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DEAR HELOISE: There are so many simple kitchen ideas that people don't know about, such as the following:

  1. Use a spoon when you want to peel ginger. Just scrape the edge along the outside of the ginger, and it'll come off easily.

  2. Got soups and stews you want to freeze? Get freezer bags in individual portion sizes, and place the stews, soups, etc., in the bags, then lay the bags flat in the freezer, stacking them on top of each other. This saves space in your freezer.

  3. Got extra stock you want to save? Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. After it's frozen solid, pop out the cubes and store in a large freezer bag.

  4. When slicing meat to use in a stir-fry, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. It'll be much eater to slice.

-- Sandra in New York

DEAR HELOISE: I used to have a pamphlet on your vinegar suggestions and uses, but I lost it when we moved. Can I still get a copy?

-- Jean in South Carolina

DEAR READER: To get one, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at In this pamphlet you'll not only find cleaning and deodorizing hints, but also cooking hints, such as if you're boiling potatoes, put 1/4 cup vinegar in the water to prevent the pan from turning dark.

-- Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: In a recent column, I noted that your response about moist cakes did not include my late wife's "secret" that she learned from someone years ago. Actually, it was no secret at all, as I witnessed her over the years sharing it with many others who complimented her very moist cakes. Numerous times the ingredient was on the shopping list when I went out for our groceries. If I'm not mistaken, simply substitute the oil in a recipe with the same amount of applesauce. My wife would have loved sharing this with you.

-- Greg P., California

DEAR HELOISE: When we come home from a trip, we unload suitcases in the garage so I can give them a good wipe-down, especially the wheels. You wouldn't believe how black the towel gets. I also unload the dirty clothes right into the laundry room.

-- An Avid Reader,

The Villages, Fla.

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 01/08/2020

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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