Dear Sun Spots: We are in need of a vintage butter churn somewhere within a 30-mile radius of Livermore so we can pick it up. Ours has broken and we thought maybe someone had one they didn’t want and would be willing to donate one or sell one for a reasonable price. It can be a tax deduction as we are a non-profit organization. If you have one, or know of a reasonable place to buy one, please call and leave a message or ask for Pricilla or Mary at Norlands. We can be reached at (207) 897-4366. If no one is there when you call, please leave a message and we will return your call. Thank you. – No Name, Livermore.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots would urge you to try contacting Dan Poulin of Orphan Annies, who has at least one, possibly two. He can be reached at Orphan Annie’s, 96 Court St., Auburn, ME 04210, (207) 782-0638.

Dear Sun Spots: You really are a ray of sunshine and I look forward to you every morning.

In answer to D.K. of Norway who had a question about medical records and Dr. Morrissette. His first name was Russell and he has since passed away. He had an office partner in his practice, Dr. Gilbert Grimes. I believe Dr. Grimes is retired, but I think he is still in the area. Both doctors were associated with Central Maine Medical Center and perhaps that hospital might be able to help you in retrieving more information about how to obtain medical records. – R.M., Auburn.

Dear Sun Spots: Dr. Russell Morrissette was a pediatrician at CMG (now CMMC) and I would expect that the hospital would have the records. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: You are seldom at a loss finding an answer to the myriad of questions you get and hopefully you can give me a bit of satisfaction. The name “prime rib” is a misnomer in Maine as the beef you are served is only U.S. Choice grade. Why is it that we can’t get a real “prime rib” north of Boston? – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots spoke to someone at Town & Country Foods in Greene who says that prime grade prime rib is more marbled with fat than choice grade prime rib. Town & Country hasn’t sold prime grade for many, many years and believes the reason is due to people seeking leaner and healthier meat cuts these days.

In addition, Sun Spots has also learned that according to the United State Department of Agriculture’s standards, labeled products do not have to be derived from USDA prime grade beef. However, if retail or food service firms make claims such as ‘USDA Prime Only’ or ‘Only USDA Choice Served Here’, they must be accurate and verifiable.

Prime-grade beef is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking (i.e., roasting, broiling, and grilling).

Choice grade beef is high quality, but has less marbling than prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are, like Prime, suited to dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts, such as those from the rump, round, and blade chuck can also be cooked with dry heat, but be careful not to over cook them.

Select grade beef is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades.

For more detailed information you might be interested in checking out the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Web site at

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

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.