Dear Sun Spots: I’m trying to locate a store that sells whole farro. It’s a grain that belongs to the wheat family and is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins. I have recipes that I am anxious to try. I have confidence in you! You help the readers everyday with your column! Thank you in advance. – Nancy, Lewiston.

Answer:
The closest store in our area that sells farro is Whole Foods, located at 2 Somerset St. in Portland. It is available in their grocery aisles in the pasta section. Look for it in a vacuum sealed bag.

Whole foods also recommends barley as a good substitute for farro, simply cook until tender; not as long as farro.

As your letter stated, farro is rich in fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C and E, and is easily digested as energizing carbohydrates. Many people who are wheat sensitive can eat farro due to its low gluten content.

Here’s another farro recipe to add to your collection, Farro Vegetarian Jambalaya, featured on “Emeril Live.”

Ingredients: 6 cups vegetable stock, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 cup finely chopped onions, 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper, 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 cup finely chopped celery, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 cups whole grain farro, 2 cups diced tomatoes, 2 cups quartered cremini mushrooms, 1/4 pound okra halved lengthwise, 1/4 pound whole baby carrots with tops removed and scrubbed, 1 small zucchini sliced into 1/2-inch thick half circles, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Method: In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Lower the heat to keep warm. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and celery and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and farro to the pan and cook, stirring, until the faro is toasted and coated with oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, okra, baby carrots, zucchini, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the warm stock, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 2 cups at a time, as the previous addition is absorbed, cooking and stirring, until all the stock is used and the grains are plump and tender.

Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Serve immediately.

• For A Recycler, No Town, Sun Spots inquiry Aug. 5: I have had great success in giving expanded foam packing peanuts, bubble wrap and other packaging materials to “pack and ship” companies to reuse. Goin’ Postal on Main Street in Norway and at 120 Center St. in Auburn come to mind, as well as The UPS Store at the Topsham Fair Mall.

Just call them and ask if they accept those items. – Alison M. McCrady, recycling coordinator, ecomaine, Portland.


Answer: Sun Spots thanks you for the information. Both Auburn and Norway locations of Goin’ Postal will be happy to take your packing materials. The Mailing Center, located at 250 Center St, Auburn, will also reuse your packing materials.

Dear Sun Spots: High Street Congregational Church on Pleasant Street in Auburn would like to invite the community to join us for supper from 5 to 6:30 p.m. before the Auburn Community Band concert on Wednesday, Aug. 20. We will offer hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, coleslaw and lemonade. The cost for adults is $5 for either a burger or hot-dog and $6 for both. Prices for kids and seniors are $2 less. – No Name, No Town.

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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