Dear Sun Spots: My husband and I watched a story on “60 Minutes” about the tar sands at Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The story stated that there is a shortage of manpower, but they never said how or who to contact if you were interested in applying for employment. We are interested but need your help in finding who to contact. Thanks for any help you can give us. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ Web site, www.capp.ca, links to a number of oil and gas industry career information sites. One of them, the Fort McMurray Labour Market News at www.woodbuffalo.net, shares important information about the current labor market and skill requirements one should consider before leaving home. The site also provides links to a number of employers and organizations that use the Internet to post employment opportunities and accept resumes. If you would like more information about the labor market in Fort McMurray and the municipality of Wood Buffalo, contact the Labour Market News at that Web site, or e-mail [email protected] or call 1-780-715-0222.

For those of you not familiar with the Fort McMurray, Canada, segment “The Oil Sands of Alberta” from “60 Minutes,” the entire transcript can be read on the CBS News Web site, www.cbsnews.com. Click “60 Minutes,” scroll down and, under the heading “More Inside 60 Minutes,” click “The Oil Sands of Alberta.”

Dear Sun Spots: The BookReach program of the Auburn and Lewiston Public libraries is very much in need of committed, reliable volunteers to share about one morning hour per week, reading aloud to preschool children in Lewiston or Auburn. People who are reasonably sure that they’re able to share some time in this fun way, after calling and hearing about what’s required, are encouraged to apply. After attending a brief orientation, each reader is matched with a licensed family child-care home where he or she reads from a different bag of books every one to two weeks.

This is a wonderful opportunity for people who would enjoy introducing young children to the wonder of stories, and who are clear about wanting to give to our community in a meaningful and positive way.

Please call Kathleen Demers, BookReach coordinator, at (207) 784-0135, ext. 213, to learn more. – Kathleen Demers, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: I am searching for a Marjorie Standish banana whoopie pie recipe.

This recipe was published many years ago when CMP included recipes in the electric bills. Perhaps someone has a Standish recipe book and would be willing to share if they find this particular recipe. Thanks. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, you might like to try the following from www.bellaonline.com:

Banana whoopie pies. Ingredients: 4½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup shortening, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 2 cups mashed ripe bananas, ½ cup sour milk or buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Method: In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; mix well and set aside. In a separate large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla, and beat thoroughly. Beat in the dry ingredients. Drop by rounded tablespoons-full onto ungreased nonstick cookie sheets, 2½ inches apart. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degree for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Remove from the cookie sheets to wire racks or white paper towels. Cool completely before spreading with the filling.

Filling, ingredients and method: 2 egg whites, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 4 tablespoons flour, 4 tablespoons milk, 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1½ cups vegetable shortening. Beat the egg whites until stiff; set aside. Combine the other ingredients and beat very hard for several minutes at high speed. Thoroughly mix in the beaten egg whites. To make the whoopie pies: Take one cookie, spread generously with filling, then top with another cookie. Wrap each whoopie pie individually in plastic wrap.

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 www.sunjournal.com in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]


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