DEAR SUN SPOTS: You are so helpful in everything. I am wondering about a chocolate-chip cookie from Mrs. Fields. They came in a red box shaped like the top of a house and were individually wrapped.

I can’t find them anywhere. Shaw’s, Hannaford, Walmart, nobody sells them.

Do you have any information about what happened to the company? Those cookies were the best around, and I miss them. —C.G., Lewiston

ANSWER: According to mrsfields.com, her cookies are still available in some stores, although the boxes appear to have changed. Sun Spots did not see the rooftop box on the website.

Sun Spots did not find a way to locate grocery stores that carry them, although those with computers can order online.

But if you want to buy them in person, Sun Spots suggests you head over to the Maine Mall in South Portland, where there is a Mrs. Fields store. The phone number is 207-967-3701.

DEAR SUN SPOTS:I loved Mary’s Candy Shop, and I miss her caramel kisses with the marshmallow centers. They were a very special treat for the grandchildren, especially around the holidays. They were soft and came wrapped in a wax paper. I would be so happy if Sun Spots could find a candy shop where these “goodies” might be available. Thank you. — Yolande via email

ANSWER: Sun Spots doesn’t know if any stores in the region carry this treat (readers, please write if you do), but the “Scotch kiss” appears to be available online. 

They are at sees.com, $22.50 for a one-pound box. There are also recipes online if you want to try making them yourself.

There aren’t as many independent candy stores around as there used to be, but perhaps the proprietors of those that remain might be willing to make special requests to accommodate customers?

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I know you listed them before, but I would like the names of anyone who services sewing machines in the Rumford area. Thank you. — Sandra via email

ANSWER: Sun Spots doesn’t have anyone specifically in Rumford, but there are a few nearby. If readers know of any others or changes to the list below, please let Sun Spots know.

* Fabric Inn, 413 Wilton Road, Farmington, 207-778-4288, www.fabricinn.com

* Cote Bros., www.cotesbrothers.com, 293 Auburn Road (Route 4), Turner, 207-225-5920, [email protected], www.cotebrothers.com

* Leo Landry, Leo’s Sewing Machine Repairs, Greene, 207-754-7968, [email protected], pickup and deliver within 15 miles of Lewiston-Auburn at no extra charge.

* Jean Libbey, Affordable Sewing Machine Repair (aka Mainely Sewing Machines in Portland), 786-3343 or 782-5043, [email protected], Husqvarna Viking authorized service, drop-off and pickup service at a gift shop in downtown Auburn

* William Hatch Sr., home 207-645-3303, cell 207-779-6812, 27 Bennett St., Wilton

DEAR SUN SPOTS: You have helped me many times, so I’m back again asking for help. 

Do you or any readers know how to make jam using artificial sugar? My niece went online and found how to make other kinds of berries but not blueberries. 

I tried using equal amounts of Splenda as sugar, but it did not jel. Thank you. — No Name, No Town

ANSWER: According to online sources, sugar is not just in jams and jellies to make them sweet, it also serves in the gelling process as well as preservation.  The Utah Agricultural Extension offered this:

“The large amount of sugar present reduces the available moisture for microbial growth. Microbial growth will be inhibited when the sugar concentration is high enough to cause the jelly mixture to boil at eight degrees above the normal boiling point of water (i.e., if water boils at 212 F, the sugar level is high enough to prevent microbial growth if the batch of jelly boils at 220 F).”

However, it does appear possible to make the jam you seek with some special ingredients, although most sites suggest using at least some sugar for better results. At www.pickyourown.org/jamnosugar.htm it recommends going with half sugar.

Another recipe with just a small amount of sugar is at www.bernardin.ca/pages/recipe_page/51.php?pid=36

For a quick two jars of blueberry jam made with honey instead of sugar, visit craftsalamode.com/2013/05/blueberry-preserves-made-without-pectin.html

Perhaps some cooks out there will have better suggestions for No Name.

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). Please include your phone number. 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 emailed to [email protected]


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