Turkey Tracks: Surprise in Tara’s Goat Pen

Turkey Tracks:  February 24, 2012

Surprise in Tara’s Goat Pen

My friend Tara Derr Webb grew up with our sons.

Last fall, she and her husband Leighton moved to Accord, NY, to a rural house surrounded by lots of land.

Tara has two goats, two dogs, and a cat.  How she got the goats is a longer story.  She arrived in Accord with one (Georgia) and purchased another (Sugar) as Georgia needed other goat company.  All the animals follow her everywhere, pen or no pen, like puppies.

All last fall, she and Leighton worked to build a shelter and pen for the goats.

The  other morning, here’s what greeted them when they opened the shelter:

Sugar had a baby!

They had no idea she was pregnant.  I remember thinking not long ago after looking at one of Tara’s videos that Sugar was “thriving.”  Her belly was round and fat.

I still don’t know the gender or the name…

Interesting Information: BAD! Hershey

Interesting Information:  February 24, 2012

BAD!  Hershey

The winter 2011 journal “Wise Traditions” reports that Hershey’s is buying up small high-end chocolate producers, like Scharffenberger and Joseph Schmidt, and changing their formulations.  One such change is to add corn syrup rather than using sugar.  Scharffenberger is pricey, but altogether great in recipes.  So, beware what is occurring and read labels.  If Hershey’s changes the formula, I for one will not be willing to pay the extra $$$$ for an unadulterated chocolate.

Also, Hershey’s has largely replaced cocoa butter in their Hershey brand candy bars with  PGPR, or polyglycerol polyricinoleate, which is a ” `yellowish, viscous liquid comprised of polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids from castor oil or soybean oil.’ ”  “Wise Traditions” calls this stuff “anti-freeze-like slime.”

I’m not buying any more Hershey chocolate.  Bet it’s in those “kisses” too.  Yuck!

I do buy Free Trade chocolate all the time.  So far, it’s not been subjected to the market’s self-destructive drive to destroy a perfectly good product by substituting cheap ingredients.

Buyer Beware!

Turkey Tracks: Knitting Class, Carrying Yarn Color

Turkey Tracks:   February 24, 2012

Knitting Class, Carrying Yarn Color

Once we got our yarn from Kelly Corbett’s Romney Ridge Farm, the next step in Giovanna’s and my “carrying color” project was to take Aloisia Pollack’s class and to buy her pattern.  So, she invited us to come to her home in Jefferson, Maine, which is located at the western top of Damariscotta Lake.  Off we went one fine morning a few weeks ago now.

Here’s the view from Aloisia’s front windows–her rental cabins (Sunset Cabins) lie in a string alongside the lake:

Here’s Aloisia with a sweater project that uses the “carrying color” technique.

To remind, here’s the sweater we’re trying to make, but using our own color choices:

As of Saturday, the 18th, here’s what Giovanna’s sweater looks like:

And, here’s mine.  I made the bottom bands one color and wider.  Since this band gets repeated at the top of the sleeves, I’m not sure I like the wider stripes…  Giovanna tells me that this kind of band is traditional in FairIsle sweaters.

And, Giovanna’s tension is looking better than mine.   Giovanna found a widget that fits over your forefinger that helps control the two yarns–in that it keeps them from tangling and twisting so much.  We got one for me in Belfast at Heavenly Socks, and it does help a lot.  You can see it dangling from my threads; it’s orange.

We both did wider ribbing than Aloisia’s pattern…  Perhaps my band will work with the longer ribbing…  And, I’m making a cardigan, not a pullover.

Giovanna and I are both still feeling like we have clumsy, slow fingers.  But, my knit row is now faster than my purl rows…   And, as we’re doing the sweater “in the round,” that slows down the process as well.

On the way home from Belfast, on Route 52 by Megunticook Lake, we saw an eagle in the middle of the road eating some road kill.  Giovanna stopped the car, and I got this picture after the eagle flew up into the trees.  Follow the two white birch’s up, and you’ll see him/her.

Turkey Tracks: Maine Sea Salt

Turkey Tracks:  February 24, 2012

Maine Sea Salt

I’ve been emailing with Stephen Cook of Maine Sea Salts, and he assures me that he does not heat his seawater in any way to make his salt.  The white color is because he is solar drying sea water that does not, itself, have coloring ingredients.   He told me that the colors in salt (grey, pink, black) come from the clay deposits where salt is harvested.

The url I saw that shows water being heated in large, wooden half-barrels dates back to the late 1990s.  He no longer uses that method.  He totally uses solar drying methods now.  Stephen is working toward getting that reference and picture removed from the internet.  I had a feeling that “old” internet entries was the problem, so I am happy to report that Maine Sea Salt will have all the many nutrients salt should have.

Go Stephen!