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A remedy for burnt popcorn smell

King Features Syndicate

DEAR HELOISE: I love making popcorn, but if it burns, the smell lingers for days in the microwave. How can I make the smell go away? My dorm mates will be happy. — A college student, via e-mail

College students aren’t the only ones who have experienced what I call that awful, lingering smell that tells. It can make the microwave and room stink to high heaven.

Here’s the remedy: Fill a large (at least 4-cup) microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup water and sprinkle in your favorite spice — like cloves or cinnamon — several drops of vanilla extract or 1/4 cup white household vinegar. Bring to a boil. Let it sit inside the microwave for 10 to 15 minutes to allow it to cool down. (Don’t open the door early.) Then wipe the walls down with paper towels. Leave the door open to further air it out. — Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: I keep my metal nutcracker in my kitchen drawer so it is handy to open juice containers, water bottles or any screw cap for the first time. Easy!

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I keep recipes in a metal box. When I make something, I use the plastic card holder found in flower bouquets. I put it in the place where I take out the recipe. It holds the recipe, and then I can put the recipe back in the same place. — Cecilia Morgan, Buena Park, Calif.

DEAR HELOISE: I pulled carrots out of the fridge one day, only to find them limp. Not wanting to toss them, I chopped them in half and immersed them in a bowl of water on the counter overnight. Voila — crispy carrots.

You can rejuvenate starchy veggies by cubing them and soaking for a few hours, and leafy veggies like cilantro by cutting off the tips of the stems and sticking them in a vase like flowers — don’t let the leaves fall in the water.

Even lettuce can be perked up by slicing off the base and putting the cut part in water for a couple of hours. — Helen N., Riverside, Calif.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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