Po­man­der for the hol­i­days

Star-Telegram - - Life & Arts - BY HELOISE King Fea­tures Syn­di­cate Heloise@Heloise.com

Dear Read­ers: One of my fa­vorite things about the hol­i­day sea­son is the rich fra­grances. I make my own po­man­der balls for or­na­ments or to hang in a closet or a guest bath­room. Here’s how:

Stick rows of whole cloves in an orange or ap­ple. Af­ter each piece of fruit is com­pletely cov­ered with cloves, al­low it to dry in a cool place for as long as pos­si­ble.

Af­ter the fruit has dried com­pletely, make a mix­ture of 1 part or­ris root (avail­able in drug­stores) and 1 part mixed spices, such as cin­na­mon, all­spice and nut­meg.

Coat the fruit with the spices and leave for two weeks. Shake off ex­cess spice, and tie each fruit with rib­bon, mak­ing a loop at the top for hang­ing. The fra­grance is phe­nom­e­nal!

– Heloise Dear Heloise: The GPS for my car asked for my home ad­dress. In­stead, I put the ad­dress of a dough­nut shop down the street into my GPS sys­tem. This way, I’m pro­tected if a thief steals my car and garage opener.

– Lisa T., Lub­bock, Texas Dear Heloise: Ev­ery time I make potato salad, the next day it is wa­tery.

– Bar­bara F., via email Bar­bara, cut up your pota­toes be­fore cook­ing them, and let them com­pletely cool off af­ter­ward be­fore adding dress­ing. Hot pota­toes give off steam and con­trib­ute to the wa­tery prob­lems. You also might con­sider us­ing rus­set pota­toes, as they tend to be drier. Don’t use a “light” may­on­naise, be­cause it usu­ally is thin­ner.

Dear Heloise: My mother gave me a cast iron skil­let that has rust spots on it. How can I clean it?

– Gwen­dolyn in Arkansas Use a non­metal­lic scrub­ber to re­move the rust, then wash with a mild soap, mak­ing sure to rinse well and dry with a clean towel. Re-sea­son the skil­let by coat­ing it (in­side and out) with an un­salted veg­etable short­en­ing. Place the greased skil­let up­side down on a foil­cov­ered bak­ing sheet and bake at 350 de­grees for one hour. Let cool, then re­move ex­cess grease with a pa­per towel.

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