… vegetables: If they are grown underground, put them in cold water and then cook. If they are grown above ground, put them in boiling water and cook.

– V.J. in North Carolina

DEAR HELOISE:

How can I clean the dark burnt spots off the inside of my fry pans without scratching them.

– Dennis Y., Ventura, Calif.

Dennis, try one of the following:

1. Pour white vinegar in the pan and soak for 30 minutes or longer, then scrub and rinse.

2. Put 3 tablespoons of baking soda in enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Simmer on the stove until the gunk starts to lift. With a little scrubbing, the pot should be sparkling clean.

– Heloise

DEAR HELOISE:

I have a recipe for the best hamburgers for people who make them at home. Take two parts of lean hamburger meat and one part of ground sausage, mix well and shape into patties. Barbecue on the grill, fry or broil.

A cafe owner near Austin, Texas, gave me this recipe.

– Opal A.,

Garden Grove, Calif

DEAR HELOISE:

Plastic or wood cutting boards — which is the best?

– Maria G. in San Antonio

Maria, plastic cutting boards are considered safer because they aren’t as likely to harbor bacteria. If you use a wooden board, you can clean it with a mixture of 2 teaspoons of chlorine bleach plus 1 teaspoon of vinegar in a gallon of water. Reseason the wooden cutting board by rubbing it with mineral oil. Do not use a salad oil, as it might become rancid.

– Heloise

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