Reader asks about the best way to clean greens

Dear Heloise: What’s the best way to safely wash greens? I love a fresh, delicious salad this time of year. — Kelly T. in San Antonio

Here are a few hints:

≤ Wash greens immediately before eating, not when you first bring them home.

≤ From a head of lettuce, bunch of spinach or stalk of kale, cut fork-size pieces (1 inch) and submerge in a bowl of cold water.

≤ Give it time for the dirt particles (it comes from the earth, after all) to fall to the bottom of the bowl (about 15 minutes).

≤ Reach in and grab the greens and transfer to a colander. Don’t dump the bowl into the colander; you’ll redeposit sediment back over and into the greens.

≤ Either spin-dry in a lettuce spinner or blot dry in paper or cloth toweling. — Heloise

White vs. black

Dear Readers: Have you tried white pepper instead of black pepper in your cooking? White pepper is more intense and hotter than black pepper.

But hold on to your wallet: White pepper can be three times the price! — Heloise

Purse hook

Dear Heloise: I carry a large plastic hook with me in my purse. It comes in handy in a public restroom to hang my bag on. Many stalls don’t provide hooks.

And when I’m finished, I pull the paper down off the roll for the next patron. This is a big courtesy. — Ellen M. in New Jersey

Laundry hint

Dear Heloise: My husband had a problem with ring around the collar. I took plain white chalk and rubbed it into the collar. Then I launder as usual, and I ask my husband to wash his neck better! — J.M.R. in Florida

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send a hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)

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