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DEAR HELOISE: As a culinary teacher, I can tell you that sometimes my students forget certain basics of food preparation. It's always good to remind them to do some of the following to make certain there is no cross-contamination when cooking:

• Before doing anything, wash your hands and make sure all utensils are clean, especially your cutting board.

• Can openers need to be kept clean and rust-free.

• Always cook seafood thoroughly.

• Keep all foods containing eggs or dairy products refrigerated until you use them.

• Refrigerate all leftovers in covered containers.

• If in doubt, throw it out.

-- M.J.W. in Philadelphia

DEAR HELOISE: Want a new dessert to surprise your family? Break a cake into pieces and layer it with softened ice cream in a loaf pan, freeze and slice. You can drizzle a flavored liqueur over the slice. Try coffee-flavored liqueur over chocolate ice cream and angel food cake, or perhaps orange liqueur over vanilla ice cream and lemon cake.

-- Elaina in Connecticut

DEAR HELOISE: I had leftover french fries, and I decided to reuse them the following morningt. I cut them up into small pieces, warmed them in a skillet, added chopped onions and eggs and scrambled the whole bunch.

-- Lorraine B., Roanoke, Va.

DEAR HELOISE: Did you know you can freeze buttermilk? I freeze buttermilk in muffin tins (each mold holds about 1/4 cup). After they freeze, I remove them from the tin and store in a plastic bag. When I need buttermilk for one of my recipes, I just take out the needed amount.

-- Mary Ann Y. in Hawaii

DEAR HELOISE: I bought fine china about the time I got married, and for years it was rarely used for anything except holidays. I finally decided that it was time I used it every day. So I do. My children don't want it; the pattern is not modern enough for them. I figured my husband and I can downsize our home, give away our everyday dishes and start using our best for us!

-- Gloria in Arizona

DEAR READER: That's a great idea, although some china needs to be hand-washed, which might lead to extra work. But go ahead and use all your pretty things. All too often we forget that we need to treat ourselves with as much care as we show our guests.

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]

Food on 11/06/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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