2005-08-11 / Arts & Entertainment

Ask BETTY

Dear Betty,

My friend said it’s not a good idea to make sun tea. Is she right?

Chico, Calif.

Your friend is on the right track. Using the sun’s rays to heat the water to brew tea is a slow process. It creates a warm environment perfect for bacteria to multiply. Boiling water is best because it kills any bacteria.

Dear Betty,

What’s the best way to carry a slow cooker to a picnic?

Nevis, Minn.

No one wants a spilled slow cooker in the back seat! You can keep the lid in place by stretching rubber bands across the handles and over the lid. Insulate the cooker by wrapping it in newspaper or a kitchen towel, then set it on the floor in a box for extra stability. Or, place the cooker in a soft-sided insulated cooler.

Dear Betty,

My sister and I can’t agree. Are you supposed to store tomatoes in the refrigerator or not?

New Berlin, Pa.

You’re both right. Fresh, ripe tomatoes retain their best flavor and texture if stored at room temperature for up to three days. After that, they need to go in the fridge. But once you’ve cut a tomato, you should wrap it in plastic wrap or waxed paper and store in the fridge.

Betty Crocker

Want more ideas? www.BettyCrocker.com

Questions? 1-888-ASK BETTY

Timely Tips

EXTRA SECURITY - After in-stalling a window lock, drip some solder onto the screw heads. That will stop a burglar from unscrewing the lock after cutting a small hole in the window pane. Larry B.

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MONEY SAVER - Most of the time, the cheap brand is just as good as the name brand, minus the fancy label of course. If you are buying the cheap brand for an ingredient in a home-cooked meal, I don’t think you or your family can tell the difference. Lisa J.

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TRACK IT - Use hydrogen peroxide in shower door tracks to loosen the hardened soap scum. When it bubbles up, run a cotton swab along the track and flush with a glass of water. You’ll be surprised how well this works. Amanda D.

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ALL STEAMED UP! - Wipe a little glycerin (available in drug stores) on windows and bathroom mirrors and wipe with a soft cloth to keep them from steaming up. Also, if you have a fan in the ceiling, run that while filling the tub or taking a shower. They won’t steam up. Ellen M.

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REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE - It is good to move your furniture from time to time to change the traffic pattern in your house. Your carpet is worn down more quickly where people walk. Jan E.

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FILL IT UP - If you have a hole or cracks in the wall, fill them with news-paper or steel wool before finishing off with plaster. Frank B.

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CLEAN DOLLIES - Do your daughters ever get ink on the faces of their dolls? Try this: Peanut butter will remove ink from the faces of dolls. I learned this trick when I was a little girl, and there was a “doll hospital” on our street! Dorothy V.

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GREASE AWAY - Keep a small plastic bag in your can of vegetable shortening. When you’re baking or need a pan greased, just slip your hand in the bag, scoop out what you need, and spread it on the pan. Alicia M.

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HOME SWEET HOME - Add a few drops of vanilla to the water of your humidifier to add a sweet fragrance to your home. Gloria M.

Share your special Timely Tip with our readers. Send it to Kate c/o DBR Media, Inc., P.O. Box 21, Hopewell Jct., NY 12533, or e-mail:deckert@dbrmedia.com

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