Dear Sun Spots: Recently we were at Governor’s restaurant. The table behind us was told pickled beets were not served any more. If you wanted them as a side dish, you need to bring your own jar. This is unbelievable. Is business bad that they cannot afford them? They are not expensive and do not need any cooking. Thank you. – M.N.B.C., No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots had the pleasure of chatting with general manager Carlene Barnies at the Governor’s here in Lewiston who wonders if perhaps you didn’t overhear the staff and customer entertaining each other. Pickled beets are served in the Lewiston restaurant, incidentally the only one in the state to offer them. However, the season for pickled beets being offered at Governor’s has passed. And, opening a jar for the few that would be interested is a waste especially when customers are seeking more comfort foods in the winter months.

Barnies notes that they typically offer a vegetable of the day and then a second vegetable as a choice. During the winter months, they offer squash as the second choice, from around now until early February. In February, they will then replace the squash offering to pickled beets.

A little of interesting trivia, according to Governor’s Web site, www.governorsrestaurant.com:

Leith and Donna Wadleigh opened a small ice cream stand, Creemee’s, in 1960. According to the site’s history, the ice cream was great, but even the best ice cream couldn’t bring people out during the long Maine winters. So, the Wadleighs decided to open a full-service restaurant they could keep open all year round.

“Hi ya, Governor!” he’d say as he greeted his customers every day. Why not name the restaurant in honor of everyone who sat at their tables? They did and it became a Maine tradition.

If you miss your pickled beets during the winter, you might be interested in checking out the following recipe for pickled beets found online at www.elise.com.

Ingredients: 1 bunch (4 or 5) beets, ¼ cup cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, salt and pepper. Method: Remove greens from beets, save for future use. Cut beets to uniform sizes so they will cook evenly. Steam or boil around 30 minutes or until done. A fork easily inserted into the beet will tell you if the beets are done or not. Drain the beets, rinsing them in cold water. Use your fingers to slip the peels from the beets. The peels should come off easily. Discard the peels. Slice the beets. Make the vinaigrette by combining the cider vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and dry mustard. Whisk ingredients together with a fork. The dry mustard will help to emulsify the vinaigrette. Adjust to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine beets and vinaigrette in a bowl and allow to marinate for a half hour at room temperature. Serves four.

Dear Sun Spots: I would appreciate an address for Mickey Rooney.

Also, could you please tell me if Operation Dear Abby has a geographic hub for our servicemen and women in Iraq? Thank you. – Grateful Gayle, No Town.


Answer: Try writing to Mickey Rooney at 3131 Via Colinas Westlake Village, CA 91362.

In response to your second question, unfortunately the site appears to be down and Sun Spots is not aware of when it will be back up. You can check the site yourself at www.operationdearabby.net to find this answer once it is back up. They are also located at www.anyservicemember.navy.mil.

In the meantime, you might consider Operation ShoeBox, (www.operationshoebox.com) another program helping troops. You can send items to them and they will package and ship them. They are at Operation ShoeBox, P.O. Box 1465, Belleview, FL 34421.

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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