Saturday, July 28, 2012

Butter and English Muffins

     For some time now I have wanted to make my own butter- It's an easy process, and it just seemed like a good idea. The only thing that was holding me up was the idea that if I made butter, I better have something damn good to put it on! I decided on english muffins. First off, they also looked easy, and secondly, I love english muffins! 

    Other than the fact that I had to completely start the english muffins over ( because I used yeast that was a year and a month old, not just a month!) everything went very smooth, and I will most definitely do it again.

   I was on a bit of a baking spree this week and also made granola and some blueberry-raspberry cream cheese pastries.

Chaco hates the horseflies.
   The garden is also going pretty well right now. I have caught up on all of the weeding- I had a pretty huge crop of crab grass this year! My potatoes look pretty sorry due to the bug damage, but the tubers themselves are looking great. The chickens are also getting along just fine!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trip Number Two

    Trip Number Two has now come and gone. We had a few small mishaps along the way, but overall, it was a great success!

        I'll start with mishap number one. This was more of a near mishap, but it is mentionable none the less! Maritime Canada has been one of our favorite places to travel to over the years, but we have not been since they decided to make a rule requiring passports to re-enter the US. We were dead set on getting there this time, and so, the day before our trip, we got photos and applications ready for a passport, as we heard we could get a temporary authorization to get back to our country. When we arrived at the post office, we learned that we needed an appointment, and they were booked for the whole day!! Ah! But, The man working that day saved us, he squeezed us in between appointments and authorized our birth certificates. Thank You Sir!

We missed you Canada!

    We left nice and early, and arrived at the campground in time to set up our site, and then go visit Tide Mill Organic Farm, which is just down the road. It was Open Farm Day in Maine( See more here...), so they had BBQ chicken and fresh milk to sample, along with a hay ride, which we most definitely went on with the dog! Many thanks to Aaron Bell for showing us around.
Open Farm Day at Tide Mill Organic Farm

Site 110

    Our next mishap happened in the campground. We bottomed out in the Subaru!! Our exhaust broke at one of the joints, and sounded so loud it was embarrassing.  Thank goodness though for some more good luck, we found a garage that had the part and could weld the exhaust for us. I can't remember the exact name of the place, But it is owned by the Hallowell family. They were very kind and helpful to us, and their prices were great.

Tikaani enjoying the site
   We are on our way again! We spent the rest of the day island hopping. We took the ferry out of Eastport to Deer Island ( with a minor mishap in Eastport- We bought a lobster roll at J'romes Pizzeria and did not eat it until we were on Deer Island, where we discovered it was not real! How dare they serve us imitation lobster?!) We were the only car on the ferry over- we finally made our way back to Canada! We watched the massive tidal whirl pool named Old Sow, spotted a few seals, then drove from one end of the island and back and then boarded the Ferry to Campobello Island.

   Trips down east are never completed without stopping at Helen's, so we did. We both got the amazing french dip sandwich and shared a piece of the most delicious, fresh, award winning blueberry cream pie.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Potatoes.

I've been picking and eating beet greens for awhile now. I love them so much! I also love beets in general- so I plant many rows. Now is the time though where everything else starts getting good for the eating. I've got new potatoes and a few carrots to go along with the beets. I've also got cucumbers, which means it's going to be pickle time soon!

I love this time of year!

Husband and I have been discussing food lately- I signed up for a food buying coop early this year which connects people with fresh local goods. This is super because I am able buy anything from grass fed beef at an awesome price to veggies, fruits, breads and anything else you could imagine that might be grown or farmed here in Maine. It's called the Kennebec Local Food Initiative. I would highly recommend anyone in the greater Augusta/Gardiner area to check this out!

Sunset Sky

Back to the Husband though. We are both on the same page about buying local, wholesome foods, and about not supporting factory farming and the meat that comes from that process. He told me the other day that he would agree to be "vegetarian" unless we could eat meat that came from a local source that we "knew". I put vegetarian in quotes because this is not vegetarian at is just eating less meat....but I understood what he meant. So the promise is made- no meat from "bad" sources, and move veggie dishes....which brings me to my new issue/need: more vegetarian recipes! Anyone willing to share anything here??
Dirt road drivin' Down East.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Weekend, In Pictures.

Rainier Cherries-worth the extra cash.

 Farmers Gate Market
nothing beats burgers made from grass fed beef that came from less than 5 miles away....

I wouldn't eat this one if I were you.

Buddhist chickens?

Sunday morning

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vacation Week

     It is Saturday, almost the end of my vacation week. I'm sure this week would not have flown by so quickly if I was at work!  I did some of the things I wanted to do- we made it to Cobscook, I cleaned the house ( a little) My mom visited.... I did NOT, however, finish weeding the garden, or replace the clothesline, or put away the camping gear....I won't bother to list the rest of the things I did not do, instead, I'll share more pictures!
It's really almost done now.

running of the chickens....

     The chickens have decided that they want to free range all the time, so we let them. So far, they have not found the garden...when that day comes I'm not sure what my plan will be!  When we wake up in the morning we can look from our bedroom window into their coop window and see them waiting. I call it the daily "running of the chickens" when Joe lets them out and they high tail it for the other side of the yard.

     Things are growing alright in the garden. I have been a little neglectful with the weeding, but it's been really hot! ( I know, excuses!) The cukes ( second planting) are growing great, and so are the beets as usual. The potatoes are doing well too except for the constant molesting they are receiving from numerous bugs ( thank god no potato beetles this year though!).  My corn, on the other hand, I worry about. It is very...short. I keep reassuring myself that even though I planted later, it should still mature at the same time that all those early planters get theirs, but it's just a little sad looking!

     I took the dog for a little hike at Jimmies pond this morning, it was humid and buggy, but still nice. We stopped at the small farmers market up the road, and then a lawn sale, where I made a huge score! 12 issues of Cooks Country for 2 dollars!