Hints from Heloise: Reader writes in with 3 hints

Dear Heloise >> First, I loved your hint about chocolate bloom! I was working at a Veterans Affairs building that day and took the paper with me. I was there all day in the reception area and had the paper folded, so your heading was at the top. Everybody kept asking, “What is chocolate bloom?” It was a wonderful conversation-starter that made my day run smoothly, so I wanted to personally thank you!

Next, I have three great hints from the mother of a rambunctious autistic adolescent with developmental disabilities:

1. How to safely remove a lightbulb that has broken while it’s still in the socket: Make sure the light is off and use a potato to safely unscrew it.

2.  My second hint is for beef stroganoff. Use 2 bouillon cubes and sour cream. Pour this over the strips of beef noodles for added flavor.

3.  Granulated sugar can turn into powdered sugar through the coffee grinder. Have a great day! Regards!

— Heather Cross

Dear Heloise >> I just read E.F.’s letter in the Ventura County Star. Mischievous eggshells can easily be tolerated if you remember: “Shell to shell.” I taught my granddaughter this when she started baking, and she still uses it.

If you get a piece of eggshell in your dish, gently take a larger piece of shell, and the two pieces will seek each other, almost like a magnet. Then just gently lift the piece out.

It works every time. Happy baking!

— Nancy Lukunich, Simi Valley

Dear Heloise >> I would like to add a couple of details to your good advice about maintaining bouquets. My daddy described flower stems as tubes of straws that draw water to the buds and petals. But when scissors are used, they pinch the straws, keeping water from getting through the stem. Air gets sucked up and ends up blocking the water flow.

Instead, I learned to use a sharp knife and cut on an angle underwater! Cutting underwater assures that the first “breath” the flower takes in is water, which makes them last much longer. And yes, it can be done every few days.

Thank you for your column!

— Joyce Spencer, Pasadena

Dear Heloise >> I recently received a phone call from the county auditor asking me if the property I live in and own is still a rental property.

I urge your readers to call their county auditor’s office to make sure that it is getting the proper tax credits so that they can reduce their property taxes.

And if you are at a certain age and a certain income level in my locality (not sure if this is just for Montgomery County in Ohio, Ohio as a whole, or maybe the entire nation?), the property owner can receive the Homestead Act tax credit as a strategy to reduce their taxes again.

— Dale, Dayton, Ohio

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

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