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Dear Heloise: Do you have to refrigerate mustard after opening it? I would prefer mine at room temperature.

Jim D. in Nebraska No, you don't! And I'm with you about the temperature. Commercial mustard does not contain anything that might spoil. However, manufacturers still suggest refrigerating specialty mustards, like Dijon or horseradish-style, for best taste, but they still will not spoil if left out.


Dear Heloise: I am a native Texan and resident of Spring, Texas. I enjoy the columns in the Houston Chronicle and recall my father-in-law reading your mother's column for many years — he swore by her guidance.

1 recently bought biscuit mix and club soda to prepare those terrific pancakes from your mom — but now I cannot locate the recipe. Please reprint it so we can once again enjoy their great taste and fluffy texture.

Sandy B., Spring, Texas

Sandy, how nice, and thanks for the kind words. It always makes me smile when someone mentions a hint that was learned from my mother's (the original Heloise, 1919-1977) column.


Gather these ingredients:

2 cups biscuit mix 1 egg

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups club soda

In a large bowl, mix the ingredients with a large spoon. Do not overmix! Cook immediately, or the mix will go flat. Delicious waffles are on the way!


P.S.: Make two batches, and freeze one for a morning when you don't want to fuss!


Dear Readers: A recent column asked for hints about uses for tea balls. Here are a few: Marian Ballard, via email, said: "Though I do occasionally use a tea ball, I have two. I fill one with cinnamon or a cinnamon-sugar mixture and have an instant shaker that gives even coverage." (LOVE IT! Heloise)

Mark W. in Reading, Pa., wrote: "A couple of other uses for tea balls: Put a couple of garlic cloves in one and suspend in cooking soup for the flavor but not the chunks.

"Tea balls make great scent diffusers. Put a few drops of scented oil on a cotton ball in a tea ball. This can then be placed in drawers, hung in closets or even put in your car."

All good hints. Keep them coming!


Dear Heloise: When I empty a can of refried beans, I open the can and turn it upside down on a plate or bowl. Then I use a can opener (that makes a "v" shape) to make a hole on the bottom of the can. Lift it up and all the beans come out clean. Same thing works for dog-food cans, etc.

Luis M., Brea, Calif.

Dear Heloise: You can use a wooden cutting board to slide under a hot baking sheet and remove it from the oven so you can safely put it on the counter.

Mike Levy, Westminster, Calif.

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