Ideas for donating unwanted trophies

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m retired from the military and have many plaques and awards I’d like to donate to an organization that refurbishes them and gives them to kids’ sports teams, etc. I have read your columns where you have published the name of a couple of organizations who do this. Unfortunately, I didn’t write them down. Could you please give me the names of the organizations again? Thanks.

— Al, Livermore

ANSWER: John F. Murphy Homes on Center Street in Auburn repurposes trophies for a variety of its activities and competitions. The organization provides housing and services for those with developmental disabilities. Contact information is [email protected] or 207-782-2726.

Trophies can also be donated to LAMB Awards. This organization helps find new homes for old trophies by either donating them to charities or breaking them down for parts to be used for building other trophies. The organization also collects plaques and medals.

Contact them first by email at [email protected] (write “recycling” in the subject line) or call them at 1-800-877-1448. Their mailing address is 129 East Main St., Westminster, MD 21157. You pay shipping expenses, but it’s a small price to pay to contribute to a good cause.

Special Olympics can’t use trophies, but they do use ribbons and medals.

If there are any other local organizations that could repurpose these trophies, please write to Sun Spots and we will get the word out!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In the Harry Potter books, there is talk about “treacle pudding.” What, exactly, is it?

—Genevieve, no town

ANSWER: Treacle pudding is a steamed sponge cake containing treacle, a light sugar syrup known as “golden syrup,” and a darker variety known as “black treacle” or molasses.

For these sticky concoctions, you can substitute molasses, dark corn syrup, light corn syrup (Karo) or a combination. Maple syrup or honey can also be substituted but the flavor will be different from a true treacle pudding. Whole Foods, British specialty shops and Amazon (surprise) also sell treacle.

Treacle Pudding: 7 tbsp. golden syrup (light treacle), 1 tbsp. molasses (black treacle), 3/4 stick softened butter, 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar, 3 eggs, 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder.

Butter a one-quart oven-proof bowl and pour in 3 tbsp. golden syrup. Combine the remainder of this syrup, molasses, butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the oven-proof bowl, on top of the syrup.

Cover bowl with parchment paper large enough to cover the top and halfway down the sides. Place foil on top of the parchment, creating a pleat down the center so the sponge will have space to expand. Tie string under the lip of the bowl, leaving extra string to tie over the top to form a handle, tying it on the opposite end.

Place bowl on a rack in a large pot and put in enough boiling water to come half-way up the bowl. Cover tightly with a lid to steam for 1 1/4 hours, checking to add more boiling water if needed.

Once the pudding is done, remove it from the pot, cut the string then run a long knife along the side of the bowl to loosen the pudding. Place a plate on top of the bowl and carefully invert the pudding onto the plate and remove the bowl. Serve with whipped cream. Enjoy!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]

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