DEAR HELOISE: My kids love it when their hamburger patties are round and not misshaped. Frankly, so do I. I take a large can of peaches and clean the bottom, then press it into the hamburger meat. It leaves an impression, which I cut around, and I have a nice round hamburger.
— Cathy W., Parma, Ohio
DEAR HELOISE: Would you repeat your War Cake recipe? My husband loves it, but I misplaced the recipe.
— Paula D., Royal Oak, Mich.
DEAR READER: I get so many requests for this recipe from people who love the fact that there are no eggs in it. It’s quick and easy to make.
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups plus 1 teaspoon hot water, divided use
2 teaspoons shortening
¾ cup raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a medium to large size saucepan, mix together brown sugar, 2 cups hot water and shortening. Add raisins, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Boil for 5 minutes after the mixture begins to bubble.
When the mixture is cold (and it must be cold), add flour and baking soda that has been dissolved in 1 teaspoon of hot water. Mix well.
Pour into a greased and floured tube or Bundt pan and bake for at least 1 hour.
To test if a cake is done, insert a toothpick or knife in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If there is moist cake batter stuck to the toothpick, it needs a little more time in the oven.
DEAR HELOISE: My strawberries always seem mushy after I wash and put them in the refrigerator. Am I doing something wrong?
— Victoria C., Florence, Ala.
DEAR READER: Don’t wash your berries before refrigerating them. Store them in a colander or plastic woven basket so that air can circulate around the berries. But be sure to wash them before eating them.
DEAR HELOISE: Is there some way I can keep my vegetables from looking pale or faded out while they’re cooking?
— Edna L., Emporia, Kan.
DEAR READER: Yes there is. For greener or more colorful carrots, etc., just add a little vinegar to the water while they are cooking. And, as a bonus, this will cut down on odors, too.
DEAR HELOISE: Whenever I make waffles it seems that I make way too much batter. I hate wasting food like that, but I usually end up throwing out the rest of the batter. Any hints for me to make less or to save the batter?
— Lillian D., Fall River, Mass.
DEAR READER: Continue to make waffles with the extra waffle batter, then freeze the leftover waffles. Just heat them up the next morning in a toaster.
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email