Dear Readers: One of the best foods you can eat is a pineapple. It’s high in vitamin C and contains a healthy amount of vitamin A, beta carotene, thiamine, vitamins B5 and B6, and folate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s antioxidant-rich, which boosts the body’s immune system. It’s believed that pineapple might help prevent certain cancers of the mouth, throat and breast. Add to all this the wonderful taste of pineapple and you have a healthy, tasty fruit, good any time of the day.
Dear Readers: Homemade soup stock is better than the store-bought kind, and there are no preservatives or added chemicals.
To make it, use bones cut off steaks and chops. Put them in a pot and cover with about 2 inches of water, then add herbs and spices. Simmer until it is reduced, then strain into ice cube trays and freeze. When you need to season a dish, just toss in an ice cube of homemade stock!
Defrosting in a microwave
Dear Heloise: My company repairs a lot of microwave ovens. There are a few things the public needs to remember:
• First, read the manual that came with your appliance. You never know what you might learn.
• When heating up anything, remove all twist-ties from bags. They have metal in them.
• Always place food on the flat glass tray that comes with the microwave.
• If your microwave has a “Defrost” setting, use it.
— Roger in Connecticut
The blender bonanza
Dear Heloise: Nearly everyone knows that a blender can make smoothies and other terrific drinks, but I also use my blender to mix up cake batter rather than mixing it by hand. It does a much better job than hand mixing, and in only a few minutes. I also use it to make quiche and to blend scrambled eggs before cooking. The cleanup is easy, and the mixing is less messy.
— Beryl D., Parkwood, Pennsylvania
Dear Heloise: I’m having a summer barbecue, and I’ve decided to hire a couple of responsible teens to help serve and clean up. It’s a good way for them to make a few extra dollars, and I’ll have more time to spend with my guests.
Of course, they are versed on giving the best service!
— Mike S. in Pennsylvania