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Grandma knew the recipe for success

Dear Heloise: Years ago, my grandmother told me a few things to do before I began a new recipe. First, read the recipe through completely before beginning. In fact, read it at least twice. Check to make certain you have all the ingredients on hand. If this is the first time you’re making a dish, do everything exactly as the recipe is written. You can experiment at a later date. — Christy H., Jackson, Miss.

Chinese beets

Dear Heloise: Please reprint your Chinese Beets recipe. I had it and now can’t find it. I want to serve this dish with our annual Thanksgiving dinner. — Robin K., Portland, Ore.

You’ll need:

6 cups cooked, sliced beets, or 3 (16-ounce) cans sliced beets

1 cup sugar

1 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

24 whole cloves (this makes it strong, so try 12 to start with)

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons cooking oil (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of salt

Drain the beets, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the beet liquid. Place the beets in a medium saucepan with the reserved liquid and remainder of the ingredients. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat or until the mixture thickens. Let it cool, then store in the refrigerator.

This makes an excellent side dish on Thanksgiving or with leftovers the next day. FYI: Beets, along with carrots, radishes and turnips, can be stored up to two weeks. — Heloise

Spinach

Dear Readers: Spinach has often been called a “superfood” because of its outstanding health benefits. It contains a rich amount of vitamins K and A, manganese folate and iron, as well as vitamins B2 and B6. Lutein is a nutrient also found in spinach and helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Spinach contains antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage that could lead to cancer and premature aging. It is a nutritional powerhouse and adding it to your salads with a sprinkle of lemon juice not only tastes great, but benefits you in so many ways. — Heloise

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send money-or time-saving 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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