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Turkey Tracks: Jane’s Gazpacho

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Turkey Tracks:  August 25, 2016

Jane’s Gazpacho

Yesterday Jane Liebler made a beautiful day for those Coastal Quilters who could break away for the day to visit her out in Liberty, Maine–which is about 25 minutes from Camden and a beautiful ride that traces the headwaters of the St. George river.

Jane’s farmhouse sits in the midst of blueberry barron-covered hills that rise above the gorgeous, blue St. George’s Lake.  And, John’s Ice Cream (all homemade) is just two miles away.

Jane greeted us with warm doughnuts, hot coffee with REAL cream and good honey, and anything else we wanted to drink.  The farm kitchen was warmed with wonderful wood walls.  A collection of baskets hung from the rafters.  This house is loved!  Jane also had a cantaloupe all cut up for us, which we devoured on the spot.  She made a scrumptious summer lunch for us, which included deviled eggs (yeah!!) and GAZPACHO I COULD EAT.  Most people add some form of red pepper to gazpacho, which would send me straight to the kitchen floor and on to the hospital.  We sat and did handwork, ate, laughed, visited, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Thanks Jane!!  Don’t ask us back unless you really want us because WE WILL COME.

I broke away after lunch to drive about 20 minutes further west to Freedom, Maine, and Villageside Farm, where I picked up six frozen, hefty, free-range, non-Cornish chickens.  And after I returned and gathered up my passengers, we went to John’s Ice Cream for…John’s homemade ice cream.  It’s famous!  I had vanilla custard and rocky road, and it was so, so good.

I asked Jane how she made her delicious gazpacho, and she said scald the fresh tomatoes and skin them, then work the flesh with your hands to break it up, rather than putting everything into a blender.  Use lots of spring onions and some balsamic vinegar.  She added cucumber and green pepper.  Simple and as delicious as the summer-ripe ingredients.

So…I have a lot of tomatoes from the Hope’s Edge CSA pick-up this week.  I prepped the tomatoes as Jane directed, reserving some of the flesh to give the soup a chunky texture.  I also reserved some of the diced cukes and green pepper–as Jane did.  The rest I put into the Vitamix with spring onions (4 large spring onions to 1 large tomato, 1 medium tomato, 1 large cuke and 1 smaller one, and 1 green pepper).  I added about 1/4 cup of good olive oil and 2 or 3 dollaps of white balsamic vinegar, rather a lot of salt (2 teaspoons plus–tomatoes love salt), and some fresh ground black pepper.  I didn’t puree the mixture, just got it cut up into small pieces and poured it back into the bowl with the reserved tomato flesh.

When I tasted it, the white balsamic and the sweet ripe tomatoes made the mixture really sweet.  I added more black pepper and some red wine vinegar.  Yummy.

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Gazpacho needs to age a bit I think.  It’s upstairs cooling its heels in the refrigerator.  I’m planning on having some of it–a lot of it–for supper since I fixed a big BLT sandwich about 2 p.m. and am not hungry.  I’ll have some goat cheese and avocado on corn chips (sprouted organic, GMO-free corn) to go with and call it a night.

Maybe I am getting hungry a bit…

It has been a lovely day–even though No No Penny threw up on the bedspread and afghan this morning.  She was left alone for some hours yesterday, and I do not think she is used to being alone for multiple hours yet.  I gave myself some time to sit on my porch and read this morning–accompanied by a bowl of fresh strawberries and blueberries with some yogurt and a piece of gluten-free toast with peanut butter.  It was so peaceful and lovely out there.

A storm is moving in, but humidity is really good.  All day the wind has been up, so when I went by the coast on an errand, I could see that sailing on the bay today would have been amazing. I can’t wait to go back on the Riggin again Sept. 20th.  AND, two passenger additions include Rose Lowell and Megan Bruns.  Mary Bishop will room with me.  We are going to have such a good, good time.  Rhea Butler of Alewives Quilt Shop will be on board to teach English Paper Piecing to whomever wants to learn.

When I walked by my garden at some point, I could see bits of orange in the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes.  Time to pick again.  For some reason I checked the beans, and my goodness, I have to pick those too.  I had a terrible time getting the beans to germinate and outgrow the slugs–who seem to be gone now???–so I have one Romano bean plant, one bush provider, and about a half-dozen haricot verte bush “filet” beans.

Here’s what came in the house today:

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I am drying a flat of cherry tomatoes in the kitchen, so I’ll let these guys ripen in the kitchen and eat the ripe ones.  Rain causes these cherry tomatoes to split open–from the extra water the plant takes up I guess.

Now I’m going to sew for a bit.

