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Reader marks the switch with red

Dear Heloise: This is a safety tip for the kitchen. Some kitchens have a set of electric switches that are usually on the side of the sink on the wall. One switch turns on the light above the sink, and the other switch turns on the garbage disposal.

I paint the switch for the garbage disposal red, with bright red nail polish. This makes sure the disposal, with its sharp blades, doesn’t get turned on by mistake. When there is an event with many helping hands, it would be easy to flip the switch at the wrong time. — Helen R., Manhattan, Kan.

Frozen butter

Dear Heloise: When making baked goods, put an unwrapped butter stick in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. When ready, grate the butter into the flour mixture with a medium hole (1/4 inch) hand cheese grater. Stir in after each quarter of a stick. Works every time. — Dan R., Laguna Beach, Calif.

Devein or not

Dear Heloise: I would appreciate your opinion: What is the reason for deveining shrimp in recipes? Is it mostly just aesthetic, or is there another reason? I believe that the “vein” referred to is actually a part of the gastrointestinal track. — Nick in Little Rock, Ark.

Nick, deveining is for aesthetics, not hygiene. The dark color in the vein is dirt or grit in the shrimp’s digestive tract, and it is not harmful to ingest. — Heloise

(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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