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Turkey Tracks: A Kitchen Treat!

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Turkey Tracks:  January 26, 2020

A Kitchen Treat

I had a pair of kitchen shears that came with a very good set of knives many years ago.  I’ve taken the shears to be sharpened many times, but gradually, they just become beyond help.  I finally gave up.

Can I say that this very reasonable kitchen shears purchase is BEYOND satisfying.  They are awesome.  I had forgotten how much I really enjoy having a SHARP and STRONG pair of kitchen shears.

Yes, a real treat as I use them all the time.

 

Gerior Heavy Duty Utility Come Apart Shears

 

Written by louisaenright

January 26, 2020 at 9:26 am

Turkey Tracks: May 2018 Quilting Retreat Group Project

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Turkey Tracks:  May 20, 2018

May 2018 Quilting Retreat Group Project

This is the project I took for everyone at our recent Coastal Quilter’s Mother’s Day weekend retreat.

Each person got one of the flour sack towels and 21 hexes with which to play.

The flour sacks can be ordered from Amazon.  I paid about $18 for a set of 12.  Amazon has some sort of algorithm that will up the price on you if you order once or look more than once, so be aware…

I had fun using some different paper piecing shapes–the pentagons, for instance.

 

The towels are large and very white and very soft.  It’s fun to decorate them.  I used a fine thread so the back remained pretty clean.  You can bury knots of pearl cotton or embroidery thread under the hexes if you don’t want knots to show on the underside of the towel.

They are fun to use in the kitchen and the bathroom I think and would make great gifts.

Written by louisaenright

May 20, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Turkey Tracks: The Coastal Quilters’ 2017 October Retreat, Part 2

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Turkey Tracks:  October 24, 2017

The Coastal Quilters’ 2017 October Retreat, Part 2

Here’s our space at the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunkport, Maine.

This time the FGH located us in the gym as another larger group had been there just before us.  So, we had space, ironing boards and irons, tables, and design walls to spare.  The entrance is across the room from this picture.  And we had access to a nice kitchen with both a microwave and a convection oven.  We brought food and bought food.  A group has to have 15 in attendance to get FGH ood served.

Additionally, Jan Kelsey and crew sought out nearby quilting stores this trip.  There are more than the one very small one just down the street.  Sanford sewing is about 20 minutes–and they have been so supportive of us during our retreats, including fixing machines we’ve dropped off there while we are at the retreat.  There is a nearby Marden’s.  And there is a store called Wool Camp that the girls who went on this expedition loved.  Who knew?

From left to right, Deb Hazell, Heidi August, and Deb Torre.  That’s Tori Manzi in the background.

Vicki Fletcher.  Don’t you love that smile?

Mac Saulnier.  Mac and Jan Kelsey went to college together and have stayed in touch.

Mary Bishop, with the quilt she designed and the jacket she made at the October 2016 retreat:

Vicki Fletcher and Sharon Flanagan with Sharon’s quilt:

Jan Kelsey with a baby quilt.  This fabric is interesting because I made a quilt for a grandson with this fabric and put the remnants into our last fund-raiser auction.  Jan bought it, not realizing that I had donated it.  I like what she did and am so happy that someone else was using the fabric.

I did not get a picture of Jan Corson (!!!) or myself.

And I went back into old files to find what I did with the fabrics Jan Kelsey has above:  it was quilt No 43, made in 2009.  I’ve come along way baby!  As has technology.  The pics are from a camera that distorted the “rectangle” of the quilt, for instance.

I would definitely put cornerstones if I were making this quilt today.  The panel details are so cute though.  They remind me of the Japanese designers who are making fabrics with these “retro” motifs.

Written by louisaenright

October 24, 2017 at 9:34 am

Turkey Tracks: Sprouted Blue Corn, Buckwheat and Blueberry Muffins from Nourished Kitchen

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Turkey Tracks:  December 15, 2015

Sprouted Blue Corn and Buckwheat and Blueberry Muffins

 

I made these this morning!

They are delicious!

The recipe came from Jennifer McGruther’s blog, Nourished Kitchen:

Sprouted Blue Corn, Buckwheat and Blueberry Muffins — Nourished Kitchen.

And she got it from the Shiloh Farms online VERY INTERESTING store.

They have a whole range of SPROUTED gluten free flours and will ship them.

IMG_0495

There are other products as well, and I will be taking a much closer look at what they have to offer soon.

