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Mainely Tipping Points

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Turkey Tracks: Rose Cooks For the Weekend

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Turkey Tracks:  April 26, 2015

Rose Cooks For the Weekend

Stephen Pennoyer and Mark White moved the chicken coop to Rose Thomas’s La Dolce Vita Farm Saturday morning.

 

 

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It took two trips (bless their souls), but the coop is so happy to be on flat ground once again.  (It’s made by Roots and Coops.)

And see the coop wheels all pumped up?  Stephen got some product you spray inside flat wheels that pumps them up AND coats the inside so that the tire STAYS pumped up.

I came over after I went to the dump–and after Stephen and Mark’s second run–to show Rose the ins and outs of the coop.

Rose bakes and cooks for Saturday morning, and her customer line was slowing down when I came:

Here’s her Facebook post for today–Il Forno (The Oven) at Dolce Vita Farm:

Good Morning Everyone! Today I am opening with fresh hot Bacon and Egg cups, Morning Glory muffins, Hot coffee from Green Tree and loads of fresh breads to include: Pain di mais (sourdough cornbread), Semolina, Whole wheat sourdough, Lt Wheat pecan/raisin, and regular cornbread with corn and bacon. There is also ricotta/cheese cakes with almond biscotti crusts and my fab Oatmeal everything cookie. Todays entree is Seafood Chowdha with shrimp, scallops and haddock.

Have a great day everyone!
Dolce Vita Farm and Bakery
488 Beach Road
Lincolnville, Maine
207-323-1052

Oh my.  You should see Rose’s beautiful food:

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Hot Bacon and Egg cups:

 

 

 

 

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Ricotta cheese cake:

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BIG Morning Glory muffins and very interesting corn cakes:

 

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Here’s Rose with puppy Ivy–whose face looks like a Teddy Bear’s:

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I got a cup of coffee and we walked about.

My chickens are still staying close to each other, and they still recognize my voice.  They also recognized their old coop:

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Pumpkin is VERY happy at Rose’s:

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I’ll be getting these at Rose’s now:

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She’s going to use the coop first to pen Pumpkin with her three remaining Blue Wheaten hens and “Baby” her best broody hen to see if she can get more of this wonderful breed.

I went home with a bacon/egg cup, a quart of DELICIOUS chowder, and two of the corn cakes.

And I’ll be back next Saturday morning for sure.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Turkey Tracks: A Visit to Hedgerow

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Turkey Tracks:  September 7, 2014

A Visit to Hedgerow

 

Just before I left home for a six-day windjammer trip out of Rockland, Maine, friend Kathleen Nixon and I took a spin down to Port Clyde, Maine–the tip of the St. George peninsula, where the St. George river pours into Penobscot Bay.

On the way, in Martinsville, we stopped at Hedgerow, “where the cultivated meets the wild.”

And what a treat that was.

The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that ARTICHOKES were being grown in Maine.

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I know artichokes can be grown in Maine as friend Rose Thomas has grown them.

I’ve just never personally seen them growing–period–never mind seen them growing in Maine

Here’s another view of these dramatic plants:

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Next, I saw a smiling woman sitting at the picnic table in the left of this picture, braiding shallots.  Aren’t they beautiful?

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The smiling woman turned out to be Anne Cox, who owns Hedgerow with her partner Julie Wortman.

Next, Anne gave us the most enchanting tour of their various hoop houses, their new chicken coop (built to prevent fox from eating her chickens again), and their elaborate and exciting vegetable beds.

Here’s a melon happily growing on the warm stones of a hoop house.

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On our own, we toured the outbuildings where “rustic” furniture, clever/fun hand crafts, GORGEOUS hooked rugs (made by Anne), and produce and value-added food products are displayed.

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I am sorry, Julie, that your face was obscured here by a plant…  But one can get a feel for the outbuildings, which are so lovely.

Anyway, do take a look at the web site–and ESPECIALLY at Anne’s hooked rugs:  www.hedgerowdesign.com.

Hedgerow is one of those special places where creativity sparkles and smiles and beckons you all at once.

I can’t wait to go back.

