Dear Heloise: I love my great-grandmother's OLD CHINA DISHES, but I rarely use them because they're over 100 years old. I store them in a cupboard, but my husband said the weight of stacked dishes could crack the ones on the bottom. Is that true? -- Gina L., Altoona, Pa.
Gina, it's possible something like that could happen. Try placing paper plates or plastic shelf liner between the plates, all of them, and perhaps stacking them in smaller stacks, which puts less weight on the bottom plates. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: How can I make pound cake a little more exciting? By itself, pound cake is somewhat dull. -- Karen T., Crofton, Md.
Karen, heat about 1/2 cup of preserves and 1 tablespoon of flavored liqueur in a small saucepan, and dribble it over a slice of pound cake. Or dribble some chocolate sauce over a slice, and add a few fresh raspberries on top. For other tasty icing recipes and a bunch of unique cake recipes, order my Heloise's Cake Recipes by sending $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (71 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cakes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. Don't have a toothpick on hand to test your cake's doneness? Use a piece of uncooked spaghetti. It's long enough to go all the way to the bottom of the pan for deep cakes. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: You had a fudge recipe in one of your books that my family loved. Unfortunately, it went up in flames when we had a fire in the family room. Would you please reprint that for me and other fudge lovers? -- Jean R., White City, Ore.
Jean, yes, in my book "In the Kitchen With Heloise," I have a fudge recipe that everyone seems to love and is perfect for gift-giving or during family gatherings. Here it is:
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
3 (6-ounce) packages chocolate chips
1 (10-ounce) package miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped nuts
Mix the sugar and milk in a large, heavy saucepan and slowly bring to a rolling boil. Let this mixture boil for 8 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate chips, marshmallows and butter (or margarine). Mix only until the chips and the marshmallows are melted. Add the vanilla and nuts, and blend. Spread the mixture in a large, ungreased pan; let cool and enjoy. -- Heloise
COOKING SPRAY HINT
Dear Heloise: Every time a recipe calls for honey or corn syrup, I use my measuring cup and then have a hard time removing that sticky substance from the cup. Any hints to help me out? -- Belinda T., Shelby, Mont.
Belinda, spray the inside of your measuring cup with cooking spray when measuring sticky things. It makes cleanup so much easier! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Maybe you can end an argument my husband and I have: How long should you keep mayonnaise if it's refrigerated? I say it's OK up to three months. He says it's only good up to three weeks. Help! -- Kaylee V., South Bend, Ind.
Kaylee, mayonnaise and most salad dressings, unopened on the shelf, can keep two to three months. In the refrigerator, after the jar has been opened, it's good to use six to eight weeks. -- Heloise