DEAR HELOISE: I wanted to share with the lady who made the same banana bread for 40 years and now it comes out different. I have been making the original recipe for chocolate chip cookies since I was 12 years old. Now I am 80, and for the past two years they weren’t coming out the same. I changed brands of butter, all types of things, and they came out real greasy. Finally, I figured out to try more flour. I added 1/4 cup more flour, and they are now the perfect cookies. I make many batches a month and take them to our police station. I take five different cookies, and the chocolate chip are their favorite. Thank you. — Linda Hustead, Sun City, Calif.
Paint lids sticking
DEAR HELOISE: When a gallon of paint has a small amount left, if left in the can, it gets thick or dries up, plus the lid gets stuck on from the paint drippings, or it rusts. My solution is to transfer the remaining paint to a small jar with a lid. Put two pieces of bread wrapper or similar material over the jar, under the lid. There is no paint between these two pieces, and as such, the lid opens easily, plus the paint doesn’t dry out from the extra air in the container. Mark the jar with the paint info and put a dab on the lid. — Elaine, Arlington, Ohio
VINEGAR TO THE RESCUE
If your barbecue grill has become covered with dirty gunk, just spritz a healthy amount of white vinegar over scrunched-up aluminum foil and give the grill a good scrub to clean off all the debris.
Vinegar is such an indispensable and safe household product that can be used for cleaning, deodorizing and cooking. To learn more uses, check out my pamphlet full of vinegar hints. Get one by visiting www.Heloise.com or by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (78 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: Glass shower doors covered with spots? To remove them, wipe with a sponge dipped in white vinegar. — Heloise
Scooping ice cream
DEAR HELOISE: It amazes me the complicated ways people scoop frozen ice cream. I have the simplest fix used in ice cream shops across America. Run hot water over a metal scooper, and problem solved! — Andy, Long Beach, Calif.
Newspaper sleeve usage
DEAR HELOISE: I have yet another hint for those newspaper sleeves. When painting a room, one must often wait four hours before applying a second coat. I slip the paint roller into a sleeve, squeeze out the air and seal with a twist tie. If leaving overnight, hang by the handle to avoid flattening the nap. If you need to wait days to use it again, pop it into the freezer and thaw before using. — Janet Lomax, via email