Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Every Housewife's Friend

You may already be familiar with Heloise. Her "Hints from Heloise" column is syndicated daily in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and internationally.

She's also a contributing editor at Good Housekeeping.

The original Heloise began dispensing household in the 50s and published her first book, "Heloise's Housekeeping Hints" in 1962. Yes, that's her with President Richard Nixon.

When Heloise died on December 28, 1977, her tombstone read, "Heloise, Every Housewife's Friend." Following Heloise's death, her daughter took over as "Heloise."

I recently became acquainted with Heloise's work when I happened upon a used edition of "Heloise from A to Z" at a stoop sale. I couldn't pass it up for $1. Plus, it's a large print edition, so I don't even have to strain my eyes to read it.

The book provides helpful hints in alphabetical order -- from Abrasive Cleaners to Water Bed. You can turn to looking for answers to specific questions or you can do what I did and read it before bed.

Here are some household hints that I found particularly helpful:

To roast almonds in the microwave

1. Toss almonds with oil to coat them lightly. Arrange them in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate.
2. Heat on full power for two minutes. Toss again and let rest one minute. Heat two minutes longer, until almonds are golden brown.
3. Drain and cool on paper towels.

How to make your own glass cleaner

Mix 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol, 2 ounces of non-sudsing ammonia, and 12 ounces of water and store in a clean, clearly marked spray bottle.

The book is pretty comprehensive. Heloise even gives doles out advice on how to curb dog car sickness (take your dog on 15 minutes trip every other day and then increase the time gradually) and how to use the last bit of jelly in the jar (add milk and shake vigorously and you'll have a fruity shake).

That Heloise thinks of everything!


Bernie Bernstein said...

It's Me, Mom - I especially liked the one about curing your dog of car sickness. Our dog, Gracie, doesn't get car sick, but if you had a car you could try it with your daughter, Ruby. It might work and you wouldn't have to keep plastic bags in our car.

Muffy Sainte-Marie said...

My mother used to be a Heloise! She was the 'Answer Lady' for many years at the Vancouver Sun. I grew up cleaning copper with ketchup, scrubbing crayon from walls with toothpaste, and pouring white wine on red wine stains...check it out: