The Record (Troy, NY)

Test your home security systems

- Write to Heloise at P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; Fax 210-HELOISE; or email Heloise@

DEAR HELOISE » I’ve been reading your column for many years. I learned something the other day that I believe will be interestin­g to Heloise readers. Like many others, I have a home security system that, when armed, calls a central office if a door is opened or a window is broken. You are supposed to test the system on a regular basis by arming it, then opening a door or window, and allowing the screaming alarm to sound for 60 seconds. You should first call the central office to set up the test, and then call them back to see if they were notified.

I ran a test, but it was a failure, so now I need a repair. I don’t even know how long I was without protection, since I couldn’t remember the last time I had run the test.

— Dale Allen, Greenville, Texas

Cream soup recipe

DEAR HELOISE » The cream soup recipe that you put in the paper has been a lifesaver for my dad. He has celiac disease, and it has always been hard to find gluten-free soups. I was given this recipe, and now I make multiple bags, with informatio­n on how to mix up the soup.

My parents have helpers who assist in taking care of them, and they also use this as a gluten-free gravy.

— Kimmie Dore

Dirty pet food dishes

DEAR READERS » If your pet leaves bits of uneaten dog food that dries and sticks to the food dish, rinse with water and scrub until it’s clean. Then, to prevent this sticky problem, spray the dish with non-flavored, nonstick spray before putting food back into it. Cleaning will be much easier.

Olive nut sandwich spread

DEAR READERS » Olive nut is one of my favorite spreads on sandwiches, and it’s a fast sandwich to make. Try it out:

6 ounces softened regular or low-fat cream cheese

½ cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise

½ cup chopped pecans

1 cup sliced salad olives (jar will say “salad olives” and is filled with bits and pieces of olives and pimientos)

2 tablespoon­s olive liquid from the olive jar

Dash of pepper, but no salt Mix all the ingredient­s well. You can keep this spread in the fridge for weeks.

Glasses stuck together?

DEAR READERS » It’s so easy to stack up glasses after dinner and put them in the sink. Then, when you go to grab them, they are all stuck together. Here’s how to unstick them without breaking them:

Put ice cubes in the top glass and dip the bottom glass into warm to hot water. Let them sit for a bit. Then, gently pull them apart and wash as you normally do.

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