DEAR HELOISE: My parents are two of the nicest people you could ever meet. They’re hardworking and honest, and I love them both.
My only problem with them is that they seem to want my brother and me to live out some of the things they never got to do. For example, my mother wanted to play the piano but didn’t have the opportunity, so she enrolled me in piano classes. I never wanted to play the piano. I’m terrible at it too.
My brother showed a talent for science and biology, so my mother and dad insisted he enroll in pre-med classes. They want him to become a doctor, but his ambition is to work for NASA someday. He plans to drop out of pre-med and focus on science and space travel of the future. They’re NOT happy about that because they think he’ll be looking for little green men on Mars!
They mean well, and I know they think it’s their duty to push their kids into rewarding careers, but parents need to let their kids find their own path in life.
You can’t force your dreams on your children. It’s not our duty to live out the dreams and goals you never got to do. And you cannot decide what we dream of doing or who we love. You can offer opportunity, but please don’t be angry if we reject the things you want for us.
We profit from our mistakes, and we have our own ideas and wants. We won’t love you any less. We proudly carry your DNA, but may decide not to pass it on to another generation. That is our decision and ours alone.
Cake flour vs. all-purpose flour
DEAR HELOISE: What is the difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour? Can I switch them in a recipe?
— Laura D., Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Laura, cake flour has a softer texture than all-purpose flour due to the milling process, which makes it extra fine. All-purpose flour has a higher protein content than cake flour. If you want a lighter cake, stick with the cake flour. However, there are many cake bakers who feel all-purpose flour works well enough. You can use cake flour in recipes that call for all-purpose if you increase the flour by 2 tablespoons per cup.
Some new uses for an old birdcage:
• Take the little door off and fill the bottom with bird seed for the birds.
• Hang on a wall and place candles inside.
• Hang outside with assorted nuts for the squirrels.
• Place plants inside as a decoration for any room.
DEAR HELOISE: How do I unstick a crystal bowl stuck to a painted, unlined kitchen shelf? It has been in the same place for years.
— Jean S., Long Beach, Calif.
Jean, try heating the bowl with a hair dryer, concentrating on the bottom of the bowl. With a few gentle twists of the bowl, it should come free of the shelf.