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story.lead_photo.caption Heloise

Today's Sound Off is about people who keep asking, "When are you starting a family?"

Dear Heloise: What is it with people today? My husband and I got married four years ago, and people keep asking when we're going to have a baby. We're not. Neither one of us wants children. We're both in our mid-30s and enjoy a nice lifestyle, have careers we love and don't want kids. We don't hate children, as so many people think; we just don't want any. Not every woman is "mommy material."

My in-laws keep saying we're being selfish, but we feel anyone who tries to pressure us to have a baby is the one who is being selfish. After all, they wouldn't have to raise that child; we would. We must each decide the life we want, and for some couples children are simply not part of their plans. Leave us alone. We're happy with our choices. — Nickie in New Hampshire

Fast Facts

Additional uses for plastic shelf liner:

- Line the vegetable bin drawer in the refrigerator.

- Use under plants on a window ledge.

- Cut a strip and place under a throw rug to help prevent slipping.

- Line dinner trays to prevent plates from slipping.

— Heloise

Pot Lids Outdoors

Dear Heloise: I'm sure I'm not the only person having this problem with the new cooking method of using an instant pot: The sealing lid retains the food odors in the lid. I've tried baking soda and vinegar, but nothing seems to help. I've had to resort to storing the lid in the garage.

If you have a solution,I would be forever grateful! — Judy, The Villages, Florida

Judy, here is what is recommended: The sealing ring is made of silicone, and yes, it'll retain odors. It's recommended to use vinegar or lemon juice, but the odors may still be a problem. You might need to purchase more sealing rings and change them out.

Also, when not in use, always store the lid upside down on top of the pot.
I think you'll find that the odors do not affect what is cooked next. — Heloise

Using Spry

Dear Heloise: I am making my great-grandmother's recipe for baking powder biscuits, and it calls for 5 tablespoons of Spry. I have no clue what spry is. What is it and where can I buy it? — Jessica, via email

Jessica, Spry is shortening that had commercial success several years ago. The manufacturer stopped making Spry in the '70s. Go ahead and substitute your usual brand of shortening instead of spry. The end results should be the same.

Ice Cubes

Dear Heloise: In a recent column, a reader mentioned not drinking the local tap water when traveling. Just as important, don't use ice in your drink, as it will be made from frozen tap water! — A reader, via email

Readers: This also applies to brushing your teeth with the local tap water. Always ask for bottled water.

King Features Syndicate

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