Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Week in My Kitchen

I love the blog Beauty That Moves and have been reading and enjoying her photos for a few years. I am joining Heather in her Kitchen Blog Hop.

So here is this week in My Kitchen:

Blueberry pancakes with raspberry sauce. I thought it would be a bit of a berry overkill, but that is what they wanted and it was very tasty.

I finally made garlic scape pesto. It was very good. Not too garlicky. I added shrimp, which was perfect.

More bread. These loaves are whole wheat. I used molasses for a touch of sweetener. These are great loaves for sandwiches.

There was a lot of cooking in the kitchen this week including pies and stuffed peppers, but sadly the camera did not come out as often as it should have.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

And on to Acadia

While we were at Seal Cove we decided to drive over to Acadia National Park. I have wanted to bike the carriage roads this summer and my friend knew right where to go.

There were so many stone bridges. Every bridge we came to the kids stopped, got off their bikes and climbed down and under each bridge.

Each bridge got a bit bigger. Each stream or river a bit wider.

A little rinse off in a waterfall is very refreshing.

It was pretty tough going up the mountain trail. Most of us walked at least part of the way. The good thing was that after we got to the top, it was down hill all the way!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Seal Cove, Maine

A friend recently invited us to stay at their family camp in Seal Cove, Maine. What a treat. We had so much fun. My friend and I made meals together, we all walked along the shore and went to Acadia to ride on the carriage trails. It was a wonderful couple of days.

This is the view from the house. It was so quiet there. We rode our bikes down to where the shore was sandy. The kids collected shells, crabs, and hermit crabs for hours. We all waded around in the shallow water. It was cold, but some of us did get in all the way.

Greta collected flowers for a lovely bouquet for the dinner table.

This outside shower was so cool. For my next house I want one of these.

At the end of the day, after supper we went out to watch the sunset. It was spectacular. My camera phone doesn't do it justice.

A perfect little mini vacation right in our own state of Maine.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Wood Pile

My son Aaron has been working very hard on our wood pile this summer. Dean did a lot of cutting of logs this winter. There are piles of logs all through the wood.

There are three ways the wood is brought up from the wood. One is by the arm full. Aaron carries logs up and out of the woods. At times he carries it all the way up to the area where the wood is 'worked'. Lately, now that the bigger piles of logs are being moved he carries the logs to a work truck we have and then it gets driven to the work area. Either way it is a lot of work.

But it doesn't end there. After the logs are delivered up to the work area Dean chainsaws them into smaller pieces. Aaron then hand splits them (no splitter here!) and then stacks the wood.

This takes a fair amount of strength and stamina. A perfect job for a nineteen year old. Aaron tells us that this is the ninth year he has worked on wood for the family and this is the first year he won't be here to enjoy its heat. He will leave for college at the end of August.

Looking good Aaron! Thanks for all your hard work. We will have a nice fire going for you when you come home to visit this winter. XOXO

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This Week in My Kitchen

I love the blog Beauty That Moves and have been reading and enjoying her photos for a few years. I am joining Heather in her Kitchen Blog Hop.

So here is this week in My Kitchen:

Even in the heat, bread must be made.

Aaron's turn making dinner. Spaghetti Sauce.

On the left is the last of the spinach. On the right Rainbow Chard is getting a rinse.

Peanut butter cookies.

Shish Kabobs using wooden skewers. Bad idea. I will remember to use the metal ones. The wooden ones burn. Everything turned out great. I marinated stew beef overnight and added summer squash, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. I grilled small round potatoes also.

Part of my week was camping, so here is one of our meals. Cubed steak, sweet potatoes cooked over the fire in foil and asparagus.

We tried making s'mores in a foil packet over the fire. I thought it might be less messy and more creamy. It didn't work out that great. Most of them overcooked. They all did get eaten though. No worries there. The general consensus was that they are better the regular way. Cook the marshmallow, stack and eat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Right in the Thick of It

Sun Tea is sitting on the back porch. We will add a touch of sugar and some fresh mint and ice cubes when we are ready for a nice long drink. Boy has it been hot here lately. I am really not a fan of hot weather, but I feel I have been handling it just fine, so far.

