Dear Sun Spots: We are in need of old tennis balls. We will be putting down new tile in some of our classrooms this summer and need the tennis balls for the chair legs to prevent wear and tear. It also cuts down on the noise. If you have any to donate, please drop them off at the school anytime. During the summer the school is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Guy E. Elementary School is located at 219 Main St., Norway, ME 04268. – Robin Rolfe, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: I would like a recipe for a date nut cake baked by the Mohigan Market on Main Street in Lewiston years ago. – Omer Morin, New Gloucester.

In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots hopes you enjoy the following recipe for Orange Date Nut Cake located online at Ingredients: 2 cups flour, plain 2/3 cup buttermilk, ½ cup butter, 2 eggs, ½ cup chopped nuts, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. soda, 2 tbsp. grated orange rind, 1 cup chopped dates, juice of large orange. Method: Cream butter and sugar, add grated orange rind and eggs. Beat until creamy. Add flour (sifted with soda) and milk alternately. Last, add floured dates and nuts. Bake in greased and floured loaf pan 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. While cake is baking, mix orange juice, 1 tablespoon grated rind, ½ cup sugar until sugar dissolves. While cake is still hot, pour the syrup over it. Let stand in pan until cool. According to the Web site, this recipe circulated in the Cavalier Corp. office during the 1940’s.

Sun Spots hopes you and your family may also enjoy the following savory recipes using dates from

Scallops and Date Medley by chef Valerie Gray who won the California Date Commission’s 2003 People’s Choice Award: Chutney Ingredients: 1 orange, segmented; 1 lemon, segmented; 1 lime, segmented; 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar; 2 dates, chopped; 1 tablespoon chipolte powder; 1 jalapeno, finely diced; ¼ cup orange juice. Method: Mix all chutney ingredients together. Simmer over low heat until thickened juice is reduced and all flavors are blended. Garnish: Angel hair nest, deep fried.

Scallops and Dates, Ingredients: 1 U-10 or large scallops, 1 date, ¼ cup date sugar. Method: Cut dates into strips and thread through striations in scallops (5 strips of dates). Coat with date sugar. Sear quickly and carefully in sauté pan, and then finish in 400-degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Spoon chutney into angel hair nest. Slice scallops into three layers and lay overlapping so chutney shows.

Scallop Date Putanesca with Pear Vinegar Ingredients: ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs; 1 U-10 or large scallops; 1 large almond, blanched; 1 egg; 2 tablespoons milk; 1 Roma tomato, finely diced; 1 tablespoon capers, chopped; 1 tablespoon onion, finely diced; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 4 dates with coconut, chopped; ¼ cup pear vinegar; ¼ cup fig vinegar; 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced; 1 slice olive bread; 1 tablespoon kalamata olive, diced. Method: Insert almond into scallop. Whisk together egg and milk for egg wash. Dip scallop in egg wash and then bread crumbs. Sear scallop on both sides and finish in 400-degree oven for 4-5 minutes. In sauté pan with small amount of olive oil, sauté tomato, onions, garlic, ½ of the chopped dates, capers, olives, 1/8 cup of pear vinegar and 1/8 cup of fig vinegar until all are soft and blended, approximately 15 minutes. In blender, puree the remaining pear and fig vinegar with the remaining chopped dates. To present, place the tomato mixture on the bottom, then the scallop, and the date mixture on top. Garnish with olive bread.

Dear Sun Spots: To the lady who is looking for dollhouse furniture and miniatures, Chuck’s Corner, 699 Sabattus St., Lewiston, has an extensive line. We can be reached at (207) 784-8176. Our store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon-Sat. and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Thanks. – Jan McDonald, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: In the July 7 column, a D. Richards was seeking pottery lessons available in the Livermore area. I am a potter and am willing to give lessons in Auburn. Please call me at (207) 753-0451 or e-mail me at [email protected] Thanks. – Beth VanHerzeele, No Town.

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 posted at in the Inform Us section under Press Release.

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