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Dear Readers: With the coming holidays, many of you will be doing some deep cleaning as you get ready for guests and parties. It’s so easy to overlook stains in our busy, everyday lives because we promise ourselves that we’ll get to it later on when we have time.

But with a home, a career, children, pets, shopping, laundry and much more, it’s hard to take time to tackle those stains on the carpet, sofa, chairs and clothing. It’s also hard to get stains out without ruining items around the house or office. Luckily, I have a pamphlet that makes life a little bit easier.

For a limited time, you can order my pamphlet “Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing” and receive a free copy of my “Heloise’s Main Dishes” pamphlet. To take advantage of this offer, you can go to www.Heloise.com. Your free copy of “Main Dishes” will arrive along with the “Stain Guide.” You’ll love having both of these pamphlets at your fingertips. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: For some reason, my husband is convinced himself that lemons are bad for people to consume. I believe he got this from his mother who hates them. I cook with lemons and enjoy lemon pie, and unless my husband starts making dinner, I’ll continue to use them in my recipes. Is there some way I can show him how healthy lemons can be? — Kayla T., Midland, Texas

Kayla, let’s look at the nutritional information first. Lemons contain flavonoids, which have antibacterial and anticancer properties. Like most other citrus fruit, lemons also contain phytochemicals that benefit your health. Some of these include vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and pectin.

The average lemon has around 10.7 calories and only 3.31 grams of carbohydrates. In addition to this, lemons also contain thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. The juice of a lemon can be sprinkled over salad or added to cooked vegetables, such as asparagus or broccoli, for additional flavor.

If you have a sore throat, you can try the age-old remedy of lemon juice, tea and honey to help soothe the tenderness in your throat.

Lemons are very useful, and although your husband may not like them, he might develop a taste for them over time. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I love an afternoon tea break and prefer to use a tea ball and some loose tea rather than a tea bag. Over time, I have acquired several tea balls, and one day, it occurred to me that I could use them to add more flavor to my soups, stews, chili and a few other dishes. So, I started placing things like peppercorns, bay leaves and a few other spices in a couple of tea balls and sinking them into food while it cooks.

Sometimes I’ll have as many as four tea balls over the side of a pot or pan. I can remove them before serving dinner, and no one ends up chewing on a peppercorn or a bay leaf. It’s such an easy way to add flavor to my cooking. — Shiela B., Shelton, Washington


Dear Heloise: Getting the water out of a fresh pumpkin was a problem for me. Then I figured out this solution:

After draining the cooked pumpkin in a strainer, I got out my salad spinner. I placed a small amount in the spinner at a time and process it as I would with salad. It works great! — C.G., in Ohio

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.


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