Written by louisaenright

September 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Turkey Tracks: Rose Thomas and La Dolce Vita Farm

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Turkey Tracks:  July 19, 2014

Rose Thomas and La Dolce Vita Farm

 

Rose Thomas is an amazing baker and an amazing friend.

Rose bakes in a wood-fired oven (and in other ovens too) and her commercial kitchen is almost finished.

Her baking is…delicious…and her other cooking is…inspired.

Take a look at her Facebook page if you can, and you’ll see what I mean.

 

Rose has been to Italy many, many times over the years and worked in farm/resort kitchens there as well.  One place she goes is to the Tuscan kitchen and farm Spannocchia.

Her La Dolce Vita Farm is a really fun place to be, and I go over about once a week on Wednesdays to pick up milk and yogurt that arrives.  This week, though, I got there on Thursday, and Rose was baking for the Isleboro Island farmer’s market on Friday.

 

Here’s Rose on this big baking day–the oven is behind her and she’s already loaded about 15 loaves of this bread into the oven’s maw–with more to go.

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She uses Tartine bread–from the famous bakery in California–as her ultimate model for her loaves.  She will cut the tops of these loaves with a razor before she puts them in the oven.

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Here’s a pic of the inside of the oven, which is, unfortunately, blurry, but it gives you some idea:

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Earlier this spring, Rose knew that I was down to three hens with two of them not laying and that I’ve talked about getting Buckeye chickens for some years (they’re hard to find in Maine).  So, she surprised me with some Buckeye chicks that she is raising, and I’ve been visiting them when I go to the farm.

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The Buckeyes are the brown chicks, and the Cockoo Marans are the speckled ones.  The latter will lay a big chocolate brown egg, and the Buckeyes will lay a lighter colored brown.  Both of these breeds are big hens and are very cold tolerant of our Maine winter.

The chicks are almost big enough to be released to the freedom of the yard.  They have to be big enough to handle the other hens in the hen house.

And I can’t wait to bring some of both breeds home.  When I do, I’ll return two of my more…territorial…hens to her flock so they won’t beat the new chicks to death.

Rose is also raising four pigs.  They’ve doubled in size over the last week.

Here they are:

And, here’s a picture of the heavenly milk and yogurt I’m getting from MilkHouse–who drops off at Rose’s farm.  Can you see that the cream on the milk bottle reaches all the way to the bottom of the jug handle?  That’s Jersey cows for you…

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I am so spoiled up here in Maine…

And I know it.

 

 

 

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Jennifer McGruther’s THE NOURISHED KITCHEN

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  April 29, 2014

 

The Nourished Kitchen

Jennifer McGruther

 

WOW!

Here’s a terrific new cookbook that’s playing off of Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Mary Enig’s book Nourishing Traditions.  Morell and Enig are part of The Weston A. Price Foundation organization.

 

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My friend Rose Thomas, aka “Chicken Rose” to my family as there are others named Rose in my life, dropped by the other day for a cup of tea.  I told her that I had just gotten a really nice new cookbook, and as soon as I picked it up to show her, she said “I just got it too.  On my Kindle.”  But she had a lot of fun actually holding the book in her hands and said so.

So, it’s a book that’s “in the wind” on a number of whole-foods sites.

The author is from Colorado–in the mountains–and seems to have a kind of rural setting.  So there are discussions of foraging for strawberries, wild greens, and cooking wild game.  We might not be able to get elk, but we can get deer and rabbit here in Maine. And our berry gardens are superb.

There’s a terrific chapter on cooking and fermenting ancient grains.  And a resource section that tells where to buy them.

There’s an exciting chapter on fermented foods–with some exciting combinations of ingredients.

Indeed, what’s piquing my interest the most are the different combinations this cook is using in her every day foods.

The section on desserts have some healthy, interesting, delicious looking combinations.

This one is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

PS:  Those are salt-preserved Meyer lemons on the cover–an “asset” I keep in my refrigerator all the time.  I cover with a film of olive oil that is delicious drizzled over any kind of baked fish.  A  tablespoon of the chopped lemon and oil put into smashed potatoes with butter adds a delicious sparkle to the mixture.