 

 

Turkey Tracks: Sunday Puttering

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Turkey Tracks:  August 21, 2016

Sunday Puttering

I love a day like today.

No schedule.  Nothing to do but what I want to do.  Within reason, anyway.  It always involves comfy clothes:  freedom of the body with no bra or anything tight.

I read a bit over breakfast:  email, the news (I have the NYTimes articles every day online and it’s so easy and convenient and has no ads), Facebook, the weekly local papers.  One of my fellow passengers on the Riggin in July posted his OUTSTANDING pictures to the rest of us.  I’ll do a blog entry of some of them in a bit.

We are getting a storm, which we need, but the sun comes out a bit, and I find myself watering, weeding a little, gathering, feeding birds (I made sugar syrup for the hummers) and just puttering about.

I roast some beets:

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These will get into a green salad with blue cheese, some spring onions, and my mustardy/garlicky vinaigrette.

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I pick chard from the garden and bring it inside to dry.  It will go into Mason jars and be thrown into soups and stews this winter.  Green flakes, after the food processor chops up the dried leaves.

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The bottom flat is full of drying cherry tomatoes picked yesterday:  Sun Golds.  I pick another whole batch while in the garden.  Rain makes the ripe tomatoes burst open.  I have no container with me, so I make one from the bottom of my shirt tail.

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After dripping some whey out of yogurt, I make mayonnaise–using some minimally processed avocado oil.  It’s delicious, so that’s a winner.  I find even the light olive oils to be too strong for a lemony mayo.  The addition of the whey “cultures” the mayo so that it lasts a long time.

What’s behind the mayo making is a yen for a BLT–it’s that time of year.  AND, I have a beautiful little head of cabbage that wants to be turned into coleslaw.

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I clean out the produce drawers in the refrigerator.  The Hope’s Edge weekly CSA pickup is Tuesday.  (More tomatoes!)  And I determine that I will pan sauté the remaining zukes, yellow squash, a new onion, new potatoes, some cherry tomatoes, and an eggplant with some herbs, especially mint.  I’ll use the bacon grease as a flavoring agent.  It’s a “good fat,” and my bacon is nitrate/nitrite free.  I have a baked chicken breast I’ll warm to go along with this supper.

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I read some of the LAST Ogilvie book on the fictional people of the fictional Bennet’s Island–located somewhere near Matinicus–while eating and put it down only to make a maple syruplatte with my little Moka pot and milk frother.

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Raw whole milk and freshly grated nutmeg.  Sometimes I add cinnamon too.  I only warm the milk before frothing it to prevent killing all its goodness.

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This one is a little light on milk…  But it was delicious!

Penny has been waiting patiently for her walk.  We take a run up to a neighbors trails where she can fun free.  The fog and lower clouds are skimming the tree tops and covering the mountains.  It’s glorious.

When we come home, red squirrel is sitting on top of the bench downstairs.  She traps him/her on the upper porch, and s/he leaps off to the hydrangeas below and makes a run for a nearby oak.  Penny is only a half-length behind him/her.  Everyone is excited about the drama.

I’m easily amused on puttering days.

 

Written by louisaenright

August 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm

Turkey Tracks: Home Again From the J&E Riggin Sail

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Turkey Tracks:  August 1, 2016

Home Again From the J&E Riggin Sail

What a terrific six days!

The music, the music, the music!  Geoff Kauffman, who has forgotten more about sailing music and maritime history than most will every know, beguiled us once more.

The laughter–big old belly laughs at times–the kind where you get tears in your eyes.

The beauty.  The gorgeousness.

The food.  Fresh, local, varied, tantalizing.

The visits with passengers I’ve sailed with many times now and the meeting of passengers new to the Riggin.

I’ve already signed up for next year’s “music” sail:  July 24-29th.  And if you want to come, sign up now as the roster is getting full.

http://www.mainewindjammer.com/schedule2

* * *

I decided early on that I did not want to spend the week taking pictures and involving myself with much technology–beyond the book I had downloaded on to my ipod touch.  After the election turmoil on tv, I just wanted a break away from everything.  I just wanted to read, nap, sew, lie in the sun, enjoy the sailing, and laugh.  But not to worry, one of my sailing companions was taking some pretty nice pictures, and she has promised to send me about 10 of her best, and I will post those when they come.

We boarded Sunday at 5 p.m.  This year I took a picnic supper and read until the light faded.  I was tired from all the organizing to leave the house for six days and an afternoon of heavy duty weeding, and it was so nice to just sit on the boat and rest.  Above, on the dock landing, an osprey nest contained two babies–about half grown.  Would they be there when we got back?

