Reader in Search of a Savory Seasoning

Jewel Allin of Balboa Island is searching for mushroom powder, which she says adds much flavor to casseroles and meats. The two sources that used to handle the product say it came from France and is no longer being imported. Allin has the feeling that this talk is a lot of mush and that somebody sells the product. But who? Can you help, or will Allin be convinced that everybody is telling her to take a powder?

Mimi Smyth of Del Mar is trying to locate an oversize plastic champagne glass to use as a “tip” jar on a piano. She’s looked everywhere, but no results, not even a hot tip on where to find such an item. And it has to be plastic, she says, because glass will break. Can you help with this “tipsy” request, or will Smyth have to face the music while playing “glassical” compositions?

Steven Salotwinsky of San Diego is desperately looking for old-fashioned wooden clothespins no smaller than 4 1/2 inches long. He needs these for a child’s Christmas, 1985, project but has been unable to pin down a source; not even clothespin manufacturers were able to give him a clue. Can you help play Santa Claus, or will Salotwinsky stay pinned to the mat on this one?

M. Holditch of Laguna Hills is trying to find some silk evening socks for men, so that she can surprise her son-in-law (who, she hopes, does not read this column). Can you help smooth the path for Holditch, or will this be a mother-in-law story that has no real sock to it?


Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Lynn at (213) 322-6615 is looking for a Vogue pattern for sewing stuffed dinosaurs. She says she saw that pattern in a book about five years ago, but more recent pattern books don’t show it. Please help, so that Lynn will be convinced that the pattern isn’t extinct after all. . . . H. Epstein at (818) 981-2634 is trying to locate the strainer for an old Sunbeam Mixmaster orange - juicer attachment ; the item was probably made 45 or 50 years ago. Please help, so that the strain in the Epstein kitchen will be reduced to pulp. . . . Theresa at (213) 391-1675 would like to find some theatrical pancake makeup called 6-7-8 , which was made by Max Factor a number of years ago. The many beauty-supply houses and drugstores that she checked in dozens of cities didn’t pan out. Please help, so that Theresa can once again start dreaming about becoming a 10.

Note: The Reader-to-Reader Help Line is only for one-time items and for products that are no longer available in stores. And you must give us written permission to publish your telephone number, so that other readers may contact you directly.

Macy of Newport Beach, who was looking for good-quality clothing in the larger sizes, owes a large debt to two readers who came through with not-terribly-far-away sources. Susan Wood of Temecula told us about Bonnie’s (a division of Pendleton), 123-F N. El Camino Road, Encinitas Village, (619) 436-5321, which advertises better-quality, larger-size clothing. Nola Richards of Arcadia calls Lady Miriam stores “terrific.” Locations close to Newport Beach are at 8439 S. Quadway, Whittier; Puente Hills Mall, City of Industry, and 370 West Covina Fashion Plaza, West Covina. And Harriett Wagner of Los Angeles says the spring catalogues of 16 Plus and J. C. Penney carry large-size clothing.

Perhaps Ivan Traucht of Culver City, who was looking for a hammock to fit into an old hammock stand, will soon be swinging again. Barbara Brunner of Manhattan Beach writes that the Sears spring/summer catalogue (Page 297) lists seven different hammocks to fit that stand. L. Kaplon of Encino suggests that Traucht look in the Yellow Pages under “Awnings” and adds that many firms will custom-make hammocks if the correct size is not in stock. We also heard from two readers who have the item Traucht is looking for. If he (or anyone else) is interested, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope.


Ruth L. Harris of Bellflower, who was looking for a six-foot staff for rock-hunting and climbing, may soon be on top of the world again. Nova Madlock says such staffs can be found at the Costa Mesa swap meet around the A and B rows. Susan Clika of LifeKnife, P. O. Box 771, Santa Monica, (213) 821-6192, says her firm sells a trail-breaker staff ($49.95) that is adjustable in height and contains a compass and survival kit. P. J. Everhart writes all the way from Clark, Mo., that the Ewesful Shop in Bethel, Mo. 63434 (no street address necessary), has regular shepherd’s staffs that look to be six feet long. Several readers mentioned (or sent catalogues from) Early Winters, 110 Prefontain Place South, Seattle, Wash. 98104. They include Alfred B. North, Ventura; Jeanne Garrison of Teasdale, Utah; M. D. Lakatos of Santa Monica, and Gennie Kiuchi of Los Angeles, who also sent a catalogue published by Campmoor, P. O. Box 999, Paramus, N.J. 07653-0999. And Toy Sato, herself a rockhound, says to go to a hardware store that sells plastic pipe and have a piece cut to the desired length, with plastic or rubber caps attached to both ends. She also suggests cementing an old table fork to the bottom of the stick to prevent slipping when going downhill.

Herb Hain cannot answer mail personally but will, space permitting, respond in this column to readers who have--or need--helpful information. Write (do not telephone) to You Can Help!, You section, the Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.