Dear Sun Spots: I hope you may be able to help me on an issue. I would like to know if there are any programs or places people can go to get low-interest loans for replacing their roofs. Mine is in terrible condition and is in need of reshingling ASAP!

I really have no idea how to go about finding this information. So, I’m hoping you may be able to lend a hand in pointing me in the right direction. – Joe in Auburn.

Answer:
In addition to responses from readers, the Maine Home Repair Network provides low-interest home repair loans and grants to low-income Mainers and may be able to assist you in your search. You will need to contact your Community Action Program to see if you’re eligible. You can reach yours through Community Concepts, serving both Androscoggin and Oxford county residents, at 743-7716. Franklin County residents should contact the Western Maine Community Action at 645-3764; Kennebec residents the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program at 859-1550; Cumberland County residents the People Regional Opportunity Program at 842-2988 and Sagadahoc and Lincoln county residents Coastal Economic Development Corp. at 442-7963.

Dear Sun Spots: Sorry to let you know but Irish Soda scones are not for tea! They are most definitely for breakfast and usually eaten in combination with bacon, sausage and eggs. – Robbin N., No Town.

Answer:
Sun Spots and Robbin corresponded and Robbin, English-born, was very familiar with Devon, England, and their traditions, while Sun Spots was referring to her Dublin, Ireland, household traditions.

Both sweet and savory scones were served at any time of day in our home. It typically depended on when we did our weekly, sometimes daily baking. Oftentimes we also added raisins and grated lemon or orange to the dough for added sweetness to the sweet scone version. We’ve also added cheese to our savory scones.

In Robbin’s case, the recipe below should be eaten at tea time and with clotted cream. Robbin also recommends a nice strawberry, or her favorite, raspberry jam. Sun Spots hope you all enjoy these goodies.

Tea Scones Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 Tbls. baking powder, 2 Tbls. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 3 tbls butter, 1 egg, beaten, 3/4 cup milk. Method: Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the egg. Gradually add the milk until a thick dough is formed. (It may take more or less than 3/4 cup.) Turn out the mixture onto a floured board and knead lightly. Roll out the dough to 3/4″ thickness and cut into rounds with a 2″ cookie cutter. Gather the trimmings and lightly knead, roll, and cut them as well. Place the rounds about 1″ apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little beaten egg or milk. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Readers might also like the following clotted cream substitute kindly provided by Robbin. Ingredients: 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese, 1 heaped Tbl. sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Method: Put it all into a dish and take out your frustrations on it! Basically beat it until it holds together. Robbin says that technically clotted cream is the first stages of butter making. Devonshire milk is known for its high fat content and so makes particularly good clotted cream. Sun Spots knows what she’ll be baking this upcoming weekend. Thanks Robbin!

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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