Monday morning was bustling as supplies for six days came aboard, including boxes of organic local veggies from my CSA, Hope’s Edge, delivered by Farmer Tom Griffin.  Captain Annie Mahle served us a huge breakfast.  Then we were off, sailing past the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse and through the Fox Island Thoroughfare.  We had great wind and made it all the way to what we call “Wooden Boat Harbor,” off Brooklin, where the Wooden Boat School is.  As soon as we anchored, our boat swimmers jumped into the water.

Tuesday night saw us anchoring at the mouth of Sommes Sound, up on Mt Desert Island (Acadia National Park) just off of Southwest Harbor.  I have not been up here in years in the boat.  But I had sleeping sickness and missed the trip up part of Sommes Sound (a natural fiord) and back.  

Wednesday, after folks went ashore at Southwest Harbor, had us anchoring off of one of the “Dark Islands”–there are several “Dark” islands–and having a lobster bake.  The water off the little white crescent beach was turquoise blue and crystal clear.  I found a whole cluster of Golden Chanterelle mushrooms in the woods, and Annie cooked them up Thursday night.  She took this picture.Golden Chanterelles

Thursday we sailed through Eggemoggin Reach and under the bridge.  In the afternoon late, on the way to Belfast, storms threatened, so we all donned our foul weather gear.  That cured the problem, and dry, we sailed in to Belfast to anchor next to the Timberwind, moored dockside. The Timberwind is working as a day sailor out of Belfast.  The crew joined us for dinner, and after we did get some rain (the tarp was up by then), a music festival happened on the Riggin with visiting singers from the Belfast area.  It was a lively, fun time.  Everyone sang.  A lot.

Friday saw us enjoying a leisurely sail back down the coast toward Camden and a night in Pulpit Harbor, which I have never visited.  Pulpit sits just across from Camden and Rockland on North Haven Island.  It’s a beautiful little harbor.  Of course, there were lots of swimmers, as there have been every day.

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Saturday‘s boat held a lot of nostalgic and sad folks.  We had had such a grand time.  Annie made her famous sweet rolls for us and, later, served a grand brunch to send us on our way.  And Geoff Kauffman did some last minute entertaining on the way back to Rockland.

I took this picture of the Victory Chimes with what was left of my phone battery.  The VC is on the Maine quarter (25 cents), and this straight-on shot of her is unusual.  She docks on the same wharf as the Riggin, and she is HUGE.

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Here’s Captain Annie as we near Rockland Harbor:

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Here’s Geoff teaching us about Appalachian music fun with a little wooden dancer and a flute:

Here, I was able to pan the deck so you can see the size of this boat.  The rear of the boat is straight ahead:

 

I did not knit this trip, but took two English Paper Piecing projects.  The quilt-let centers, and the one-inch pentagons to make spheres that will be stuffed with smelly plants, like lavender and balsam.

These centers are ready for the next step in the quilt-let project.

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Ready to be stuffed:

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In progress:

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The osprey babies were still in the nest:

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And when I got home, Linda McKinney had left me a bouquet of flowers from my very lush (and now weedy) garden:

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Turkey Tracks: Windjamming Days on the J&E Riggin

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Turkey Tracks:  July 24, 2016

Windjamming Days on the J&E Riggin

The house is organized.

The garden has been weeded…mostly…and watered.

My bags are packed.

AND I AM OFF TO THE J&E RIGGIN windjammer later this afternoon for six days of doing nothing but what I absolutely want to do.  Hot weather, Jon Finger’s quiet friendship, Annie’s fun conversations and fabulous food, being with their daughters Chloe and Ella, sights to see, a clean wind to feel, the swish of the boat flying through the water, books to read, a book downloaded from the Maine State Library system, sewing to enjoy, naps to take, former travelers to see again, and an abundance of laughter and fun.

Last night, this…

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…turned into this…

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…as I tried to use up my veggies from Hope’s Edge CSA last Tuesday.

I froze half for the night I come home.

I also processed some kale and washed some sweet peas in the shell to eat with my picnic supper aboard tonight.  I weeded heavily this morning–HEAVILY–and treated myself to lunch out and a coffee from Zoots. So I want a lighter supper tonight.

I finished two more quilt-lets in the past week at night:

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I made up a few more to do on the boat, but mostly I’ll work on the lavender sachets.  I’m now thinking of green ones (balsam), rose ones (rose geranium or roses), and yellow ones (lemon verbena???).

Did you know that if you squeeze a lavender ball when it no longer smells that you will release renewed smell?

Hugs to all of YOU!

 

 

Written by louisaenright

July 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Turkey Tracks: Hope’s Edge: My CSA

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Turkey Tracks:  July 22, 2016

Hope’s Edge:  My CSA

Hope’s Edge CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) is in full swing now.

