Dear Sun Spots: On Nov. 29, the program “207” on Channel 6, featured a lady who was making gingerbread whoopie pies. I would like to have the recipe if possible. Thanks so much. – Polly in Monmouth.

You are referring to the queen of whoopie, Amy Bouchard of Isamax, whom Sun Spots has featured in the column previously. Bouchard started the business some 10 years ago.

Sun Spots located the recipe posted online at

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Shell ingredients:
2½ heaping cups of flour, 1½ teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1½ teaspoons ginger, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ cup shortening, ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup molasses, ½ cup sour milk (1 teaspoon vinegar added to the milk), ¼ cup hot water.

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix shortening, sugar and egg together, then add the molasses. Start adding half the dry mix, then add sour milk to the rest of the dry mix, then the hot water. Mix until smooth. Scoop rounded spoonfuls onto a greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. When cool, place a spoonful of whoopie pie filling on a whoopie shell, then place another whoopie shell on top so the filling is in the center like a sandwich.

Filling ingredients: 6 heaping tablespoons fluff, 2 tablespoons vanilla (if using artificial vanilla, you may use more), 4 tablespoons flour, 4 tablespoons milk, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1½ cups vegetable shortening.

Method: Add all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Then place scoop of filling between two of the shells and enjoy!

Dear Sun Spots: I have a seven-year-old Pentax IQ Zoom 160 camera that needs repair to the rewind mechanism. Could you please help me locate a camera shop within a 75-mile radius of Farmington? Thank you. – No Name, No Town.

Sun Spots had the pleasure of talking with Andy Jordan of Classic Camera & Repair, 20 Edwards Ave., Biddeford, ME 04005, 284-5500. They are open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jordan, who’s a co-owner, says they can take a look, but he forewarned that it’s a complicated little camera. Sun Spots learned a lot about cameras during their chat. Who knew that there are more than 400 parts in a camera? The number of screws inside is mind-boggling: More than 30 springs and circuit boards all over the place.

Jordan says your particular camera costs $300 new. He notes if you sent it to Pentax directly, you’d be looking at a flat fee of $125. Classic can take a look and call you back with an estimate. Jordan says sometimes it’s worth the repair, sometimes not. They can mail it back to you. They do have a $10 fee. Contact them to talk about your repair needs. However, based on our conversation, Jordan notes that it’s possible you pushed the button in too far or you might have punctured the circuit board.

You might also consider Ritz Camera, 6 City Center, Portland, ME 04101, 772-7296, across from One City Center. Salesman Justin Knowles believes there are still parts available, and he notes that the average cost is $139. There is currently a six- to eight-week wait. As you can imagine, it’s the busy Christmas season. They are open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays in December. Otherwise, it’s 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Shep’s Camera, 16 Hall Road, Woolwich, ME 04579-4900, 386-0079, is another possibility. They are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. owner Dave Kloberdans says. But you are sure to enjoy your chat with him. Kloberdans notes that with your particular camera, Pentax will repair it. Just go to Kloberdans says they’ll give you a flat rate for repair, and the best part is that you’ll get a one-year warranty with it. Kloberdans notes he can only give a six-month warranty, so he recommends Pentax to many callers.

To have Pentax do your repair, package your camera carefully and ship it (postage prepaid and insured) to Pentax Service Department, 12000 Zuni St., Suite 100B, Westminster, CO 80234, including a copy of your dated proof of purchase (sales receipt, charge slip, etc.), Pentax model and serial number, your address and daytime phone number, and a note explaining the problem, including sample prints, negatives, slides or digital files showing the problem.

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]

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