DEAR ABBY: Due to some unfortunate family circumstances, I was devastated to discover that nearly all of my boxes of cherished recipes had been destroyed. I'm now starting over from scratch to collect special recipes I can pass down to my children.
Most of my family members have died, so they can no longer be a resource for the traditional dishes I grew up with. I saw a post online a while back about a cookbooklet set you were offering. Is it still available, and how much does it cost? It would mean a lot to me to be able to share some of your favorite recipes with my kids and younger relatives. -- LORIE IN ENCINO, CALIF.
DEAR LORIE: Having been a compulsive recipe collector for many years, I can imagine how frustrating it was to discover your recipes were gone. I hope my recipe booklets will start you on your way to rebuilding your collection.
Many readers have written to tell me that my recipes are great for entertaining and actually save calories when they are divided among a greater number of guests. The Raw Apple Cake serves 16. (Remember, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away.") Think of the fiber! The Pecan Pie has taken blue ribbons in county fairs. Others were featured on the covers of women's magazines.
My cookbooklet set contains more than 100 tasty recipes for soups, salads, appetizers, main courses and desserts that can be used when friends and family get together to celebrate holidays and special occasions. Once you start reviewing "Cookbooklet II," you will see that a sweet tooth runs in my family. The cookbooklets are sold as a set and can be ordered by sending your name and address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. I hope you will enjoy all the recipes because dinner guests, family members -- as well as other readers -- have raved about them. They have even been used as the basis for Dear Abby-themed dinner parties. (The place cards were decorated with hearts and flowers, and the centerpiece was a "bouquet" of envelopes addressed to me.)
Included in this collection are tips on entertaining for those who are inexperienced or nervous about it. Remember, although what you put on the table is important, it's who you put in the chairs that makes a great party.
DEAR ABBY: What do you do if your friends have graciously given you several nights free at a lovely beach hotel, but your room faces a huge wall covered by a black tarp -- a construction site? We've been told that no other rooms are available. -- ROOM WITH NO VIEW
DEAR ROOM: Because other accommodations aren't available, you graciously accept that you won't be looking out at the moonlit water. Then do your best to enjoy your FREE holiday, spending as much time on the sunlit beach as you can. (Don't forget to use sunscreen!)