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DEAR HELOISE: What's the best way to safely wash greens?

-- Kelly T. in San Antonio

DEAR READER: Here are a few hints:

• Wash greens immediately before eating, not when you first take them home.

• From a head of lettuce, bunch of spinach or stalk of kale, cut fork-size pieces (1 inch) and submerge in a bowl of cold water.

• Give it time for the dirt particles (it comes from the earth, after all) to fall to the bottom of the bowl (about 15 minutes).

• Reach in and grab the greens and transfer to a colander. Don't dump the bowl into the colander; you'll redeposit sediment back over and into the greens.

• Either spin-dry in a lettuce spinner or blot dry in paper or cloth toweling.

DEAR HELOISE: Please make sure your readers are aware that a man on a bicycle can come by you in a crowd, grab your purse right out of your hand and be gone in a flash! Hang on tight to your bag, and keep it zipped.

-- Melanie T. in Illinois

DEAR HELOISE: It's not quite time for back to school yet, but when shopping for clothes for my kids, I take them along. I allow them to have a say in what is purchased. If they don't like it, they won't wear it.

Of course, there are boundaries -- short shorts, crop tops and muscle shirts are a "no," but we compromise on a T-shirt with a favorite band on it.

-- Jessica M. in Ohio

DEAR READERS: Have you tried white pepper instead of black pepper in your cooking? White pepper is more intense and hotter than black pepper.

But hold on to your wallet: White pepper can be three times the price.

DEAR HELOISE: I carry a large plastic hook with me in my purse. It comes in handy in a public restroom to hang my bag on. Many stalls don't provide hooks.

And when I'm finished, I pull the paper down off the roll for the next patron. This is a big courtesy.

-- Ellen M. in New Jersey

DEAR HELOISE: My husband had a problem with ring around the collar. I took plain white chalk and rubbed it into the collar. Then I launder as usual, and I ask my husband to wash his neck better.

-- J.M.R. in Florida

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

Weekend on 07/11/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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