Dear Sun Spots: You do such a great job and have obtained lots of answers for many people, including myself. Can you please help me out again?

A little more than a year ago, I asked if you could find a recipe for a seafood recipe that had been on a cooking channel. You did find it and printed it. Well, I have misplaced it. Could you possibly find it and rerun it? This time I will put it in the computer, like I should have in the first place.

Keep up the great work. – Fern Bosse, Poland.


Answer: Sun Spots published the following in the March 25, 2005, column:

Savannah seafood gumbo

Ingredients:
¼ cup oil, 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 cups onion, chopped, 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped, 1 cup celery, diced, 3 large garlic cloves, minced, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 tablespoon chicken base, 3 cups water, 2 bay leaves, 1½ teaspoons dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/3 cup dried parsley, 1 teaspoon lemon pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons house seasoning (recipe follows), 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, 1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic, basil, and oregano or 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes, 4 cups sliced Cajun-style fresh link sausage, 4 cups cut okra (fresh or frozen), 2 cups oysters and liquor, ½ pound crabmeat, 1½ pounds fresh peeled shrimp, 3 cups bay scallops, file powder.

Method: In a large pot combine oil and flour. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the roux has browned to a light chocolate color. Add onion, pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add chicken broth, and chicken base, stirring as you go. Add water, bay leaves, thyme, basil, parsley, lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, house seasoning, soy sauce and tomatoes. Cut sausage into ½-inch pieces. Add to pot along with okra. Cover pot and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Add oysters, crabmeat, shrimp and scallops. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve over hot buttered rice. Sprinkle with file powder on top of bowl and stir in.

Tip: Add file powder after putting gumbo into individual serving bowls. Adding file into the pot will make the gumbo too thick, as file powder acts as a thickening agent.

House seasoning ingredients and method: 1 cup salt, ¼ cup black pepper, ¼ cup garlic powder. Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Yields 1½ cups.

Dear Sun Spots: What are the symptoms of cataracts? My eye doctor said I have small ones in both eyes. Will that cause my eyes to be scratchy and also give me a headache?

When is Elizabeth Vargas expecting her baby? Is this her first? – No Name, West Bethel.


Answer: According to www.medem.com, common symptoms of cataracts include a painless blurring of vision, glare or light sensitivity, poor night vision, double vision in one eye, needing brighter light to read or fading or yellowing of colors. The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present. But please, Sun Spots would urge you to call your eye doctor to discuss your symptoms. Sun Spots and the column are not medical experts in any way and would caution you and other readers to please consult with your primary care doctors and other medical experts to discuss your individual concerns, symptoms and more.

Regarding your second question, according to an item posted online at The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Web site (www.philly.com), Vargas and husband singer-songwriter Marc Cohn are expecting their second child in late August. The Mercury News (www.mercurynews.com) also notes that the couple has a son, Zachary, 3, and Cohn has two children – Max, 14, and Emily, 11 – from a previous marriage.

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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