Dear Heloise: I ran out of bread, so I formed a sort of “sandwich” by putting a seasoned pickle between two slices of ham with mustard. A toothpick held it in place. It is low-calorie and high-protein. It also can make a decent hors d’oeuvre. - Ken F., Brenham, Texas


Dear Heloise: My wife and I store our wine in a wine cooler at around 55 degrees. Several years ago, by happenstance, we put our bananas in the wine cooler. 

Lo and behold, they didn’t turn brown and lasted at least twice as long as leaving them out at room temperature. Of course, we’ve used this trick ever since. - Charles H., Mission Viejo, Calif. 


Dear Heloise: I have a compost heap in the backyard. Beyond the grass clippings and leaves, we also put in vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and fruit.
The problem with the fruit is that every apple, banana and orange has a plastic label on the outside. The plastic label will not break down in the compost heap.

What I would love to see is all of those plastic fruit labels replaced with biodegradable ones. These biodegradable labels would break down. - Gordon C., Corona, Calif. 


Dear Readers: How’s your HEARING? If you’re like most folks, you might ignore signs of potential hearing loss. Millions of people experience unsafe noise levels at work; 20% of teenagers have reported hearing loss due to loud noise; and hearing loss is the second most widespread health issue worldwide.
The National Campaign for Better Hearing (www.campaignforbetter wants you to check your hearing, beginning at age 60, with its “Test Your Ears at 60 Years” campaign, and once a year after that. To schedule a free hearing assessment, call 866-TEST-AT-60 (866-837-8286).
For every hearing test given, participating health practices will donate $5 toward upping awareness of the risks of ignoring hearing loss. They will also distribute free hearing aids to those who can’t afford them.
For more information, you can email - Heloise

P.S. Experts agree that 30 minutes of exercise five times per week can help maintain your good hearing!


Dear Readers: Here are two letters from readers about knife choices. - Heloise
“I read your recent column about serrated-blade versus smooth-blade knives and have this to add:
“We travel a lot and stay in rental homes. Without fail, the knives barely cut anything. We now always throw our knife sharpener in the trunk. Please tell readers to buy a decent-quality electric knife sharpener and sharpen their knives frequently. They won’t believe how much better knives work when they are sharp! Thanks.” - Jules in The Villages, Fla.

“After reading your column about serrated knives, I want to share this with you: A few years ago, I purchased a 10-inch double serrated knife. It is one of the best kitchen tools that I have. Using it to slice bread is a delight.” - Nick in Little Rock, Ark.


Dear Heloise: I save the cardboard cores from toilet tissue rolls, coil the cords of small appliances and push them into the cardboard cores. No more messy, tangled cords. I read your column in the Pasadena (California) Star-News. - Judy P., via email


Dear Heloise: Why do companies highly scent their products? One particular air freshener used to have barely any smell at all, and I really liked that. Now its products are all so highly scented that I can’t use them. 
Also, dryer sheets are so strong that they linger in the clothes forever. Can’t they make something that is less strong and doesn’t linger? - Virginia L., via email


 Dear Heloise: I sit with my kids (ages 9 and 12) and we handwrite letters to Grandma and Grandpa in cursive! The grandparents love getting the letters, and we get to practice our cursive. I’m even a little rusty due to typing and texting everything! - Carol B. in Nevada
A lost art! - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I cover my drinks when I’m outside with an upside-down cupcake liner to keep bugs out. A straw can poke through the paper easily. - Danielle S. in Mississipp


Dear Readers: Ladies, the heat is on. How should you DRESS FOR THE OFFICE IN THE SUMMER? Most offices adopt a more relaxed dress code for summertime. Let’s take a look:

• A pressed khaki pants, skirt or capri pants is a “go”; most companies allow bare legs now. Dressy sandals are OK, but not flip-flops.

• Leave leggings, exercise wear (“athleisure”) and crop tops at home.

• Collared knit shirts with the company logo are OK.

• Sleeveless dresses and tops are tricky; have a jacket on standby.

• Loud florals are discouraged, but bold solid colors can be fine.

Conforming to the company dress code is necessary, but you can relax your dress and brighten things up a bit in the summertime. If you have questions, ask your human resources department for more information. Pattern your summer dress style after your supervisors’ wardrobe. - Heloise

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.