DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’d like to make a carrot cake for Easter and can’t find my recipe. Do you have one to share that also has crushed pineapple in it? — Ellie, no town

ANSWER: The following recipe is a favorite that I’ve made for many years. If you like, frost it with cream cheese frosting, but because it’s so moist and flavorful, it’s delicious on its own with a simple dusting of confectioners sugar. Enjoy!

Carrot Pineapple Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together 2 cups flour with 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

In a separate bowl, beat together 2 cups sugar and 1 1/4 cups canola oil until well-blended. Add 4 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients then beat for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon flour. Stir walnuts, 1 1/2 cups grated carrots, and an 8.25-ounce can crushed pineapple into batter. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9-inch tube pan or Bundt pan.

Bake for 1 hour and until cake tests done. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Invert and remove cake from pan. Cool on rack. This recipe makes 12 servings.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a few questions about my 2020 income tax return. Is this something you can help me with? — No name, no town

ANSWER: This letter also included some personal tax information that I didn’t include. I’m using this request as an example of what Sun Spots cannot do. You need to contact someone who has expertise in filing returns. There are lots of people out there to help you.

Depending on your circumstances, you can get free help with your questions and with filing through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides tax assistance to anyone free of charge with a special focus on taxpayers who are over 50 or that have low to moderate income.

There is an AARP Free Tax Preparation site at Sacred Heart Church in Auburn opening on April 5. They will remain open through the month of April and into May if there is a need. They will have limited capacity and some new procedures due to COVID-19.  The deadline has been extended to May 17.

To make an appointment, please call and leave a message on their phone at 513-3170.

For virtual assistance, you can call the same number or fill out the online form to request assistance at https://taxaide.aarpfoundation.org/ . You can also send an email to [email protected]. Someone will get back to you within five business days.

As an alternative, if your income was less than $57,000 this year, consider having CA$H Maine help you with your taxes. For more information, and to fill out the questionnaire to schedule an appointment, go to cashmaine.org. A volunteer will call to schedule a Scan & Go appointment where you will drop off your documents at the designated location and have them scanned. Your taxes will then be completed virtually by an IRS tax law certified volunteer.

You may also want to call SeniorsPlus at 795-4010 to see if they have recommendations.

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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