The Dallas Morning News
The ideal way to slice home-baked bread
Dear Heloise: I’ve baked bread most of my adult life. I love the way it makes my house smell, and I know exactly what is in my food.
Two days ago, I made cinnamon bread, and my darling husband decided to cut a slice off. He started at the top, and I stopped him and explained that with fresh bread, you don’t cut from top to bottom.
You lay it on its side and cut from side to side with a serrated knife. Cut gently and slowly, so as not to squash the soft loaf.
Tula G., Amarillo Tula, baking homemade bread from scratch is becoming a lost art, but it really does make the house smell like a slice of heaven. The taste is also fresh and delicious. Thanks for your hint.
Dear Heloise: I just read the suggestion of the lady from Louisiana about using crib sheets to protect pet beds. I discovered a kingsized pillow would fit a largesized travel crate. That was my little doxie’s, Charlie, favorite place to nap in the daytime. Before I put it in the crate, I covered it with a waterproof pillow protector and put a pillowcase over that. I bought washable pillows. They lasted until he finally chewed a hole and started taking the stuffing out.
Glenda Duming, San Antonio
Dear Heloise: Regarding Michael Noll’s suggestion about always taking a house key when going outside as a safety precaution — that’s good advice, but please also remember to take your cellphone, too, if you don’t have an emergency call button. If you fall, you may not be able to get up, and then you will be at the mercy of the elements until someone sees you and comes to your aid. Sara R., Sebastian, Fla.
Dear Heloise: I recently found a good, safe method to remove stains from stainless (not really stainless) coffee cups, thermos bottles or carafes. It removes coffee or tea stains. Mix 1⁄2 a cup of hydrogen peroxide with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Put it in the thermos or carafe and let it sit for about a half an hour. It can be easily rinsed with hot water, and you don’t have to worry about using any toxic cleaners. Have a great day.
Dear Heloise: I recently received calls with automated messages from “Amy” every three days. I hung up each time. The fourth time, I had a response when she asked how I was doing. I said, “I just fell off the roof and am waiting for an ambulance.” I received absolute silence. She hasn’t called again. I am 79, and she was selling prepaid funeral plans.
Dear Heloise: I am losing my vision and could not figure out how to plug in my cellphone, tablet or ear phones. I bought some inexpensive nail polish in a variety of colors and put a dot on the correct side of the plug as well as a dot on the device so that I could tell where to plug it in.
I use different colors for different plugs, since each is a different size.
Dear Heloise: I like using reusable food storage bags to store leftovers, premade green smoothies and soup. I freeze the food in heavy duty storage bags. The bags take up less space and can be used over and over again.
Cleaning the bags is easy, but getting them to dry completely can be a challenge. I’ve tried different methods, but my favorite is to wipe out the inside with a clean, soft towel. Then I ball up a small, clean dish cloth and place it in the open bag to help the air circulate. By the next day, the bag is completely dry and ready for storage. I don’t worry about lingering moisture during storage.
Theresa V., Hamilton, Ohio