DEAR HELOISE: What is the difference between fiber and roughage? I know it's important to get both, but they seem the same to me.
Zach K. In Florida
DEAR ZACH: What a great question. The answer is that they are and they aren't.
Dietary fiber and roughage are pretty much the same thing. But there are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber is jellylike and dissolves in water. The flesh of fruits and vegetables (no skin) is soluble, as are oats and beans.
Insoluble fiber is "roughage." It's what keeps your digestive system moving. It's found in the skin of fruits and vegetables, and in whole wheat and nuts.
Both types of fiber are important to your good health. Fiber can help lower cholesterol and it aids in digestion.
An apple a day (skin and all) really can keep the doctor away.
But don't go overboard all at once. Add a little fiber to your diet slowly and your body will thank you.
Also, read labels and you will be able to see how much fiber is in a serving.
DEAR HELOISE: I have a cake recipe that I make to bring to a lot of functions. It has a glaze-type frosting that is poured over the top. It usually drips down and pools around the cake on the platter. I end up having to try to clean it up before serving.
After I cut out wax paper to line the cake pans, I save the outer scraps. I put them down around the cake and on the platter. When done glazing and the glaze has finished dripping down, I just remove the wax paper and throw it away.
The platter stays clean and without drips!
DEAR HELOISE: I bake just about every day. My favorite things to bake are pies and cookies. Most of them are rolled out.
I buy about a yard of cheap muslin and cut four pieces to use for rolling out these goodies. It saves a lot of money instead of buying a special cloth for rolling.
Once it gets a little bit soiled, I just throw it away and go to the next piece. I store the cloth I am working with in a plastic storage bag and keep it on a shelf in the pantry.
DEAR HELOISE: I have a suggestion about taking food to grieving families: I go to the local meat market or deli and have individual sandwiches made and wrapped. This way, the food is ready for hungry folks, but with no mess or preparation. This is especially appreciated when there are children involved.
DEAR READERS: Most of us own a vegetable peeler, but did you know that it is not just for vegetables? A peeler is used for carrots, cucumbers and potatoes, but it also is great for shaving chocolate, butter and slices of cheese.
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.