Going out there each Tuesday is one of the highlights of my week.

Last week, the road was lined with a wildflower in the Valerian family–which is also sometimes called “Wild Heliotrope,” which it is not.  It is, however, very fragrant.

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I picked two quarts of strawberries that smelled and tasted like sweet perfume.  Delicious!

Farmer Tom was haying–and we were meant to have some hot, clear days in a row, so that was a good time to hay.

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I look for this bunch of wild flowers on the paved road every year.

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I think they are in the “fireweed” family.  I’d have to look them up again to be sure.

 

Written by louisaenright

July 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

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Turkey Tracks: Fall Bounty

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Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2015

Fall Bounty

The nights have cooled, and the trees are starting to turn.  Finally.

Hope’s Edge CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm has two more weeks to go.

I will miss going out there weekly so much.

The winter squashes are all coming in now–and they are so bright and pretty:

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The long orange one in the back is a pie pumpkin.  I’m going to roast/carmelize it and use it in a salad recipe from Jennifer McGruther’s book The Nourished Kitchen.  (Search on this blog for more info.)  The recipe pairs the sweet pumpkin with bitter greens, nuts, and balsamic vinegar, among other ingredients–as well as I remember.

The funny looking veggie to its left is a rutabega.  I cook it like a potato.  Rutabegas are great cubed in soups and stews.  The flesh is buttery yellow and mashes well.

The oblong squash to the left is a spaghetti squash-one of my very favorites.  I cut them in half, seed them, and roast them (cut sides down on a greased piece of parchment paper).  Once done, run a fork through the flesh and it breaks into strands.  I heavily butter and add salt and pepper.  Scoop out the stands and put on your plate.  This one reheats well too.

The striped squashes are delicatas.  They are so sweet that you don’t need anything in them but a bit of butter.  I bought some one fall in Charleston, SC, and they were bitter and bad.  This squash may need more of a New England climate to develop its sweetness????

The tan squash is a butternut.  Mild and delicious.  You can eat the skin on both delicatas and butternuts.  I’m going to put it cubed into a stew with black beans, hamburger, and Indian seasonings–in the crock pot.

How did that banana get into this picture?  Mercy!

The orange squash in the middle is a “Sunshine” and has a heavier, sweeter flesh.  I’m going to cube it and roast it with garlic, rosemary, small potatoes, red onions, and chunked green tomatoes.  It’s a dish to which I look forward every fall.  I’ll make it while sister Susan is here next week.

That’s likely the last large tomato to come out of the garden.  I”ll get some Sun Gold cherry tomatoes though.

The garlic crop is great this year.  I’m loving all the fresh garlic in the kitchen.

I’m missing a Blue Hubbard squash, which is a great keeper.  I’ll pick one up though.

That’s the last bit of annual flowers I’ll cut from the garden behind the squashes.

I cut these Panculata Hydrangeas this morning for the dining room.  Hope they dry nicely.

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It’s a BANNER year for apples in Maine this year.  Every tree is loaded down–even old trees that have had significant storm damage:

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Local folks are making apple sauce, apple butter, drying apple slices, and making lots of apple pies.

The girly dogs and I have been walking every day in this glorious fall weather.  Sunday afternoon I drove by a friends Harry and Marsha Smith’s house to see their gorgeous fall yard.

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What a treat this view was!

Turkey Tracks: Summer Flowers

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Turkey Tracks:  August 22, 2015

Summer Flowers

For those of you who have read this blog for more than a year, you know already that I belong to a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) farm and that part of that farm is the most gorgeous planting of LONG rows of flowers that members are free to cut when they come to pick up their food.  The variety of available flowers is a feast for the eyes and nose.

Here’s my bouquet from yesterday:

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Here are two bouquets from my own garden:

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The Annabelle hydrangeas are fabulous this year.

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I thought I was planting BIG zinnas.  I wanted big ones because they remind me of my Grandfather Pop Bryan (Reynolds, Georgia), my mother’s father, who was a country doctor–starting out back in horse and buggy days.  As a child, I remember his coming in from the farm (he was retired then) with baskets of garden produce and flowers.  The flowers were glads and big zinnas.  Grandmother put them all over the house.  Sometimes, Pop took flowers to people in town whom he thought would like such a gift.

And, here’s a bouquet from Bonnie Sinatro, one of my high school classmates from Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Nebraska–outside of Offutt Air Force Base–class of 1963.  She sent me this picture yesterday.

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My generation seems to share a love of gardening.  I think we were more attached to nature than today’s folk, most of whom live in cities.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

August 22, 2015 at 12:16 pm