Dear Sara:

I froze a few loaves of quick bread, and I plan to bake more and freeze them for family gift-giving or to serve guests during the busy holiday season. How long can they be kept frozen and still taste good? -- Olivia, Ohio

Dear Olivia:

I'd eat them within three months of freezing them. It won't be unsafe after that time period, but the taste and texture starts to decline. You might not mind the taste after three months, but for gift-giving or serving to guests, I wouldn't freeze too far ahead. I'd aim for freezing no sooner than September for serving during the holiday season.

Dear Sara:

I bought a 4-pound marinated pork loin roast from Costco and cut it into fourths before freezing. I want to thaw one of the fourths and serve it with roasted potatoes and carrots, but I don't know how long to cook it. Any guesses? -- Valerie, Washington

Dear Valerie:

It will take approximately 19-22 minutes at 350 degrees F. You can use a slow cooker, too. Slow cook on high for 4 hours.

Dear Sara:

I have just found a speck of liquid foundation on a pretty cotton blouse that I really like. I tried Soilove, but it didn't work. What can I use on this small, stubborn stain? I don't want to rub the spot too much. Please help! -- Rose, email

Dear Rose:

Try using shaving cream, or use K2r Spotlifter or Gaurdsman/Afta cleaning fluid (dry-cleaning solvents) per package directions. I've had good luck simply using a baby wipe if I catch it immediately after the spill.

Dear Sara:

In one of your recent articles, Cookie from Mississippi wrote about melting Fels-Naptha soap in warm water to create a solution that deters wasps, hornets and yellow jackets from building nests. Could you please provide the proportions of said soap and water? -- Chris H., email

Dear Chris:

You can rub the soap on the underside of decks or other exterior surfaces. Or mix a grated bar of Fels-Naptha and 1 quart of hot water. Shake to combine, then pour into a spray bottle and spray in the areas that you want to deter insects. My experience has been that this mixture works well for soft-bodied insects such as Aphids (Dawn dishwashing liquid and water works just as well), but Cookie mentioned it worked well for wasps. Not having personally tried this firsthand, your results may vary.

I suspect Vaseline might work equally well for wasps. You can make wasp traps, too. Cut the neck off of a 2-liter bottle and remove the cap. Flip it upside down (forming a funnel) and insert it into the other part of the bottle. Secure it with tape. Fill the bottle with a little meat, such as ground beef or lunch meat, and add a sweet liquid such as sugar and water, a piece of fruit, apple cider vinegar, sweet soda pop or orange juice. This lures the wasps into the bottle, and they can't get out.


photo by smalljude