Dear Sun Spots: Thanks for providing a great service for the surrounding communities. Two of my coworkers and I were discussing the wonderful recipes from a cookbook put together by the Ladies of Isabella from Lisbon or Lisbon Falls. Are these cookbooks still available and, if so, at what cost? Many thanks for your help. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots has not located a copy. Hopefully readers out there will recall this book and be happy to share some recipes with you.

Dear Sun Spots: I have some rhubarb and for the last two years when it comes up it’s small. I was wondering what I could do to get the stalks bigger and thicker? – M.S., Dryden.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots wonders if perhaps it’s time to thin your rhubarb? According to www.plantea.com/rhubarb.htm, over time rhubarb crowns become crowded, resulting in small, tough (and somewhat inedible) stalks. That’s why it’s important to divide your plants every four years or so. Divide plants in early spring before the leaves get much taller than six to 10 inches. Use a shovel to slice down through the crown. Wear heavy boots when you do this! Replant crown sections and keep them moist and mulched.

In the meantime, perhaps you and your family will enjoy the following recipe found online at www.irishcustomsandculture.com. It sure reminded Sun Spots of her Irish childhood, picking rhubarb from the family’s garden for a fresh rhubarb crumble or fool:

Irish rhubarb crumble from The Abbey in Clonmel

Ingredients: 14 ounces unbleached white flour, 14 ounces brown sugar, 6 ounces butter cut into bits, 1 pound rhubarb cut into small pieces, 2½ tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind, ½ cup sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, pinch cloves.

Method: Combine flour and brown sugar in mixing bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Place rhubarb in bottom of 9″ pie plate, sprinkle lemon juice and rind over top, along with sugar and spices. Pile the crumble mixture on top of fruit, pressing down so that fruit is covered. Bake in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes or until top is golden and filling begins to bubble around edges. May be served hot or cold with a dollop of cream.

Dear Sun Spots: Could you please give me names and contact numbers for individuals who do on-site food catering in the Lewiston-Auburn area? Thanks. – Jim, No Town.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, you might want to try calling Amato’s Sandwich Shop of Auburn, Center Street, 782-7114; B & B Catering, 158 Seventh St., Auburn, 777-5578; Davinci’s Eatery, 35 Canal St., Lewiston, 782-2088; Dore’s Cafe and Market, 20 Union St., Auburn, 777-7001; Hi-Style Caterers & Carriage House Plus, 1119 Lisbon St., Lewiston, 344-6336; Marco’s Ristorante Italiano, 12 Mollison Way, Lewiston, 783-0336; Rolly’s Diner, 87 Mill St., Auburn, 753-0171; and Sam’s Italian Foods, 268 Main St., Lewiston, 782-2550.

For readers who may be looking for a caterer in the Farmington area, try calling Cafe Di Cocoa, 125 Main St., Bethel, 824-5282; Good Food Store, Route 2, Bethel, 824-3754; Homestead Bakery Restaurant, 186 Broadway St., 778-6162; Rick’s Market Depot, Depot Street, Dryden, 645-2954; and The Village Farm Caterers, Turner, 225-2171.

Readers in the Norway area may call Amato’s Italian Sandwich Shop, 30 Fair St., Norway, 743-6194. Rumford area readers can try calling The Bear-ly Inn and Restaurant, 28 Weld St., Dixfield, 562-7700.

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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