My daughter just called and said she is cleaning out her dish cupboard and asked me if I wanted the stuff she is getting rid of. Of course I said yes. I'm not too proud. She has newer, nicer stuff. One of the things is a nice cheese grater. My question is: Is it cheaper to grate than buy already shredded cheese, and can you freeze it? -- Syn D., Missouri
DEAR SYN D.:
Buying pre-grated cheese is often more expensive than buying a block of cheese, but not always. It depends on your area and grocery store sales. Check unit pricing. You can freeze shredded cheese. It helps if you freeze it flat, so it doesn't clump together. You don't even have to thaw it before sprinkling it onto pizza or casseroles. I'd take the grater because you can use it for more than cheese. You can grate carrots, cabbage, zucchini, potatoes, etc. and it's easier to clean and costs less than a food processor.
How do I say no to deceased relatives' items without offending? My mother-in-law passed recently. My sister in law (we don't get along at all, generally, but I have done a lot of teeth gritting these last few weeks because she's grieving) has made it known she wants me to take a lot of her mother's goodness-knows-how-many items of clothing, since we're roughly the same size and she is much smaller. No other relatives for it to go to. Lots of it still with tags. It's kind of her, on one level, but on another, I have the feeling she knows if I take them it's less for her to figure out. Nice offer, but most of it is not my style, and I just plain feel weird taking my husband's dead mother's things to wear.
She says it's "too good" for Goodwill and won't consign. She thinks it's a waste of time. How can I say no thank you with the least chance of offending? I already explained to my hubby that it made me very uncomfortable, and he's fine with it. I'm trying to avoid the meltdown that's bound to come anyways, but I hope you have suggestions! -- Kara, New Hampshire
Directly saying no thank you because you don't feel comfortable is as direct as you can be, but you'll have to stand your ground if you choose this option. Going through clothing can be very emotional for relatives. So if you'd like to help, you can graciously take the clothing and tell her that you don't feel comfortable wearing them, but that you'd like to honor your mother in law by helping to donate or sell the clothing and give any money received to the family or an agreed-upon charity.
How do you keep marshmallows from clumping? --Beckey B., Michigan
You can put them in a freezer storage bag or an airtight container and put them in the freezer. They thaw quickly and won't stick together or go stale. If they are already stuck together, add a little powdered sugar to the bag and shake the bag until they fall apart.
photo by tsuacctnt