Jeanne Klein of North Hollywood would like to find a large wooden salad bowl in the shape of a cabbage rose with petals that can be removed and used as plates ; the center of the rose is used for dips. She's seen these bowls at parties but is unable to locate one anyplace. Can you help before Klein's salad days are over, or will she have to keep "petaling" from store to store before she can spend any more cabbage?
Louise Karr of Larkspur is looking for a tea strainer with a larger-than-average mesh, about 25 holes to the square inch. Can you help ease Karr's strain by making her next tea party a success, or will she believe that anyone looking for such a gadget must have large holes in their head?
R. L. McAlpin of Canoga Park is keeping both ears open for a portable radio that plays eight-track cassettes. Can you help put our reader on the right track or will McAlpin be forever behind the eight ball?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Norma at (213) 641-9545 is trying to locate some Japanese-made Mac carving, paring and French knives; she is especially interested in 71970A, 71970B and 71970C. Each knife has a hole near the tip of the blade for easy hanging. Please help keep Norma's kitchen sharp and a cut above the average. . . . J. McCarley at (213) 473-5402 is looking for any and all dishes in a discontinued pattern-- Design Four Stoneware 681 Kalmar. She calls the color "greige" and says the pattern has a narrow blue border around the edge and another blue border one inch from the edge. Please help so that our reader can stop feeling blue.
Note: The Reader-to-Reader Help Line is only for one-time items and for products no longer available in stores. And you must give us written permission to publish your telephone number, so that others may contact you directly.
Mildred Tierstein of Camarillo, who was searching for a raincoat that folds into an envelope, will have no problem staying dry behind the ears. Alfred Brandt of Irvine says he found such a raincoat in blue at Buffum's for about $35. We also have some mail-order sources. Roy Copperud of Altadena says Cable Car Clothiers, San Francisco, had a nylon raincoat for about $40. Ruth Castillo of Pomona says Page 52 of the Banana Republic catalogue features a 26-ounce traveling raincoat in its own envelope, which, together with a matching hat, becomes a pillow; write P.O. Box 7737, San Francisco, Calif. 94120. And Janet Patterson of Vista reports that she enjoys her hooded raincoat (No. 50955, $19.95) from Ambassador, 7822 South 46th St., Phoenix, Ariz. 85044.
Erika Spangler, who was looking for precipitated chalk to use as a tooth powder, should instead keep an eye-(tooth) out for calcium carbonate, light, lab grade, precipitated, according to Louise Carty, a former chemist. This product is available from chemical suppliers. One such firm, according to Amigo Vince of Glendale, is Sergent-Welch, 1617 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, Calif. 92803, (714) 772-3550.
More on travel hangers: E. Barry of South Gate writes that Page 20 of the current Williams-Sonoma catalogue lists an inflatable plastic hanger, ideal for drip drying and travel. And Louise Hauther of La Canada suggests hanging each item on a wire hanger and covering it with a cleaner's plastic garment cover; fold as little as possible. This keeps the garments almost creaseless and easier to hang later.
Herb Hain cannot answer mail personally but will, space permitting, respond in this column to readers who need--or have--helpful information. Write (do not telephone) to You Can Help!, You section, the Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.