Turkey Tracks: Summer Salad

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Turkey Tracks:  September 3, 2013

Summer Salad

 

August is not a great month for tender leaf lettuce.  It’s not a great month for any lettuce for that matter.  It’s too hot.  This year has been a bit different–with all the coolness and rain, some of the leaf lettuce has survived.

The wonderful Melody Pendleton came and bailed me out with painting tasks–which I hate and which she likes to do.  She does such beautiful work.  She brought me this gorgeous lettuce from her garden one day.  (I’ve replanted and my new crop is coming along.)

I made a gorgeous salad with her lettuce one day for lunch.  I’ve been so hungry for sautéed zucchini all summer.  So I sautéed some for this salad–and broke a fresh, soy-free egg into it at the end.  I didn’t add cheese as to the pan as I had some fresh goat cheese.  The last of the grated carrot/kohlrabi/corn/mustardy and garlicky dressing went on the side.  And, some of the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from the garden.  And I had a very quick feast.  Thanks to Melody!  And the garden and the earth and the summer…

 

 

Summer salad

The garden is steadily producing.  Here’s a morning’s offering:

Garden haul

And look at the cherry tomatoes I’ve amassed.  I have enough to start a flat to dehydrate, though I’ll let them get a little riper on the counter first:

Summer Kitchen Counter, Aug. 2013

See those saladette tomatoes at the back of the cherries?  I got those from Hope’s Edge CSA.  And Melody brought me some, too.  They are TERRIFIC roasted in the agro/dolce style.  I learned that from Skye Gyngell’s book A Year in My Kitchen.  Skye takes the notion of having “assets” around the kitchen to whole new levels.  Thanks to Tara Derr Webb, of the Farmbar and Deux Peuces Farm in Charleston, SC, and Awendaw, SC, I have this book in my kitchen.

A Year in my Kitchen

Here’s a very bad picture of the saladettes roasted.  Agro-dolce means sweet/salty.  So, basically, you sprinkle a bit of sugar, a bit of salt, grind over some pepper, and SLOW, SLOW roast at your oven’s lowest heat–which can take 3 or so hours.  OK, if you get in a hurry, you can roast them quicker, and they are still delicious.  They’re good hot or cold.  Rose Thomas, La Dolce Vita Farm, roasts these guys in her wood-fired oven, and oh my gosh–the smoky taste from the wood fire is heavenly.  I’m planting more of these guys next year.

 

Roasted Saladette Tomatoes

With all the vegetables needing to be used, I made a “deep summer soup” one day.  I had some frozen bone broth as a base, so I just sautéed veggies and lots of garlic–some ginger as I had a Bok Choy cabbage–and added some dehydrated mushrooms from a year or two ago.  I threw a handful or two of short-grain brown rice into it as well.  Once it’s cooked, or reheated, I spoon some of my sauerkraut into it and add a dollap of fermented piima cream.  It’s delicious and so good for you with the rich bone broth as a base.

Deep summer soup

I know summer is over, but I can still feel the summer love.

Turkey Tracks: Rose’s New Purse

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Turkey Tracks:  April 8, 2012

Rose’s New Purse

Rose told me months ago that she’d love to make a purse like mine.

My purse is made from the Bow Tucks pattern that is so popular with quilters.  I love it, and when I wear one out; I make a new one immediately.

Rose is a VERY busy woman.  She bakes bread and pizzas for TWO farmers’ markets–in her wood-fired oven.  She bakes pizzas to order for pick-up on Tuesday and Friday nights–and boy are they delicious!  She also bakes cakes to order and cakes and cookies for the farmers’ markets.  She has a big flock of chickens who give her eggs to sell.  She raises all kinds of greens and veggies to sell at the markets and in her seasonal farm shop, The Vegetable Shed.  She also makes and sells all kinds of yummy things–like the wood-fired roasted plum tomatoes she gave me last summer.  Or, pickles.  Rose is always already inventive with preserving food.

Rose really only has Monday free.  So, one Monday recently we went down to Alewives Quilt Shop in Damariscotta Mills, because Rose had never been to see the Alewives fish ladders or that lovely little settlement.  Alewives Quilt Shop is also lovely and one of my favorite places to shop for quilting supplies.  And, on the next Monday, we made her purse together.  I cut and ironed, and soon it was done!

