Dear Sun Spots: Great column!

How can you keep pie crust from shrinking in the pie plate when baking?

What happened to Jeff Peterson on channel 8? – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Thanks to Katie Liguori, pastry chef instructor at Lewiston Regional Technology Center’s culinary arts program who had lots of advice for you and others with pastry crust woes.

Liguori says it’s hard to not shrink them. But there are a couple of tips to help you out with that. First, she recommends that when you bake your pie crust, line the bottom of the pan with wax paper and then dump a bag of beans on top or you can even place a weight if you have one, on top and then bake. This holds down the crust and keeps it from shrinking. Another tip, Liguori says to consider is to always ensure when you make your crust that it overhangs in the pan a little bit so when it does shrink it will shrink to the desired size you want.

Liguori also noted that the program’s restaurant, The Green Ladle, will open for business sometime in January, through May. Please note it is reservations only and open Wednesday through Friday A full buffet lunch, $7, is served between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and includes salad station, soup station, dessert and beverage. The students are in charge of putting on the entire event. They make the food, desserts and also play the role of a hostess, waiter or waitress. They do get graded on it.

You might also consider their open house taking place Oct. 25. This is a big event that both seniors and new juniors put on. It is free. Students will have their own table with their favorite food item and display for you to enjoy and eat, so bring an appetite. The juniors make many baked goods for sale. Donations are welcomed. They are located on the corner of Alfred Plourde Parkway and Goddard Road in Lewiston.

Regarding your question about Jeff Peterson, he was replaced with Jon Camp. No information was provided on why Peterson was replaced.

Dear Sun Spots: I have a small stand, stained maple and in mint condition. It has a limited edition 1776-1976 seal on the back – Standard Inc. It is a tilt top and the four little legs screw up into the base of the table. I’m hoping someone might know the value of the stand. I can be reached at 645-4819. – Dawn Pratt, Wilton.

Sun Spots contacted the Standard Chair of Gardner, 1 South Main St., Gardner, MA 01440, (800) 352-5885, (978) 632-1301. Joyce in their business office kindly conferred with one of the owners, Melvin Ostroff, who notes the company did make a limited edition of these “tote top table” for the bicentennial. Around 1,500 tables were made and the table would be valued at around $100 today.

The company is a family-owned business that has for three generations, since the latter stages of the Great Depression, been creating chairs and rockers. Today, they manufacture chairs for almost every single top college and university in the country.

Dear Sun Spots: My children have grown so much that now I have an abundance of children’s books that are no longer read and take up too much space. I would like to give them to someone who could really utilize and enjoy them. They are mostly preschool and K-1. I would love to give them to a charity, church, or preschool that needs them. My number is 353-8985. Please call between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Catie, No Town.

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