Next step:  try to get our local coops to carry these flours.

What a treat to start the day!

 

 

Turkey Tracks: My Green Kitchen

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Turkey Tracks:  November 1, 2013

My Green Kitchen

This summer I had the kitchen counter formica, which was shredding, replaced with Corian.

What a treat!

I chose a warm peachy shade–thinking it would blend well with the paint color–Beeswax–Benjamin Moore–which I liked a lot.

When we bought this house, there was a lovely paint palette in place–some thought combination of Martha Stewart colors.

But, as we lived here, we realized we wanted warmer colors–the Martha Stewart colors were all smoky greens, almost going over into greys.  They were just too cool.

So, that’s how the kitchen became a shade of orange.

BUT, BUT, the new Corian fought with the wall paint.  Or, maybe, they just weren’t doing a thing for each other.

Here’s what the kitchen looked like…

Beeswax kitchen 2

 

Beeswax kitchen 5

Nothing special at all…

I went and got lighter shades of peach–and settled on several that would work–and asked everyone who came by to “vote” on their favorite.  Again, the kitchen would be warm and comforting.

But, something just wasn’t right.  And my mind turned to thinking about other colors.  Green kept popping up.

About that time, Kathleen and John Nixon came and one of them immediately said “Have you thought about green?”

Well that did it.

Off I went to get all the green paint chips.  And we spent the next week eliminating colors and propping others on walls and under cabinets.  There were several sensible greens that would have been lovely, but I kept returning over and over to this one–Stem Green.

It makes me happy every time I go into the kitchen.

Green Kitchen 1

The peach counter is singing now.  And the white cabinets are so…white!

Green Kitchen 2

Here’s looking back at the stove.  What you cannot see is how the green is making the yellow walls in the living room sing, too.  The orange was just killing the yellow in the living room.

Green kitchen 4

Look how the green brings the green outside right into the kitchen:

Green kitchen 9

Kathleen Nixon said in passing “you could get green glass knobs”–an idea that I immediately loved.

I ordered some–and the only green color is a forest green–which did nothing.  More importantly, the screw has to go through the front of the knob, through the door, and tightens with a bolt.  That bolt protrudes on the cabinet doors–making them not shut properly.  So I sent them back.

I looked for a lighter color glass knob–more of a fern/yellow green–and sent a message to Potterville.com.  The most amazing man called me up and walked me through which knobs might work, and here’s what came to me in the mail:

Green Kitchen Door Knobs

The screws were bigger than the current holes, and though I tried to enlarge them with the electric screw drivers in the garage, I quickly realized I was way out of my skill set.  A call to Stephen Pennoyer brought him to the house, and he sorted out the screws and knobs.

And here’s how the knobs look on some of the drawers and cabinets:

Green Kitchen Door Knobs 4

(Miss Reynolds Georgia is eating again, sort of, after having to be force fed for the past three months.  She won’t look at the camera.)

And:

Green Kitchen Door Knobs 2

Now I need to make a rug with more green in it.

But I am a happy woman!

Written by louisaenright

November 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Turkey Tracks: Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen CSA

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Turkey Tracks:  January 17, 2011

 Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen CSA

We have a new CSA:  Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen.

Cheryl is dedicated to making foods from locally grown, organic ingredients.  And, she’s associated with MOFGA–the Maine Organic Farmers’ and Growers’ Association.  I will get eight jars, each filled with something wonderful, as you can see below. 

I’m picking up our first order later today, I hope.  Driving to Belfast today to the COOP will depend on whether or not it stops snowing.  Not to worry though.  The COOP will hold the order until I get there.

Here’s a description of what I’ll be getting this month: 

 

CSA NEWSLETTER

JANUARY 2012

                                        WHAT’S IN YOUR SHARE THIS MONTH                                          

    

CRYSTAL SPRING MARINARA  Pasta & Pizza Sauce: Crystal Spring Community Farm is   a certified organic farm located in Brunswick.  The farm does a large summer CSA in the Portland and Brunswick area.  Seth Kroeck was one of the first farmers I visited when I started my work for MOFGA six years ago.  When Seth attended one of my Farm Food Safety workshops in early April last year, and told me that he would have some extra capacity in sweet bell peppers, we were really excited.  As it turns out, in addition to peppers, we were able to purchase sweet onions, jalapeño peppers, and Genovese basil.  Then one day, Seth called to see if we needed more tomatoes.  Seems that he had grown one variety in his hoop house that was quite prolific…we were fortunate to receive over 2000 pounds.  When cooking down these tomatoes, we decided to make them into a single variety sauce.  Crystal Spring Marinara is crafted in true Italian fashion.  The garlic is sautéed in olive oil until fragrant, and then the tomato puree, herbs and seasonings are cooked until the sauce becomes thick.  We love the fresh tomato taste of this sauce, and hope you will also!  And the good news is, next year, Seth will be growing even more food for us…we’re meeting soon to talk about varieties and quantities…go Maine farmers!