We are heading for the lake for the second day in a row. The house is very hot right now. It doesn't help matters that I made bread. What fool makes bread when it is 85 degrees outside? Me. I am the fool that loves bread so much but hates to buy it. I hate what is inside store bread and I really hate paying for things I can make myself. I am realistic though, and I know I cannot make bunches of pasta or cheese to keep up with what we love to eat. It is the small things that sometimes make a difference.

Speaking of making it myself, I feel pretty good about picking over a quart of these beauties today. Can't wait to make some pie. When it cools down a bit.

The garden is really pumping out the food now. I picked a huge amount of chard the other day, and today my son plans to pick the first real harvest of green beans.

Been keeping my eye on the tomatoes. They are so sensitive. Blossom end rot, blight, or horn worms could ruin a crop very quickly.

I saw some tiny cucumbers yesterday. The girls and I saw a trick on growing a cucumber in a bottle. You put the cuke in when it is small and let it grow. When it is big you pick it and pickle it right in the bottle then cork it. The only question is how do you get it out? We didn't see that part of the trick. Has anyone ever done this? Do you have to break the bottle?

We are right in the thick of this summer. Off for a dip in the lake.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The girls and I took off for a camping trip. We had a wonderful time. We went to Sebago Lake State Park. The water was clean, clear and warmish. Just right for really cooling off. This was to be my very first 'solo' camping trip. Solo meaning without Dean. He would be joining us a day late.

It had been raining for the few days before our trip and I was nervous that the rain and storminess would continue into our reserved time slot. The weather reports kept stating that there was 50% chance of rain. I was determined to camp, so I did much research online about keeping dry during camping. I asked Dean to buy a tarp. I bought some drop cloths for inside the tent on the floor.

It poured on and off all the way to the state park. We were a little concerned, but we were very determined.

We stopped for lunch a few miles outside the park. As we were getting back into the car, we saw that there were breaks of blue sky. We were so excited that the rain had stopped. We hurried to the campsite to set up the tent before the next shower.

That shower never came. We set the tent up, tarp and all. Very dry and comfy inside.

The girls rode bikes, and found some webbed footed friends while I set up the rest of camp.

After supper we walked down to the lake. Sebago lake is huge. Greta thought it looked like the ocean. It was so beautiful down there. The girls were very happy to swim until it got dark.

The duck friends also decided on a night swim.

We stayed at the park for three nights and four days. One of the best camping trips I have had. I think the girls liked it too.

Dean joined us on the second day. It was nice having campfires together. Dean and I also got a walk in, all on our own.

There will be more camping trips this summer, that is for sure.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Garden Explodes

I was just looking at the pictures I have been taking of the garden. There has been quite a lot of progress.

For instance the summer squash at the beginning of the month looked like this:

Today it looks like this:

The pole beans really have been climbing and winding their way to the tops of the poles. You can see some of the cucumber plants too. Here they are a couple of weeks ago:

Pole beans now.

The cukes today.

There is quite a difference in the way the whole garden looks. So many things are ripening enough to eat. We have harvested broccoli, snap peas, spinach, chard, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes.

Look how yummy that looks.

Oh, I can't forget the raspberries and blueberries that are coming now.

This is my usual before breakfast snack these days. I graze the bushes on my way to feed the chickens. By mid day there seems to be plenty more for anyone else.

We are right in the thick of summer and gardening now, and it feels so good.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Learning, Nature-ally

We are very fortunate to be surrounded in wood and nature. As homeschoolers/unschoolers our children have ample opportunity to learn about nature first hand and up close.

Both the girls have a deep love for any animal or living thing. We have jars, tanks, and little cages with bugs, crayfish, frogs, and at times snakes to watch and learn about. They eventually do let them go, knowing they need to be in their own environment to live. I feel the same way about my children. To really live, they need to be in their environment. That is a big reason we leave them be (for the most part) and let them investigate the world at their own speed and on their own terms. 

The other day Greta discovered a birds nest. One in the tree with baby birds in it. 

This is the nest of the Blue Eyed Vireo.

It is hard to see, but there are three little ones there.

AnnMarie mothered an orphaned mouse for a while. It didn't live long, but long enough that AnnMarie felt she did give it some life. It ate, walked, and nuzzled with her. 

When something interests the kids enough, they will learn all they can about it. They will learn as much as they need or want to. Then they move onto something else. That is the way it is supposed to be. 

I have no problems remembering this for the young ones. I need to constantly remind myself it works this way for everyone.