DEAR SUN SPOTS: The September 20 Sun Spots featured a question from Anita in Lewiston about winter walking venues in the area. I highly recommend the Moving Me Forward Program, established by Bob Brainerd in conjunction with a group of former Healthsteps participants after St. Mary’s decided to stop sponsoring that program.

Negotiations with Bates College Athletic Department led to an agreement to allow folks to use certain parts of the gym, including the track, three days each week through the winter months. This year the program runs from October 16 to May 13 except for holidays and school recess periods.

Fees are quite reasonable and there are a few different levels to choose from. A medical intake form needs to be completed before your participate in any of the programs. For further information, and to register, you can use this link: — Greg, no town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a collection of cookbooks and piano and organ music free to anyone interested. Please contact me at [email protected]. — Shirley, no town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We have some sunchokes/Jersusalem artichokes if Nancy is still interested in coming to get them. She can contact us at [email protected]. — Sheryl, Auburn

ANSWER: Wow! Nancy is hitting the jackpot with her request for Jerusalem artichokes in the September 19 Sun Spots. I hope she’s following up. Read on:

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’d like to try Jerusalem artichokes again. I don’t remember liking them when I was a kid but after reading about them in Sun Spots, I’m curious to see what they’re all about. Do you have an easy recipe? — Rachel, no town

ANSWER: You bet I do! For this simple casserole side dish where potatoes, parsnips or carrots can also be added, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine 1 cup heavy cream or crème fraiche, the juice of 1 lemon, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, ¼ cup fresh thyme and ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan. Season well to taste then stir in 6 tablespoons water. Add 2-3 cups peeled and thinly sliced Jerusalem artichokes (and other vegetables if you’re using them). Stir then spoon mixture into an ovenproof baking dish. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

Mix 2 cups bread crumbs with 1/8 cup fresh thyme, salt and pepper with a tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the artichokes from the oven, uncover, and sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan and the bread crumbs over the top. Bake for 15 more minutes until the bread crumbs are golden.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am so excited! I just had my first meeting at my Little Lending Library in Hebron.  Thank you so much for putting my information in Sun Spots (September 20) because that’s why some people stopped in. It was fun talking with them and they left a few books as well. Thank you so much for all you do for us! — Karen, Hebron

ANSWER: I love your enthusiasm about your Little Free Library, Karen, and hope you’ll get many years of enjoyment out of it and all the people you’ll meet. For those of you who would like to create your own Little Library experience, go to to find out how you can participate.

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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