 PUTTANESCA  Pasta & Pizza Sauce:  We’re getting lots of feedback on this spicy, olive-laced sauce, and it appears to be a love-hate relationship.  Puttanesca is supposed to be hot and spicy, but some folks don’t care for that much kick.  If your family falls in this category, try using it as a pizza sauce, and spread it lightly over the dough.  The cheese on the pizza mellows the flavor of the sauce.  Or if you’d like, let us know, and we can swap it out for another variety.  Besides a sauce for pasta, Puttanesca goes great over chicken, and adds kick to black beans and beef.  For our vegetarian friends, try Puttanesca with portabello mushrooms…nice and meaty!

MARINATED BEAN SALAD: Looking for a serving of vegetables in a jar?  Marinated Bean salad fits the bill!  In this “pickled” vegetable creation, we use horticulture beans and yellow beans from Horsepower Farm in Penobscot, green beans from Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, carrots from Snakeroot organic Farm, garlic from Green Garden Farm in St. Albans, onions from Crystal Spring Community Farm, and cauliflower from Kousky Farm.  The vegetables are cooked slightly in the brine, and then refrigerated overnight so the flavors can marry.  Then we return the mixture to the kettle, bring it to a boil, and bottle it.  I’ve been making this salad on a home basis for years, and my family loves it.  When I’m pressed for time, this is a quick and easy vegetable.  It also is great to take on a picnic, and makes a nice complement to bread and cheese. 

LIBERTY APPLESAUCE: The Liberty variety of apple is often cited as one of the best recently developed “disease-resistant” varieties grown in the Northeast.  It was developed in New York in 1978, and has a complex parentage that includes Rome Beauty, Jersey Black, McIntosh, Wealthy, and M. floribunda.  Wow!  Try keeping that lineage straight!  We find that it makes into a tart sauce, some may like to sweeten it a bit with maple syrup or sugar.  We eat it right from the jar, and cook with it.  Your Liberty apples were organically grown by Howard Wulf from Unity.  Howard’s orchards are works of art, and he is extremely interested in your feedback on his apple varieties.  Thanks to folks like Howard, we can enjoy apples in Maine year round.  Go Maine farmers!

BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES: Back by popular demand, some folks have told us they eat a whole jar of these pickles in one sitting!  This is the last of these classic pickles, but we will do lots more next year.  Can’t live without them?  Call the kitchen and get on the case list for next year.

WILD BLUEBERRY DRESSING: Maine organic wild blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals…they are a super fruit!  Our wild blueberries come from the Blue Hill Berry Company.  Owners Nicolas Lindholm and his wife Ruth Fiske also grow certified organic vegetables on  Hackmatack Farm in Penobscot.  In this salad dressing and marinade, we cook organic wild blueberries with onions and extract a puree.  This puree is then slowly simmered with organic cider vinegar from Sewall Orchard, Rabbit Hill organic apple juice, and Kinney Farm organic maple syrup.  Wild Blueberry Dressing is vegan and fat free.  Mix it with olive oil to make a salad dressing, or use it straight from the bottle.  We like it on a Spinach, Goat Cheese and Fruit salad.  Marinate chicken or pork tenderloin in Wild Blueberry dressing, or for a treat, make Duck Breast with Wild Blueberry Dressing.  Be creative and please share your ideas with us!

JACK’S ORGANIC KETCHUP:  Our signature product, Jack’s Organic Ketchup is made exclusively from one tomato:  the Italian heirloom Principe Borghese.  These tiny, almost cherry-sized tomatoes, are high in natural sugars and are traditionally dried.  Our tomatoes were grown on Green Garden Farm in St. Albans by Allen Reynolds and Jose Vega.   It takes over two pounds of tomatoes to make one jar of sauce, and Allen and Jose will both attest to the fact that these little guys are not easy to pick!  Because the tomatoes are so high in natural sugar, we add very little sugar to the ketchup,  less than 5 grams per serving.  And yes President Reagan, Jack’s Organic Ketchup can qualify as a “vegetable”!  Try a meal of Cheryl’s Sloppy Joe’s made with Jack’s Organic Ketchup.

