Dear Heloise: I read with interest the letter from a woman who commented on a previous writer's letter about two elders reduced to looking for free meals to eat after a funeral service.
People should be more caring about the misfortune of others. I would have welcomed two strangers showing up who needed to eat at an event I sponsored. — William Hinton, Ruther Glen, Virginia
William, hunger among seniors in America is increasing, and some older adults have to skip meals or have smaller portions because they can't afford or can't prepare a proper meal. However, elderly people can contact Meals on Wheels (mealsonwheelsamerica.org). There also are local food banks and many churches that provide hot meals or know where a senior can get a decent meal. — Heloise
P.S. Meals on Wheels always welcomes financial donations.
Storage of veggies
Dear Heloise: How do you store (save) onions, potatoes and bananas? Cabbage and lettuce? I buy bananas for one week, and they turn brown and mushy! Waste! If I put them in the fridge, my family won't eat them cold and they still turn brown. — Eva M., Mount Airy, North Carolina
Eva, it's always best to buy fresh produce as you need it. However, if you want to store potatoes and onions, put them someplace dry, cool and preferably dark, but not the refrigerator. Cabbage and lettuce go in the refrigerator; uncooked cabbage should be placed in a plastic bag or plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator. Cooked cabbage keeps about three to four days.
Lettuce usually lasts five to seven days in the refrigerator. Remember, lettuce can harbor E. coli bacteria, so it's best eaten as soon as it's bought. Always wash your lettuce before using. Bananas are ripe when you begin to see little brown freckles on the yellow skins, usually five to seven days. That's when it's best to eat them. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Why does everything in my freezer seem to dry out? — Ella S., Klamath Falls, Oregon
Ella, keep your freezer at 0 degrees F. If the temperature fluctuates, it will cause frozen foods to lose their moisture faster, and they will become much drier and tough. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: As an interior designer, I warn people to avoid discoloring their kitchen flooring with scatter rugs that have rubber backings, especially on the no-wax flooring. The rubber will cause discoloration over a short period of time.
While scatter rugs in the kitchen look nice and add a pop of color, they can be dangerous if someone trips over the edge of the rug or if the rug is on a slippery floor. — Lana D. in Miami
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.