Hints from Heloise: Supermarket smart

Dear Heloise: My husband is the manager of a large supermarket, and he believes we all must be “SUPERMARKET SMART” to get the most for our money. Here are some things your readers may not know:

▪  If you find large ice crystals on the outside of packaged frozen foods, it means the items were thawed and then refrozen. Never purchase this type of product.

▪  Jars that are sticky on the sides may have been opened or sampled, but no matter what, don’t buy an item if it’s sticky on the outside.

▪  When buying fruits or vegetables, remember that it’s the heaviest, not necessarily the largest, that are the best value for your money.

▪  Don’t be afraid to return an item. If it doesn’t meet your expectations or the manufacturer’s promises, return it.

— Laura O., Lakeland, Fla.

Did you know?

Dear Readers:

▪  After boiling potatoes, save the water to polish silver. Put a dish towel on the bottom of the pot to protect the silver, then place your silver items in the tepid water.

▪  Stung by a jellyfish? Use meat tenderizer to relieve the pain. Mix 1/2 teaspoon with 1 teaspoon water and apply. This also works on tick and bug bites.

▪  Baking powder will keep its full strength for about one year.

— Heloise

Salmon steak recipe

Dear Heloise: Here is my favorite salmon recipe. It’s so easy, and the salmon takes on a nice flavor without a strong “fishy” taste:

▪  4 to 6 salmon steaks

▪  1 cup dry white wine

▪  Juice of one lemon (at room temperature)

▪  2 tablespoons olive oil

▪  1 tablespoon capers

Combine all ingredients in a glass baking pan, and marinate the salmon steaks for 30 minutes, turning the salmon once so both sides are coated. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. Do not overcook. -- Norma R., Salem, Ore.

Norma, sounds yummy! If you’re looking for additional dishes to serve your family and guests, I have ones both my mother and I have used for years. You’ll find Heloise’s Main Dishes and More pamphlet that you can buy at my website,, or you can send a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, business-size envelope, along with $3, to: Heloise/ Main Dishes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. It’s always nice to have a few new dishes to serve to your company to excite the palate. — Heloise

Vine-ripened tomatoes

Dear Heloise: No matter what you’re cooking, nothing tastes as good as food prepared from garden-fresh produce that you grow yourself, especially tomatoes. I grow several plants, and what I don’t use, I give away to family and friends, because they love vine-ripened tomatoes. — Theresa C., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Dirt gelatin

Dear Heloise: This has always worked for me. Take 1 tablespoon of dessert gelatin and add to a gallon of water. Mix well and pour over the dirt in your garden. The gelatin helps plants hold water, and the organisms in the dirt are fed by the sugar. -- Lillian D., Bellflower, Calif.