 JEN’S APPLE CRANBERRY JAM:  The inspiration for this jam comes from my sister Jen.  Early this fall, she gave us a box of bright, red cranberries harvested from Highland Farms of Troy, the farms she and her husband Stan own.   As we were cooking up a batch of sweet sixteen apples, the idea of  a jam that combined the tartness of cranberries with the sweetness of apples was born.  The texture of this jam, like our others, is smooth, almost like a butter.  We cook the fruit in the kettle, and then extract the seeds, skins and stems.  The extract is then returned to the kettle and slowly simmered with organic cane sugar.  As we don’t use pectin in our jams, the natural sugars and flavors of the fruit are much more intense.  We hope you enjoy Jen’s Jam!  Try it on dessert pizza, spooned over vanilla ice cream,  or in Orange Goat Cheese Danish.

.

Written by louisaenright

January 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hot Soup in Hot Weater

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Turkey Tracks: July 3, 2021

Hot Soup in Hot Weather

The collected chicken bones in the freezer were taking up too much space. So in the middle of the WORST heat of this year, I made chicken broth. And the next day, I made a HUGE soup.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But the heat wave broke—and we got some much-needed rain. And I have some DELICIOUS and HEALTHY soup in my belly and some frozen soup now taking up space in the freezer.

I started with the smaller Creuset pot and the veggies I had on hand: sweet onions, carrots, red pepper, zucchini, garlic, and loads of fresh herbs from the garden (tarragon, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, chives):

I soon had to switch to the larger Creuset pot though—as I added all the chicken meat from a whole deboned chicken (which went into the bone broth to cook) and veggies from the freezer (corn, beans, peas) and some “Forbidden” red rice.

I could feel the soup’s goodness all the way to my toes:

I topped it with more fresh chives from the garden:

I need to cut back the chive plants now as their blooms are all dry. Cut back, the plants will grow more green shoots for me to use in the kitchen.

I can vary the soup when I get tired of it by adding some fresh cream. And warming a tortilla on a gas stove tap is always nice—especially if one puts some local raw butter on the warm tortilla!

I like to cook this way—using what I have on hand to make such delicious meals. You can’t go wrong with good basics (bone broth), healthy meat, organic veggies, a little of some organic grain as a treat, and lots of fresh herbs.

Written by louisaenright

July 3, 2021 at 9:41 am

Mowing Accomplished!

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Turkey Tracks: June 22, 2021

Mowing Accomplished

With my hurt foot, I’ve been worried about getting the mowing done this week.

I usually mow on Sundays, but cooler weather did slow down the grass growth a bit, so I thought I’d try to mow yesterday, Monday.

At least two friends have suggested I would benefit from gardening in MUCH sturdier shoes than in worn out sneakers. One, in fact, wears dedicated hiking boots. So…

And, yes indeed, my foot felt quite safe and well supported—particularly the ankle and the instep. There was no pain at all. But the foot is weak, so I was determined not to pressure it in any way.

I went out early in the very humid day and was done by 10am and was wet with sweat. The front and back are easy—it’s the steep hill on the far side of the house that is hard to mow.

The brown spots are pee spots from AC. I’ll treat them again with baking soda soon. That dog!

I made myself quit when the mowing was done—I could have stayed out there for hours and hours though. I’ll do the needed weed whacking today maybe. Or, soon. (The replacement batteries for the weed whacker arrived and work beautifully—the original old one was not holding a charge beyond about 15 minutes.)

Look at the Rose Campion plants! They seed themselves here, and, indeed, are a bit like weeds. Beyond that chicken wire fence is a sheer drop off down a wall of boulders.

OK. I’ll confess. I did stop to pick the ripe strawberries before coming inside. I couldn’t resist. And they do have to be picked every day.

The less ripe berries ripen well on the kitchen counter—which means I get them and the chipmunks don’t. The berries on this plate ripened overnight.

I’ve already frozen a big silicon bag of strawberries. Last year I froze berries in plastic freezer bags, and I debated buying some more plastic bags to freeze the ripening fruit in the garden—the raspberries are LOADED with berries that will ripen very soon now. Instead, I ordered more of these bigger silicon bags—and I do have one that is a gallon size I could use as well. I love these bags! They are totally leak proof too. So I have not purchased plastic bags in over a year now.

