Use these substitutes in a pinch

Dear Heloise: I’m one of those people who always runs out of things. I start to make a cake and forget that I’m out of eggs. I go to make a dessert that calls for chocolate, only to discover there’s no chocolate in the house. I go to the grocery store and come home, having forgotten we’re out of paper towels!

Can you list some substitutes I can use when I run out of the ingredients I need? — Olivia A., Hastings, Nebraska

Olivia, here are some of the most common substitutes I get questions about:

— Baking powder: For every cup of regular flour, add 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt for taste, if desired. Do not make too much because this does not store well. It loses its potency.

— Buttermilk: Use yogurt in place of buttermilk with some baked goods.

— Sour cream: In a pinch, you can combine 6 ounces of cottage cheese and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix in a blender or a food processor until smooth.

— No celery for tuna or chicken salads? Use chopped coleslaw or minced water chestnuts.

— Need something to add as a filler with meatloaf? Try crushed croutons, crumbled potato chips, crackers or even broken pieces of pretzels.

— Out of flour? Try using pancake mix. Be sure to leave out baking powder or baking soda.

— Wine: If you’re out, or you don’t drink wine, try using apple juice instead.

— Unsweetened chocolate: Mix together 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of solid vegetable shortening.

I hope this list is of help to you. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: My husband loves to use a fountain pen, and he owns a couple of fountain pens that belonged to his grandfather. Unfortunately, both pens will leak at times. This evening, he discovered that one pen had leaked inside his shirt pocket and left a sizable stain. I have no idea how to get that stain out. The shirt is blue, so I don’t dare use bleach. What can I do? — Cheryl H., Peabody, Massachusetts

Cheryl, I have a tried-and-true method that is old, but it works well:

Soak the ink spot in warm milk before it has a chance to dry. For dry stains, rub them in table salt and dribble fresh lemon juice over the salt. Let sit for an hour, and afterward, wash as usual. You might have to repeat this process a second time if all the ink does not come out. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: My beautiful and very expensive white sheets look dingy. I don’t want to use bleach. What else can I use to whiten my sheets? — Maxine W., Metairie, Louisiana

Maxine, you can add a tablespoon of borax to the rinse water! Dissolve the borax in some hot water, then add it to the rinse water, unless your washing machine has a receptacle to put the borax in before you start your laundry. This will brighten up your whites. — Heloise

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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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