried mint


1/3 ounce dried parsley


1 clove garlic


3 small onions (peeled)


3 whole cloves


1 teaspoon whole peppercorns


1 teaspoon grated nutmeg


1 tablespoon sugar


1 tablespoon brandy (optional)


Salt to taste


Put all of the ingredients into a glass container and cover. Let stand for three weeks, then strain and bottle.


This easy-to-make recipe and other homemade dressings can be yours. Order at www.Heloise.com, or sent $3 along with a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to Heloise/SSS, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: Spices and herbs will keep a long time if they are stored in air-tight containers away from heat, moisture and light. - Heloise


BAKED POTATOES


Dear Heloise: How can I keep the skins of my baked potatoes from cracking? -Tina in Colorado


Tina, it's this easy. Just rub butter or shortening over the potatoes before you bake them. - Heloise


STICKY PROBLEM


Dear Heloise: I had a recipe that called for honey, but after I poured it out of the measuring cup, too much of it stuck to the glass and was very hard to get out. Any hints on this problem? - Karen in Minnesota


Karen, to make syrup or honey flow faster and easier, fill your measuring cup with very hot water and let it sit for a few seconds, then pour out the water just before you pour in the honey to be measured. - Heloise


SOFT COOKIES


Dear Heloise: How can I keep my cookies soft in my cookie jar? - Faith in Delaware


Faith, just place a slice or two of fresh bread in the jar before placing your cookies inside. This should keep them soft and fresh tasting. - Heloise


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