Hints from Heloise: How to clean soot from fireplace glass – Kingsport Times News

Dear Heloise: In a recent article, a reader said she had a problem with soot removal on fireplace glass. I spent 32 years as a chimney sweep. Do not wet the ashes and rub on the windows. This is a soft abrasive, and you will blemish the glass. A better way is to clean the windows as best as possible (or when they are new) and then squirt some household detergent on the INSIDE of the glass and let it dry. This will create a soap film on the glass, and as the soot and residue cake on the glass, it can be removed easily with a wet paper towel. Then reapply the detergent. Hope this helps. — Bill Klein, via email
Dear Heloise: A suggestion: Write the receipt date and customer service number (tech assistance) on the user’s manual when you receive any new item. Also, take a picture on your phone for the record. This will save hassle time when you need the information. — W. in Valparaiso, Indiana
Dear Heloise: We love shrimp. They are great when you do stir-fry, gumbo or wrap them in bacon. Several years ago someone told me to get a quart-size freezer bag, put about 10-12 shrimp in it. Fill the bag full with enough water to cover the shrimp. Then burp out the air in the bag. You’ll have a freezer bag that looks like a water bladder with shrimp in it. Put this bag in the freezer for long-term keeping. I have kept shrimp up to eight months without any problem. I just run warm water over it and into the bag to defrost the shrimp and enjoy them. — Doyle H. in Houston, Texas
Dear Heloise: I bought a birthday card for each of my children every year and wrote them a quick note stating their likes, friends, hobbies and a few anecdotes. It took 5 minutes once a year. I put the cards in a shoe box in my closet. When each child turned 18, I presented them with a history of their childhood. It meant so very much to them. — Nancy, via email
Dear Heloise: Whenever I purchase spices, herbs and condiments, somewhere on the packaging I write on it with a permanent marker the date I opened it. Marking the date helps keep track of when to toss and replace the items with new, fresher ones. — Nancy O. in San Antonio, Texas
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Dear Heloise: My kids love it when their hamburger patties are round and not misshaped. Frankly, so do I. I take a large can of peaches and clean the bottom, then press it into the hamburger meat. It leaves an impression, which I cut around, and I have a nice round hamburger. — Cathy W. in Parma, Ohio
Dear Heloise: My strawberries always seem mushy after I wash and put them in the refrigerator. Am I doing something wrong? — Victoria C. in Florence, Alabama
Victoria, don’t wash your berries before refrigerating them. Store them in a colander or plastic woven basket so that air can circulate around the berries.
But be sure to wash them before eating them. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Is there some way I can keep my vegetables from looking pale or faded out while they’re cooking? — Edna L. in Emporia, Kansas
Edna, yes there is. For greener or more colorful carrots, etc., just add a little vinegar to the water while they are cooking.
And, as a bonus, this will cut down on odors, too! — Heloise
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