HELP­FUL HINTS

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - HELOISE Send a money- or time-sav­ing hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San An­to­nio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

DEAR HELOISE: For fun fam­ily and friends times, we like to go pic­nick­ing. Here are some hints:

■ More than one cooler or bas­ket is an ab­so­lute must: a cooler for the cold food and drinks, a bas­ket for chips and snack foods, and a bas­ket or tote for ac­ces­sories (knives and forks, nap­kins, plates, blan­kets, games, etc.).

■ Only cold food goes in the cooler. Don’t ex­pect the cooler to cool foods; re­frig­er­ate them the night be­fore, and layer wrapped frozen meats with ice cubes in the cooler. Pack the cooler full to help keep it colder.

■ Don’t sear or pre­heat meats at home. Bac­te­ria can grow rapidly on food that is not cooked thor­oughly.

■ Grab those ex­tra condi­ment packs that have ac­cu­mu­lated from trips to quick-serve restau­rant.

■ Hot foods, in­clud­ing veg­eta­bles, should be eaten within two hours of prepa­ra­tion.

■ Don’t for­get to have fun. Leave the elec­tron­ics turned off, and grab a foot­ball, deck of cards or board games. Time to make some mem­o­ries.

— Tracey D. in Alabama

DEAR HELOISE: When I was adopt­ing my dog at the shel­ter, my adop­tion coun­selor re­minded me that I am sav­ing two lives: I’m tak­ing home my new fam­ily mem­ber, and I’m mak­ing space in the shel­ter so they can save an­other an­i­mal. My mantra is: #Adop­tDon­tShop!

— Car­rie R. in San An­to­nio

DEAR HELOISE: I want to keep some of your hints to ref­er­ence later.

To hold your col­umn un­til I’m ready to “lam­i­nate” (with tape) the front side, I lay the back side of the news­pa­per col­umn against the sticky side of leakproof seal­ing wrap. Then I cover the front side of the ar­ti­cle with the clear pack­ag­ing tape.

Now I can cut it out and tape it to the fridge, mi­crowave, a note­book or wher­ever I want, and it is pro­tected.

— Jackie in Cal­i­for­nia

DEAR HELOISE: There’s no need to slice your­self in­stead of your bagel. Lay the bagel flat, cut first down­ward so that you have two semi-cir­cles. Then stand each half-bagel on its flat cut and slice down­ward again.

Four per­fect quar­ter-bagels that still fit in the toaster. If you then in­sist on hav­ing cir­cles again, just spackle the pieces to­gether with a lit­tle ex­tra cream cheese.

— Neil S., Falls Church, Va.

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