Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Hunting!

Had to laugh when I saw Miss Callie all comfy on Maine Man's hunting clothes....washed with scentless laundry detergent, hung to dry, in a tote with pine needles.
Honestly, I am not much of a hunter! I would never make any effort if it was not for Maine Man. It is just not in my blood. I think if I shot a deer it may be but for now that is just how it is. I do go out a few times of year and then I call it good. I do enjoy being in the woods but between having absolutely NO sense of direction and my self-diagnosed ADD ;) I don't stand a chance!.
Last year I saw a deer in the woods for the first time. I was quite excited. Even tried chasing after it. Needless to say it escaped being shot by this big bad hunter. This year for the first time MM had me try out his tree stand. I assure you it was not the one above. He had me climb 20 feet up on measly pegs nearly 6 feet apart onto a platform that was way to small for my liking. I told him the only way I'd use the stand is if he built a large deck around it. The next night when I came home from work still dressed in scrubs the kids had me jump on the 4 wheeler. They took me outback to see my surprise. A little whining goes a long way! That how the stand above became.
Wish me luck because I SURELY need it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banana Bread

Not often do we have bananas long enough to turn brown but on occasion that happens. So I came across a quick, easy, tasty banana bread recipe that I thought I'd share and save for my archives for future retrieval. I try to cook as much as I can from scratch. That in itself is a work in progress. So as you can imagine that is a whole lot of experimenting with recipes and a whole lot of recipes that never impress me enough to save. Last night by request of Maine Man I made apple muffins and tonight it was 4 layer bars as requested by the kids. They were both ok but not good enough to share or save. Get the point! I only post good stuff here ;)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 bananas, finely crushed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cream together butter and sugar.
2 Add eggs and crushed bananas.
3 Combine well.
4 Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla.
5 Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
6 Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
7 Keeps well, refrigerated.

P.S. I did not refrigerate and I topped it with walnuts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adventures in Pressure Canning

Finally bought myself a pressure canner. My friend Mike assisted with the test run. I read the manual step by step as he followed direction. Little bit of a control freak you see. Since one of our other friends nearly blew the side of his face off with one last summer (most likely alcohol induced) I decided to be real careful. The night before I read the manual from front to back, unusual for me. The test run was uneventful and I finally starting canning beets by about 6 o'clock that evening. Big mistake there! Had I known how long it takes to get the canner to pressure, cook time, and cool/pressure release this would have been a project to start earlier than later. Needless to say I was up until 2 am with still 5 quarts to go. They were froze instead. Put up 14 quarts, 19 counting the frozen beets. I have some carrots to do next and might try and make some apple sauce. I am happy to finally own one. The canning opportunities are now unlimited! :)
Thanks Maine Man for the birthday moola!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Foraging for Mushrooms in Maine Woods

A while back our friend Lance stopped by to visit. He and Maine Man took a ride out back on 4- wheelers. Knowing he had previous experience in foraging I asked him to be on the look out for edible mushrooms.
Unfortunately, he did not recognize any on our land that were edible. A few weeks later he stopped by with some morels he had gathered on his own foraging adventures. I was so excited well........I took pictures and asked lots of questions!

Above is a Chicken of the Woods he says they are found on dead Oak trees.
Here is a link I found about them with lots of good information,recipes, and facts

Pine mushrooms aka Matsutake - He says they are found in hemlocks. Here is another great web site with information about them.
Last mushroom he shared with us is called a Goats Beard aka Bears Tooth often found on beech trees . Here is some additional information about them.

This last photograph was taken at the Common Ground Fair last month. This was a display at an Asian food vendors fried Shiitake stand. I was thinking it would be fun to try a inoculate some trees and grow these in our back yard.
I will end this post with three referenced sites for your viewing if desired and for easy access for Maine Man and I in the future if and when we ever get a chance to make these dreams reality.
Here is a newspaper article of a Mainer that has written a book about foraging along with a link to his website. Finally a you tube video on inoculating.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Girl's Apple Sauce

The other night after bath time Flower Girl proclaimed she wanted to make some applesauce.
What's a Mom to say? I was busy cleaning up so I said "go for it, but your on your own".
I think she did summon her Dad to cut up a few apples but other than that she did the rest. Last year was the first time she'd ever made it. She came home with the idea from school. I really could not remember what she used for ingredients previously so I kept to myself.

She washed
She peeled
She cored
She chopped
"10 apples"
Put the apples in a crock pot and said to me:
"Mom, Take Note... I used the one slash four cup of honey
& a small spoon of cinnamon"
Slow cooked overnight and once again another tasty treat by Flower Girl!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Homemade Christmas Presents

After flipping through the pictures of my camera and coming across this one I was thinking someone must want a duck for Christmas.....dead or alive. Joking, love these Muscovies despite their occasional naughtiness. Had to chase a bunch of them of the neighbors driveway the other day. We caused quite a scene stopping traffic and all.

So I was calculating the other day, 5 more paychecks until Christmas...YIKES!!!

Gotta get a move on! Last year I made lots of goodies and I have dug through my archives and posted links below in case anyone is to get ideas from others. Hopefully starting next weekend, myself and 3 others will be getting together every 2 weeks for Christmas crafting, cocktails, and snacks. I am psyched to see what we come up with!! I will have posts to follow up our meeting for others who are interested in making goodies for the holiday. There is NOTHING like a homemade present!


~ Wreath Making & Making Vanilla Extract

~Soap Making

~ No sew fleece blankets

~ Earring Making

~ Body/Linen spray & Bath Salts


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Titleless Tuesday

Had it been Wednesday I would have titled it Wordless Wednesday but was not! God knows I can't post without writing something ;)
I have a hundred or so photos to download but not without a charged battery.
Looking for a used camera if anyone local has one for sale? I have a point and click Kodak but I want more....more....zoom, macros. Maine Man caved and gave me some moola for my birthday although all he really wanted to buy me was a dishwasher. What a guy ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009

One Potato, Two Potato, Sweet Potato

This adventure all started a couple years back as an experiment with the kids.
In the midst of the winter we put 3 toothpicks into a whole sweet potato then placed it onto a glass jar with half the potato immersed in water. Before long there was a sprout coming out the top which soon evolved into a plant that looked much like an ivy.

Now it has become a yearly tradition!
Come spring we plant them in the garden even though you do not hear much about other Mainers growing them.


Sweet potato fries, baked, pie....... Love to hear how you cook sweet potatoes!
We had a challenging growing season with all the rain. Most of our red potatoes never sprouted. Despite our loses we were still lucky enough to harvest approximately 130lbs of Yukon Golds and sweet potatoes.

You just never know what you will find in our yard......metal, nails, glass bottles, tons of bones. 200 year old farmhouse, some history has been made here. We dug this up while harvesting potatoes. At best guess we thought it may be the suction device from a milker?