DEAR READERS: Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Here are some hints for safely storing any leftover food from the big dinner with friends and family:
▪ Within two hours of eating, refrigerate or freeze all food items you plan on storing and eating later. If anything has been left out for more than two hours, throw it out.
▪ Take turkey or ham off the bone before storing. Divide leftovers into small portions so they cool more quickly, and place them in shallow, airtight containers.
▪ Cooked side dishes can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days (including mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy).
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▪ Make sure to heat leftover gravy to boiling before serving and eating again.
▪ If freezing leftovers, use within two to six months.
DEAR HELOISE: Regarding your column on donating unwanted trophies: For someone looking for ways to dispose of them, try your local bowling alley. They usually have physically challenged or youth leagues that could use them.
Dorothy G., via email
DEAR HELOISE: My friend and I sometimes help each other out by cleaning house together. It gets done faster, and there is someone to talk with! I load silverware into the dishwasher by putting the forks, spoons and knives mixed and evenly distributed, not nested together. She likes to keep the spoons, forks and knives together to make it easier to put away in the silverware drawer. So, does it make a difference?
Helena R. in New Jersey
DEAR HELENA: It is best to mix it up! If the utensils, especially spoons and forks, all are placed together, they don’t seem to get washed and rinsed well. Do put some handles down and others up so they don’t nestle or “spoon” together.
DEAR HELOISE: I purchased a stacked pill container that drug chains, dollar-type stores and other stores carry. They screw together to make a “tower.” I store my jewelry in the sections in my jewelry drawer. When we are ready to travel, I pick what I want to take, screw them together, toss them in my carry-on and am ready to go.
Karen M. in Florida
DEAR HELOISE: Unfortunately, I fell and broke a bone in my foot. The cast is helping, but what a pain in the neck. The worst part of the cast is trying to get comfortable in bed. One helpful hint I discovered very quickly was to put a pillowcase over the cast and tie it loosely below the knee. It makes moving your foot under the sheets so much easier, as the fabrics and fasteners don’t catch. This helps make for a much better night’s sleep.
Patti W. in California
DEAR HELOISE: I use the small plastic bags that hold extra buttons when purchasing new garments to store flower, vegetable and herb seeds that I have collected from my plants. Keeps them saved until the next year.
Jean in Cleveland, Texas
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.