Dear Heloise: I have been reading your column in the Mining Journal, in Marquette, Michigan, for many years. In a recent column, someone was asking about storing fresh ginger.
I found a tip in a magazine years ago that suggested storing it in a large glass jar, submerging it in sherry or white wine and keeping in the refrigerator. You can cut or grate off ginger as needed, toss it back in the jar and then put it back in the refrigerator. It will last for months. -- Janice R., Marquette, Michigan
Janice, that is a great hint! I've never heard of storing ginger like that before, but I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for this idea! -- Heloise
San Antonio, TX 78279-5001
Dear Heloise: Summer is not that far away, and many people will be drinking from soda and beer cans. Please advise them to find a way to wash the top of that can before taking a drink. Those cans are stored in warehouses where there are rats and insects that can, and do, crawl across the top of the cans.
Then, the cans are handled by people who do not wash their hands while loading and unloading the cans. It's all too easy to get sick if you don't properly clean the top and edge of cans before drinking from them. -- Grace P., Fontana, California
Dear Heloise: I got a new microwave oven last week and it was beautiful and worked like a charm. Then, my son came home for a visit and used it to heat up a few things. Now, I have a messy microwave, and I'm nervous about cleaning it. I don't want to harm the interior, so how can I clean the inside to remove the reheated coffee and spilled sauces? -- Lynette D., Gadsden, Alabama
Lynette, I have an easy and quick way to remove odors and spilled food. First, mix about 2 tablespoons of baking soda into 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Place inside the microwave oven and turn it on high for about 2 to 3 minutes. The water should be boiling and producing steam, which will loosen up anything stuck in there.
Then, take a wet sponge or soft cloth and wipe out the interior. If anything is stubborn and won't come off, use a little baking soda on a damp sponge and gently scrub in a circular motion.
Baking soda has so many uses for cleaning and deodorizing that I had to list a number of them and even a few recipes in my pamphlet "Heloise's Baking Soda Hints and Recipes." (Did you know the Lady Liberty's interior was cleaned with baking soda?) To get a copy of this useful pamphlet, go to www.Heloise.com or send $5 along with a stamped, self-addressed, long envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
You'll enjoy this economical, easy-to-understand pamphlet and the many uses for baking soda. It also works great as a little gift to a new neighbor or a housewarming party, or even tucked into another kitchen item that's also being gifted. -- Heloise