Before the foot went wonky, I let AC have one of his old balls outside. It is always good to stop and throw it for him or play a game of chase with him. I took this little video last week. We all need to take some time to just play, and AC does this work for me.

Yesterday, AC dropped the ball outside somewhere. At one point he was dropping it down the front wall and retrieving it—much like he does on the stairs in the house. It will be interesting to see if he appears with it on our next work effort in the yard. Today, though, is cleaning and laundry day.

I hope we get rain today. It is very dry here.

Written by louisaenright

June 22, 2021 at 8:43 am

Spatchcocked Chicken

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Turkey Tracks: May 28, 2021

Spatchcocked Chicken

I saw an article from The Washington Post the other day that demonstrated how to spatchcock a whole chicken.

Spatchcock is a term I never heard until very, very recently. Don’t even ask… As much as I cook, how could I have NOT heard about or tried this roast chicken preparation before now???

Anyway, I tried it last night. And WOW! I’ll never go back to roasting a whole chicken again—unless, I suppose, I’m doing several chickens and need the space in the oven? Never is a strong word.

The process was truly easy—as long as one has really good kitchen shears, which I do. I did an earlier blog post on mine last year, and I really like them. They come apart for cleaning too. You can see that post here: https://louisaenright.com/?s=A+Kitchen+Treat

So, I put fresh sage leaves under the skin and topped the chicken with fresh tarragon, garlic, more dried herbs, sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. It cooked in an hour—it would have been shorter if I’d used the convection oven I’m sure, but I had a Zoom meeting to attend and didn’t want to hang around the oven to make sure the chicken wasn’t burning, but browning. The whole house smelled…divine.

Here’s the link to the WAPO article, but I’m sure if you googled, you’d find lots of videos of how to spatchcock a chicken.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/interactive/2021/how-to-spatchcock-chicken/?fbclid=IwAR1bAqzIWX6Ml91BasK1hLKEnN-nfKwqDoTkujBV5N5SB1y_H5CyXlg_js0

Written by louisaenright

May 28, 2021 at 10:07 am

Simple Choices

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Turkey Tracks: July 21, 2020

Simple Choices

I’m enjoying the red geraniums in the oak barrels. They were a “simple” choice as in the past I planted an array of different flowers in these barrels.

It will be a “simple” choice to weed the rocks behind the barrels after the next good rain. They come out pretty easily. OK. I could wet them with the hose too. But it is hot and humid, which always saps my strength and energy. It’s a simple choice to just go with what the body says it needs too. Weeding gravel paths is an ongoing summer project around here.

On Sunday I grilled some boned chicken thighs on the grill, which only takes a little time as without bones, the meat is flat. I’ve left my little grill out away from the house rather than putting it away neatly after each use. It’s so easy to just run out, light it, and put some food on it. It heats up really quickly. AND there is no messy clean-up in the kitchen.

I love thighs and drumsticks. Each has so much more flavor than the overblown breasts which in my opinion are pretty tasteless—unless, of course they are a free-range chicken raised locally. Grilling the quick-marinated chicken gave the stir fry I was making a whole new level of “tasty” good.

I sliced up the cooked chicken and added it at the very last minute to a stir fry cooked in chicken fat. As usual, I used many types of vegetables—all fresh and in our local markets and also coming to me weekly from Hope’s Edge CSA. This one has cabbage, carrot, red pepper, celery, garlic scapes, some diced potato, herbs, salt, and some cut up pre-cooked broccoli rabe from another meal. Spring onions are added toward the last as I don’t like them cooked to mush. I started the stir fry with the diced potato in the fat as it would cook a bit slower than the other items. The chicken is added when I turn off the heat. I like stir fries that are not limp, so I turn the ingredients on a regular basis.

Quinoa cooks in 15 minutes. And I was hungry, so I went with quinoa rather than rice. Grains are a treat for me, so this meal was satisfying, for sure. And I have enough leftovers to feed me for a few more meals, which is nice on these hot, humid days when I also have an engaging sewing project. Cooking up a big stir fry is also a simple choice.

The “Bedrock” quilt top is almost done—from The Color Collective and designed by Tara Faughnan. There will be pictures this week for sure.

Written by louisaenright

July 21, 2020 at 8:10 am