Here it is.  These magentas, purples, and spring greens are favorites of Rose’s.  She uses them on her business card as well.

Here’s what the inside looks like:

  And, here’s Rose with her purse:

Here’s a web site for this purse pattern.

http://pursepatterns.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=153

There are, also now, web sites that claim they have the pattern for free.  My own feeling is that whoever designed this wonderful purse needs to get full value for that work.

NOTE:  The pattern we got for Rose had been updated.  In the new pattern, the front pocket is sewn on independently of the seams in the purse’s body.  I far prefer to anchor the bottom of the front pocket in the seam of the front’s upper and lower purse bodies–which is what my, older, pattern did.  You just center the pocket and insert its bottom into that seam and sew them together.  Then, you sew down the purse’s sides, anchoring the top of each side with some extra stitches.

Turkey Tracks: October Update

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Turkey Tracks:  October 27, 2011

October Update

We’ve had the loveliest Indian Summer here on Mid-Coast Maine.  But, as we move into November, the weather is suddenly colder and our thoughts are turning toward getting out warmer clothes.  We’ve nearly finished winterizing and final harvesting.  It’s actually a lot to do.  But all the pots, except one by the garage door that  John can’t part with yet, have been emptied, cleaned, and stored.  And, all the porch furniture has been stored in the garage.  The hot tub has been emptied, cleaned, and been filled with fresh water.  The chicken coop has been moved and all the bedding cleaned.  I’ve put straw around it for the winter.  I’ve planted next year’s garlic and mulched the strawberries.

We’ve put up the boardwalk, and John has cleaned it.  The wood grows mold over the summer, as it’s in the shade on the north side of the garage.  That mold is incredibly slippery and dangerous.

You can see, too, that the garden has been bedded down with straw.   THat’s a roll of 2-foot chicken wire we’ll put around the low side to keep the chickens from scratching the straw out into the grass.  I like them to scratch in the garden; it breaks up the straw and blends it into the topsoil.

The cold frame is full of a last crop of lettuce and radish plants.  See…

The leeks I planted did very well this year.  I left some of the smaller ones in the garden and covered them with straw to overwinter.  The cabbages were small.  We had a really rainy, cool August, so I think they didn’t get enough sunshine.  They’re tasty though!  And we’ve been enjoying leek and potato soup infused with carrots and cabbage, cooked until veggies are tender, and made smooth with a hand-held blender.  Often I throw in some of the last of the parsley chopped fine.  Serve with a big chunk of butter or a swirl of heavy cream.  It’s the classic French recipe, actually.

We’ve strawed the front bed, fenced it, and trimmed back all the raspberries, bayberry bushes, and rugosa roses.  So, the chicken briar patch is gone.  The chickens miss it, too, especially as our driveway hawk has been stalking them lately.

Nancy and Sally are molting big time, and they are sad to behold.  Nancy is the most extreme at the moment.  She has big feather quills coming in all around her neck though.  Chicken feathers are almost all protein, so it takes a lot of energy for a chicken to molt.  They don’t lay while molting, and since Pearl has not started laying (???), we have no blue eggs.  Nancy misses her tail feathers I think.

My Roo, aka as Pretty Pierre, is really coming into his own.  Not a leaf drops in the yard that he isn’t right there to see what it is.

My friend Carole Whelan of Birds and Bees Farm sent me a picture of her new rooster, a Splash Maran.  Isn’t he a pretty fellow?

Friday nights bring the added joy of picking up a pizza made in Rose’s wood-burning oven.  (Rose and Peter Thomas, The Vegetable Shed, Lincolnville, Maine.)  Rich smoky flavors play over the vegetables from her farm–over meat and cheese and sauce she’d added or made.  What a treat!

This picture is overexposed with the camera’s flash, but you get the point.  Are we spoiled or what?

Finally, I’m working on a new quilt–based on Rhea Butler’s method, called La La Log Cabin.  Rhea is from Alewives quilting in Damariscotta Mills.  Here’s a picture of the quilt taking shape on the design wall.  It’s all being made from batiks in my stash: