Home Is Where The Smell Is

Posted: February 03, 1988

Dear Polly: When traveling with our 3-month-old daughter, I always take along our own receiving blankets. Most motels will furnish a crib upon request. I put the receiving blanket down on top of the sheet. The blankets have the smells of home, so our child feels more comfortable and sleeps much better. We too get a better night's sleep and are more refreshed the next morning.

- Linda

Dear Linda: What a smart mom! Infants are sensitive to familiar smells (almost immediately after birth, they learn to identify Mom partly by her smell!), so a familiar-smelling blanket is probably a great comfort to a baby in a strange situation.

- POLLY

DEAR POLLY - I have many cookbooks from churches and other organizations whose recipes I've tried and I know are good. So I remember to make them again, I put a gold star by those recipes. This is especially helpful when I make my many Christmas cookies. I know at a glance which I like - because they are starred. - HAZEL

DEAR POLLY - My family loves German kuchen with a custard topping containing cream. I find that vanilla ice cream melted and cooked a bit with a few additional eggs and a little flour for thickening works well. Since I add no sugar nor vanilla - it's already in the ice cream - this saves a bit of money. A half gallon of ice cream is enough to fill 10 to 12 kuchens or more, depending on the amount of custard one puts on the fruit. Also, I keep the ice cream in the freezer at all times and can decide to bake on short notice. - IRENE

Dear Polly: I have a European cookbook with measurements in metrics. I have a scale to weigh the dry ingredients, but I need another to convert the liquid measurements from milliliters to cups and teaspoons. Can you help?

- Fran

Dear Fran: One cup is approximately equal to 250 milliliters. In fact, if you look on your present glass measuring cup, you'll probably find that one side has markings in milliliters and the other has the traditional cup, 1/2- cup, 1/4-cup, etc., markings. For small amounts, figure on 5 milliliters to a teaspoon. You should be able to gauge other amounts from there.

Don't forget that in most cooking, the difference of a milliliter here or there is not going to make a difference in the finished product - few measurements are so crucial. So relax, estimate as closely as you can, and enjoy cooking!

- Polly

Dear Polly: Having to spend an unexpected night out of town, and knowing I had an early appointment the next day, I was at a loss with no curlers, hairpins, blow-dryer, etc., to set my hair. Looking through my purse, I found some paper clips and used those to give some form to a badly rained-on hairdo. This worked fine to curl my hair in an emergency.

- C.L.

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