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Contacts in emergencies

Dear Heloise: Recently a friend of mine passed away, and thankfully, she left behind her address book with the names and numbers of her other friends and family. Having a cellphone that stores contact information is great, but not everyone has one. My friend didn’t, but her address book was on her desk in plain sight, making it possible for her family to be contacted. I would urge other people to be sure their contacts can be found easily in case of an emergency. — Lois in California

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

A LA WHAT?

Dear Heloise: I’m out of college now, in my first apartment and cooking for myself. I’ve found interesting recipes that I’d like to try, but I’m confused by certain terms that are used — for instance, “a la king,” “a la mode” and “al dente.” What do they mean? — Mike in Louisiana

Mike, “a la king” describes a recipe that is prepared in a rich cream sauce (chicken a la king being the most popular) with mushrooms, pimentos or green pepper. “A la mode” usually means “served with ice cream,” such as pie a la mode. “Al dente” is an Italian term for describing food that is cooked so it’s firm when bitten by the tooth (dente). It’s usually used in instructions for cooking pasta and rice. — Heloise

YELLOWING LINENS

Dear Heloise: My grandmother made a lovely Christening gown and I want to store it, but I’m so worried that it will yellow over time. Is there any way to prevent this from happening? — Meghan in Illinois

Meghan, to preserve this treasured heirloom, you must first have it dry cleaned to remove any stains, body oils, dirt or dust. Next, stuff the garment with acid-free tissue paper, then place sheets of the paper around and between the folds of the fabric.

Place the wrapped gown in a 100% cotton muslin garment bag and store in a cool, dry place. Never store in a plastic bin or bag, which can trap moisture. It’s also a good idea to check on it yearly to be sure the tissue paper is preventing the folds and creases form damaging the gown. Besides, how nice to bring back fond memories each year when you check on this beautiful garment. — Heloise

MAKING LIFE EASIER

Dear Heloise: Giving the elderly the following can make their lives much easier:

— Jar opener — pickle and jelly jars are very hard to open and require a grip some of us no longer have. A jar opener makes it easy.

— Pliers — a nice pair of pliers, both regular and needle nose, make opening small lids easy, ketchup, etc.

Here’s a hint for handling robo calls. Set your answering machine on two rings with a short message: “Leave a message.” Tell all your friends to talk and you will pick up; the robo callers will hang up; no more robo calls. — George Lewis, Boerne, Texas

JAR LABELS

Dear Heloise: Need to remove jar labels? Instead of soaking the glass jar, fill it with boiling hot water, set it in the sink (for safety reasons) and let it cool for 10 minutes. The label will peel off easily without a lot of scraping. Then I make a paste of baking soda and water to scrub off any remaining residue. — Janice in Wyoming

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