DEAR HELOISE: Instead of scraping the jar for that last bit of peanut butter, I stick the jar in the microwave for a few seconds, allowing the “dregs” to reach a very soft to liquid stage. Timing depends on the amount left in the jar, so keep an eye on it.
I mix the softened peanut butter into pancake batter. Even 1 or 2 tablespoons adds noticeable flavor. I also use this mixture to make “poor man’s crepes,” spreading them with a thin layer of jam or jelly.
Betsy S., Fredericksburg, Va.
DEAR BETSY: Poor man, rich man, old man, young man (and gals) – this sounds delicious to me. I make “peanut-butter milk” by pouring some low-fat milk into what’s left in the jar. I add a teaspoon of honey and a dash of cinnamon. Add some ice, and I’m set.
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DEAR HELOISE: Once again, I am going to have to toss a batch of turnip greens. Although I rinsed and drained them thoroughly, some sand or grit remained. Do you have any hints for this problem?
Karen C., Clinton, Miss.
DEAR KAREN: Don’t throw out the greens just yet. Washing (rinsing, really, since you don’t use soap) turnip greens can take some time. But they are worth it when you are eating them along with a slice of cornbread and a cut-up red, ripe tomato. Fill the sink or a very large pot with cold water. You should cut up the greens first, removing the stems and ribs. Let them soak a short while, then rinse thoroughly to remove all of the grit. Do repeat this process a few times to get out all of the sand and grit. Some folks add a glug or two of vinegar to the water – they say it helps release the grit.
DEAR HELOISE: Many recipes I want to try call for fresh minced parsley. I hate buying a bunch for just a couple of teaspoons or tablespoons full.
Now I get one bunch of parsley. I pull the leaves off and place them, about a cup at a time, in the mini food chopper. I put them into a section of an ice-cube tray and add cold water to cover. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and store in a plastic, zipper-top bag in the freezer. When needed, take out one or two cubes and place them in a strainer over a cup to thaw.
John C., via email
DEAR HELOISE: Whenever I am almost finished with a 2-liter bottle of soda, I place another one behind it in the refrigerator. When I finish the first one, there is another that is cold and ready.
Arlene in Texas
DEAR HELOISE: Use old, pretty table napkins as dish-drying towels. They work great on dishes and stemware, and are easy to wash.
Donna D. in California
DEAR HELOISE: I cut my family’s hair at home and bought a shower-curtain liner to put on the floor under the chair. Works great! I just shake it outside and fold it up for next time. Also makes a cheap dropcloth for painting.
Barb W. in Baltimore, Ohio
DEAR HELOISE: I bought a couple of frozen things, but remembered I had other errands to run before I could go home. I had a used big envelope lined with padding in my car. I put the frozen items in and folded the top over. It worked great as an impromptu insulator.
Mark B., Waco, Texas
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.