Dear Readers: If you like apricots, I have the recipe for you! This recipe was handed down from my mother, the original Heloise, and it's still a reader and family favorite.

All you need is one 8-ounce package of dried apricots, 1/2 cup of sugar (you can use less) and half of a fresh lemon.

Start by putting 4 cups of water in a pot, then add the entire package of apricots and the sugar. Slice the lemon into extremely thin slivers, then chop into tiny pieces, add to the pot and stir.

Cook slowly over medium heat without a lid. After 20 minutes, when the fruit has swelled up, take your potato masher and mash, but leave some pieces in there. The chunks are what make it taste like Grandma made it. Stir again.

In about 10 minutes, stir to see if it's thick enough. If it is, turn off the heat. If not, it might need to cook a few more minutes. Let it sit until it cools to room temperature, then put into a clean container.

This delicious spread is one of several of my favorite recipes included in the brand-new, six-page All-Time Favorite Recipes pamphlet that you can have by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (59 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Recipes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. You'll also want to try my Fast Shrimp Spread, Chinese Beets, Taco Casserole and Cookies From a Cake Mix that are included in this pamphlet.

Oh, since there are no preservatives, you must keep this in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: With food costs going up and up, here is my money-saving hint for coffee. We drink only one cup each in the morning. My husband gets up first and makes his cup, then I just add another scoop of my coffee in the same filter. It tastes just fine, and we save a little money. — Joan C. from Florida


© King Features Syndicate Inc.