Dear Heloise: With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I'd like to serve some PUMPKIN BREAD, but I don't have a good recipe. Can you help me with this? -- Sophie L., Macon, Ga.

Sophie, I have a very good recipe that's easy to make and delicious:

1 2/3 cups flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup salad oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

Sift together dry ingredients. Add nuts and mix well. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Mix just enough to blend. Pour into 9-by-5-by-3-inch pan that is greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes. There's nothing like a warm slice of pumpkin bread to bring back the taste and smell of an autumn day. If you like this recipe, you'll find it in my Baking Soda Hints and Recipes pamphlet, along with several other uses for baking soda that'll save you time and money. To receive a copy, send $5 and a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Did you know that the interior walls of the Statue of Liberty were cleaned using baking soda? Talk about multiple uses! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I've been told by a dietitian that one cup of green tea has less caffeine than one cup of "decaf" coffee. Can you tell me if that is true? -- Marilyn and Jerry, via email

Marilyn and Jerry, according to the Mayo Clinic, the caffeine content of a drink varies due to several factors, such as origin, processing and more. However, it offers as a guideline the following information: 8 ounces of brewed decaf has 2-5 milligrams of caffeine, while 8 ounces of brewed green tea has 25-29 milligrams of caffeine. This refers to green tea, which is not decaffeinated. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: We had a lot of letters concerning a recent recipe for Swedish meatballs, most of which were accompanied by an old (and delicious-looking) family recipe, but none of them were alike:

Mark S. wrote: "Real simple: Your meatballs may be very good ... but those are not Swedish meatballs."

Karin O. wrote: "It's not the recipe that our Swedish family or my late mother would recognize."

Arlene N. wrote: "Your meatballs seem more Italian than Swedish."

"Swedish meatballs" seems to be a generic term for many meatball recipes out there, but the ones sent in all sound wonderful! So, whatever you call your meatballs, "bon appetit." -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have a hood over my range that I use only when the range or oven is on. I don't use it for any other purpose.

I know, therefore, that when I see it on, my range is in use. -- Diana M., Wapakoneta, Ohio

A great safety hint! -- Heloise

A tree made of thankfulness

Dear Heloise: Between the food, fun, family, friends and football, let's take a moment to really be thankful for everything we have. Isn't that what THANKSGIVING is all about?

I'm a teacher, and one fun Thanksgiving holiday tradition my class participates in is the Thanksgiving Tree. What is it? A large branch, propped up in a coffee can and weighted with rocks and sand.

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My kiddos make sparkly pine cones, paper turkeys made from a traced hand, small plastic pumpkins, colored ribbons, popcorn strands and notes we've written to show our thanks.

A great Thanksgiving experience! -- A Teacher in Texas

May this upcoming Thanksgiving Day find you and your students, and all my readers, full of the blessings of family and friends! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: In addition to using a dishwasher-soap tablet, I use 1/2 cup of white vinegar each time I run the dishwasher. Glassware, silverware and dishes shine, and the stainless interior of my dishwasher looks shiny and new -- no more scummy residue! -- Elaine W., Mission Viejo, Calif.

Elaine, you're a gal after my own heart! Vinegar is a workhorse around the house. Cheap, safe and readily available, I use it all the time! In fact, I've compiled a collection of my favorite vinegar recipes and uses in a handy pamphlet. If you'd like to receive one, visit to order, or send a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Periodically rinse the dog's water bowl with vinegar to cut any slimy stuff, then fill with fresh water. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have thin, light hair and sensitive skin, and for years I tried dandruff shampoos and conditioners (many different kinds). I don't know why, but I started using baby shampoo, and I've never had a problem since!

Soft hair and no flakes all winter, when I used to have a blizzard coming off my head. It's just too simple a solution. -- Allen P., Nashua, Iowa

Check with your doctor to see if the dandruff is a symptom of a larger problem -- you don't want to mask anything going on with your health. Baby shampoo should be fine, and safe. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Every time a business contact gives me a business card, I take a picture of it with my phone. I keep the actual card in a file on my desk, but it's less bulky to have all my references on my phone. -- Harold G. in Dallas


Dear Heloise: I wish the people who dream up seven cup holders in a car would make something to hold a small umbrella or two! My husband and I have come up with an alternative: We use two cups, tall ones, placed in the cup holders in the console of our car. -- Pauline L., via email