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COL Weight of keys can damage ignition

King Features Syndicate

Dear Heloise: I recently had to have my ignition replaced in my truck and previously in my first car. The reason: too many keys on my key rings. My mechanic reminded me that too much weight hanging from your ignition key can eventually cause the tumblers to fail. I purchased a clip so that I can slide off the keys for the particular vehicle I'm driving, limiting any additional weight. -- Cristina, Deale, Md.

Dear Heloise: The other day, while my mother and I were baking a chocolate cake, I mentioned that I hate when the white flour sticks to the bottom of the cake. Mom said she could solve that, so she used cocoa powder on the bottom of the cake pan in place of the flour. When we cut the cake, there was no ugly white sediment. -- Rebecca in Houston

Dear Heloise: My husband and I like an occasional breakfast of bacon and eggs, but we usually only use four to six strips out of the package, and the rest would go bad before we used it. I finally found the solution. When opening a new package of bacon, I remove each strip and lay the strips side by side on wax paper, cover them with another piece of wax paper, press down, then put it in the freezer. It's so easy to take out what we want, and the rest never goes bad. -- Becky, Iowa City, Iowa

Dear Heloise: Here's how I make mashed potatoes: Instead of putting all milk into the mashed potatoes, I thin out a can of condensed celery soup or mushroom soup and mix it with some milk, using just enough milk to be able to pour the mixture. I whip it into the potatoes, and voila! -- mashed potatoes with a distinct and delicious flavor. If you're dieting, you can skip the butter -- you won't miss it. -- Rita, New York City

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DEAR HELOISE: I was just reading an article about the proper way to store wineglasses. I always stored them with the stems up. But I have recently been reading about wine, and most wine guides will tell you to store them with the stem down so that stale air, etc., doesn't get trapped in the glass and give it another odor prior to pouring in your wine. -- Carolyn Russett, Hyannis, Mass.

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We double-checked with several crystal experts, and there seems to be a great debate, but most agree that the glasses should be stored upright (stem down) in a cupboard or cabinet, and the area should be free from any odor, as you mentioned.

Another suggestion was to hang the glasses from a wooden wine rack. But if you use them often, placing them with the bowl upright is really best. I have several lined shelves of wineglasses that are seldom used -- so I alternate up, down, up to save space. It's up to you. -- Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: Here are a couple of other uses for a tackle box. We use these ideas and keep the boxes in the trunk of our car:

First-aid kit -- stocked with emergency items and marked with a big red cross.

Auto tool kit -- stocked with tools, tape for hoses, etc.

Use to store craft supplies, like beads, sequins, etc.

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Use on a bathroom vanity to hold a multitude of makeup bottles, etc. -- Jackie, Texas

Heloise shares household tips from readers. Send a money- or time-saving hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise.com.

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