Dear Sun Spots: Sunspots miraculously finds answers to so many things, I think you can help me this time. Many years ago, I think in Yankee Magazine, a bunch of French-Canadian recipes were published. These were recipes from a woman in Mexico who cooked in a lumber camp. Her daughter sent them in to Yankee Magazine, but it may have been Down East Magazine. That was about 40 years ago or maybe a little less – time dulls the memory. Anyway, I would dearly love the recipe for her Canadian pea soup. As I recall, it had cloves, allspice, marjoram and whole pepperberries. I have made it many times but forget the measurements, and know I am forgetting other ingredients. Can Sun Spots help with this one? I hope so, as it was the best pea soup I ever had. – Claire Holland, Peru.

Answer:
Sun Spots was not able to find the article you are referring to. However, you might consider contacting either magazine to see if they might be able to assist you in locating it in their archives. You can reach Yankee Magazine at 1121 Main St., P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444, or by phone at 603-563-8111. Down East Magazine is at P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843, 800-766-1670 or 594-9544. You can also try e-mailing them at [email protected]

In the meantime, perhaps you and others might enjoy cooking up a pot of pea soup from this French recipe found on the Internet blog site frenchkitchen inamerica.blogspot.com.

Easy Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:
10 cups water; 24 ounces dried split peas; 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 2 large carrots, finely chopped; 1 ham bone, with some meat still on it; 3 bay leaves; 1 tablespoon peppercorns; 1 teaspoon allspice; 1 clove garlic, minced; 2 cups chopped ham; 1/3 cup skim milk; salt and black pepper, to taste.

Method: Wash the peas and drain. Place all soup ingredients except the chopped ham, milk, salt and pepper in a medium stock pot; bring to a slight boil and reduce heat. Simmer three to four hours on very low heat until the peas have completely disintegrated and the soup is smooth. Remove the bay leaves; you may want to scoop out some of the peas and place them in a blender for extra smoothness. Add the milk and season. Allow the flavors to marry overnight before serving.

Dear Sun Spots: Thanks for the great service you provide. A few weeks ago you ran a request from a local ministry looking for used hymnals with certain songs included. Would you please run the request again as I believe I have found a source. Thank you. – Elaine, Lewiston.

Answer:
The request below is from our Nov. 29 column, including the Dec. 5 contact update:

Dear Sun Spots: Would any local churches have extras or old hymn books that they could donate to a group of dedicated ministries who visit our nursing home every Sunday. We need between 15 and 20 copies. The following are the most popular songs that our residents enjoy singing:

Hymns from the “Hymns for the Family of God,” published by Paragon Associates, Inc., Nashville, Tenn. Also, our residents love: “At the Cross;” “In The Garden;” “How Great Thou Art;” “Amazing Grace;” “Battle Hymn of the Republic;” “The Old Rugged Cross” and “America the Beautiful.”

This would be an awesome gift to give them for Christmas, from those very appreciative residents. I will pick up and send a big thank you signed by all the residents and staff. Thanks a million. Please let readers know I can be contacted at 782-1807 in Lewiston. – J.R., Lewiston.

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