Dear Readers: Who has a MESSY REFRIGERATOR? It's time to get organized. Take everything out and put it on the counter. Now you can see what you have. Turn back to the fridge; it's time for a deep clean.
Spray the shelving, drawers and walls with a solution of 4 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with water. Wipe down with a clean cloth. Get in all the tight places -- cotton swabs may come in handy. Wipe dry with paper towels.
Throw away anything you don't need or recognize (ha-ha -- anything fuzzy). Combine those two open jars of pickles.
Now to restock. Avoid overstocking the fridge; the cold air needs to circulate. Keep milk and juices up front for easy access. Store tiny fruits like strawberries in a basket inside the fridge. -- Heloise
P.S. Where is the best place to store eggs? According to the American Egg Board (www.incredibleegg.org), keep eggs in their original container on a shelf in the fridge, not in the door. This keeps them insulated and protects them from cracking and absorbing other flavors.
LEVERAGING YOUR BAKING
Dear Heloise: My hint, which I have done for years: When stirring cookie dough, etc., I put the bowl in my sink, because with the leverage from being lower than my countertop, it makes it easier to stir with not so much effort.
An aside: If I'm adding something and it spills over the side of the bowl, it is easier to clean up. -- Sue W., via email
Dear Heloise: One effective way to treat bloodstains (even dried ones) is to saturate the stain with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. It may require a couple of applications. When the stain is gone, wash in cold water to remove the peroxide. -- Judy P., Boerne, Texas
Judy, you're on to one of my favorite low-cost cleaners! One caveat: Hydrogen peroxide may discolor fabrics; test in a hidden area first.
I've compiled a collection of my best clothing stain-busting hints and helps into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It's easy! Send a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Stain Guide, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. Besides the bloodstain cleaning formula, this pamphlet also contains hints on how to remove dozens of stains, including ink, candle wax, grass, mildew and those made by pets. -- Heloise
THAT'S A DIFFERENT ANGLE!
Dear Heloise: In a recent column you discussed removing the crusts of bread in sandwiches. Cutting a sandwich into four triangles results in the crust occurring along the base of each triangle. This way, it's easier to cut off those crusts. I enjoy reading your column in the Orange County (Calif.) Register. -- Bonnie K., Placentia, Calif.