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DEAR HELOISE: Could you explain how pie plates are measured? I have some 9-inch pie plates, but they are definitely different sizes. Some have deeply angled sides, and some are not so steep. There's a difference in depth, too.

-- Mary Ann A., Nebraska

DEAR READER: A pie plate should be measured from the top of the inside edge of one side, across the middle, to the edge of the other side. Plates with sloped sides will be wider in width at the top than the bottom. Typically, a 9-inch pie plate will make an evenly baked crust with a fully cooked pie filling. Be sure to read your recipe for the required size.

DEAR HELOISE: Washing your rolling pin in hot, soapy water is great if it's a marble, plastic or wooden pin, but not if it's an aluminum rolling pin. I wasn't aware of the makeup of the interior of my aluminum rolling pin. Putting it in a dishpan of water after you've used it will surprise you. The interior of my pin ended up rusting where the rollers are. Thankfully, my mom replaced that pin, which she had given me when we were married, with a new aluminum rolling pin. Now I just use it, rinse it and wipe it off before putting it back in the drawer.

-- Cyndy, via email

DEAR READER: Thank you for this information. Kitchen tools are expensive enough, and it's always better to take care of these items rather than having to replace them.

DEAR HELOISE: What makes milk curdle in cream of tomato soup?

-- Neill, via email

DEAR READER: Tomatoes are acidic, and when you add milk or cream curdling can happen. You can try adding the milk slowly, in small amounts, when heating your soup.

DEAR HELOISE: Quick question: I had a bottle of green olives that were in my refrigerator for a few weeks (half-used), and today I went to use them and they have mold floating on the top. The expiration date is July 2020. They were stored in the door. Is this not a cold-enough place to keep them?

-- Kathy S., via email

DEAR READER: You're right that once a jar of olives is opened, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator. If you store them in the door of the fridge, there could be temperature variations. Heat and exposure to sunlight will have a disastrous effect on olives. You're better off storing your olives in the middle of your refrigerator.

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 02/12/2020

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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