Posted: January 29, 2014 at 2:27 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I have a wooden cutting board that I constantly use and chop fresh garlic on. For some reason, as much as I clean and scrub it,I can’t get the odor of the garlic out.

Should I toss it out and buy a new one? I’m afraid it’s going to be the same all over again once I start chopping garlic.

  • Sally F. in Texas

DEAR READER: Try this to “deodorize” that garlicky wooden board: Sprinkle with a lot of baking soda, then either pour on some lemon juice and scrub with a brush, or just use half of a lemon and scrub away. Let sit awhile, rinse well and air-dry (or use paper towels).

The other solution is a mixture of 1 tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach and a gallon of water to “sanitize” the cutting board. Let the mixture stand for 15-20 minutes, rinse and hand-dry.

If the odor just refuses to come out, then you may want to keep it as a garlic-only chopping board. Otherwise, invest in a plastic cutting board, which is not as porous as wood and should not hold that garlic odor.

DEAR HELOISE: I bought old-fashioned, regular oatmeal by mistake. I wanted the one-minute quick kind. All you have to do is grind it in a food processor for a few seconds, and the chopped oatmeal will cook up quickly.

  • Fern G. in Idaho

DEAR HELOISE: I am always collecting new recipes to try. It is unbelievable how quickly a kitchen drawer or cabinet can be overrun with all of these recipes on their own sheets of paper.

I came up with this hint: Once I make a new recipe, we vote as a family whether the meal was worth making again. Majority rules, no matter what. If we are not making that dish again, I recycle the paper.

We also decided that each week we must try at least two of the new recipes. It has become fun for the family to help and then have a say in whether we ever have it again.

  • L.T., via email

DEAR HELOISE: When throwing a party, I like to serve bowls of punch and other assorted drinks. I make ice rings using my fluted cake pan. I fill the pan with a couple of inches of water, add a slice of lemon or lime, even pop in some grapes, and put it in the freezer. I have beautiful ice rings for the punch bowl.

  • Nicole P. in New York

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Food, Pages 36 on 01/29/2014