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Have a plan for ham

By on January 31, 2010

ham gravy
photo by Tama Leaver

DEAR SARA: I made a ham and just froze the bone and some ham for soup later, but what can I do with the drippings? Seems a shame to waste them. I’ve never done anything with ham drippings. At the very least, I could make some suet for the birdies. Any other suggestions? Could I perhaps use them to make soup broth? — Leslie, Illinois

DEAR LESLIE: You can use the drippings to make ham gravy. Tastes great with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Or use the ham drippings when you make beans, such as dried navy beans or green beans. Yes, you can use it for soup, such as baked-potato, split-pea or black-bean soup. Visit for a ham plan.

DEAR SARA: My apartment has one large room that I use as the living room and my bedroom. I don’t have a couch yet to separate the space a bit. How about some ideas on how to give my bedroom more privacy? I thought about a screen, but they are so expensive. Thanks! — B.N., Canada

DEAR B.N.: You can use bookcases and floor and hanging plants; hang sheer curtains or beaded or bamboo curtains; hinge together louvered folding doors, curtain cables or a rail from Ikea (the rail would allow you to slide it open or closed); or use a wooden garden trellis to divide the room.

DEAR SARA: I need to get glasses ASAP. I keep missing my teacup, putting the spoon beside instead of inside the cup. I’m getting nervous about driving. I need a place that is good and inexpensive. I’ve looked online and found America’s Best. They have an eye exam and two pairs of glasses for $69. I also looked at Wal-Mart’s site, but they don’t give prices. I’m unsure which way to go here. Price is important, as is quality of exam and frames. I have no more then $100 for both the exam and glasses. Any suggestions? — Polly, Pennsylvania

DEAR POLLY: America’s Best seems hard to beat. You can price compare an eye exam and get the prescription to take elsewhere, such as Zenni Optical ( or 39 Dollar Glasses ( You didn’t mention your financial situation, but you can also look into Vision USA ( According to the Web site, the general eligibility requirements vary by state.
To receive free services, you must:
— Have a job or live in a household where there is one working member.
— Have no vision insurance (this may include Medicare/Medicaid).
— Have income below an established level based on household size.
— Not have had an eye exam within two years.
The following Web address won’t help you specifically because there aren’t any listings for Pennsylvania, but it might help others. To view state listings of organizations that can help with free eye exams, visit
Other organizations that can help include the Lions Club (, One Sight ( and Eye Care America (


  1. Danielle Smith

    1/31/2010 at 7:16 pm

    My boyfriend and I love Zenni Optical. It’s *so* much cheaper than buying glasses from my eye doctor or elsewhere in town, they have a great selection, it’s easy to do, and the glasses are high quality. My glasses with two clip-on shades and shipping cost a total of $25.80. Even with my boyfriend’s weird, fancy prescription, his glasses weren’t much more than mine were ($30 just for the glasses).

  2. elaine

    2/10/2010 at 1:18 pm

    sorry i can’t suggest a cheap place for glasses but i have gotten glasses at Wamart twice and have been very disappointed…also talked to 2 other people who have been disappointed as well..the glasses scratch and the lense popped out 5 times within 10 months…they’ll fix them for you but offer no remedy for the problem…i’ve learned my lesson

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