Dear Sun Spots: Can you tell me if the drink mix Zarex is still available? My church needs it for a concoction called bug juice, where you mix the Zarex with ginger ale. If it has been discontinued do you have any suggestions of what we could use in its place? Thank you. — Linda, Livermore.
Answer: According to Marcia, a spokesperson for One Pie Canning Co. who manufactured Zarex, the sweet, syrupy drink concentrate was discontinued last summer.
Having never tried Zarex, Sun Spots can’t suggest any substitutions, but we found a recipe for “Bug Juice” from Food Network that you might consider trying:
Ingredients: 1 32-ounce bottle purple grape juice;1 32-ounce bottle raspberry apple juice; blueberries; and 1 16-ounce bottle lemon-lime soda. Method:Combine the grape and raspberry apple juice and chill. Using the mixed juice, fill ice cube trays and put 1 blueberry in each compartment. Just before serving add the soda to the fruit juice and the ice cubes.
Other recipe authors have recommended using passion fruit juice concentrate or frozen and bottled Hawaiian Punch type drinks, which also have a mild passion fruit flavor. However, if you use those, it seems you may have to adjust the sweetness with sugar.
Dear Sun Spots: Why oh why can’t I submit a question to Sun Spots
online? I’ve tried to find a way to do that with no success. Having to
use snail mail and 44 cents to contact you is distinctly cumbersome and
My question is, we bought a pellet stove last fall and now have a large
pile of the plastic bags that contained pellets. Some of them say they
can be recycled. We’d really prefer to recycle them rather than add
them to the waste stream. Can you help us find a recycling site? Thank
you. — No Name, No Town.
Answer: The Sun Journal recently launched a new Web site and our team is currently working on the portion of the site where you can submit items to Sun Spots and other sections of the paper. In the meantime, readers can e-mail submissions to the column directly at [email protected] in addition to mailing them.
Sun Spots was unsuccessful in locating a recycling site for #4 plastics. We contacted your town manager, who noted that the transfer station only accepts #2 plastics at this time, but he said to keep your eye out for notices at the transfer station as they will post information when they are able to accept #4 plastic. We also checked with other local recycling centers, who aren’t accepting this type of plastic yet.
A customer service representative at New England Wood Pellet
LLC noted that in the event that you can’t recycle the bags, they make a great trash bag, but
still wind up in a landfill. Another solution they offer is switching to bulk delivery of loose wood pellets, which eliminates the use of bags altogether; however, you would need
adequate storage capacity, like a silo or container.
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). 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 e-mailed to [email protected]