Friday, July 30, 2010

What's cooking in the madder root kitchen?

Lunch today was locally made feta baked with sun dried tomatoes, artichokes and kalamata olives. Spread on freshly baked sourdough.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


My trip to Auburn to get my sewing machines cleaned became much more interesting when I realized how close I was to Monkitree in Gardner. So glad I took a short detour on the way home. (Well, I took a short detour on the way to the sewing center as well, but that's another story).

It was great meeting Clare and Bo (the dog) and seeing the beautiful gallery space. While I loved the photography currently being featured by photographers Kevin Brusie (Portland, Maine), Carol Dronsfield (New York, New York) and Dave Engledow (Washington, D.C.), I was most drawn to the macrame jewelry (which reminded me of my grandmother), carved bamboo earrings (so intricately done), and locally crafted greeting cards. Definitely a fun place to visit!


Oh, and if you need your sewing machine cleaned (especially your Berninas) or sewing and quilting supplies, I highly recommend Cote Brothers and the Creative Sewing Center. I felt very well taken care of there.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Black Dinah

If you haven't tasted Black Dinah's chocolates, you are definitely missing out. Not only are the chocolates decorated like little pieces of art, they set off a happy dance in your mouth when you taste them.

Though there isn't a bad one in the bunch, these are a few of my favorites: 0-20 Degrees Latitude (a dark and milk chocolate truffle center, infused with locally roasted organic coffee beans, in gold-flecked Venezuelan bittersweet chocolate), Varietal (chocolate made from estate-grown organic and rare Peruvian cacao makes up this rich truffle center, which is enrobed in bittersweet chocolate), and Earl Grey (a dark chocolate truffle center infused with Earl Grey tea, in 45% Venezuelan milk chocolate).

Oh, and then there's always the Black Dinah cafe where you can get cinnamon buns, blueberry cream cheese scones, or raspberry, blueberry, peach coffeecake (or other tasty delights) fresh from the oven.

Really, if you love chocolate and you're not allergic to nuts or dairy, I'm sure you'll find a Black Dinah chocolate that makes your mouth go "WOW!!!"


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

mmm ployes

Basic Ploye Recipe

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup white or wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups water

Mix ingredients together and let batter sit for 10 minutes. Pour 1/4 cup of batter in a hot ungreased skillet and spread it thin with the top of the spoon. Cook on one side only. They are ready to come out of the pan when the lift out easily and the sides have already started to lift.

I like mine with just butter and syrup but they are good with fruit as well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Island Institute

The Island Institute, located at 386 Main Street, Rockland, Maine is an organization dedicated to supporting island and working-waterfront communities. With their Island Fellows Program, Island Schools & Education Program and other efforts, The Island Institute provides technical support and staff assistance to island communities seeking to conserve island and marine biodiversity, develop model solutions that balance the coast's natural and cultural assets, and provide opportunities for competing interests to arrive at constructive solutions. For more than a quarter-century, The Island Institute has served as a voice for the balanced future of the islands and waters of the Gulf of Maine.

The gift shop and gallery, The Archipelago, is the home of unique handmade art, craft and design representing the very best of Maine's islands and coast. Sales through The Archipelago help island and Maine artists and artisans gain exposure and earn income and advance The Island Institute's efforts to sustain island communities. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9:30am to 5:30pm and Sunday 10:00am to 5pm. Members of The Island Institute receive a 10% discount on Archipelago purchases (Fine Arts purchases excluded).

If you live in or are visiting the area, please stop in and say hello for us!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The canning continues

Of course on this hot Sunday I was canning. Actually Andy and I have a pretty sweet set-up outside with an old fashioned camp stove, but it was still warm.
We made dill pickles this week along with zucchini relish. We also blanched and froze the last of the peas and the first of the beans.
How did you spend your Sunday?

Andy and I harvested our garlic yesterday and now our house is sure to ward off vampires. We have 50 or 60 bulbs that are hanging from the ceiling waiting to be braided and I think this year I'm going to try pickling some as well. Anyone have any good garlic recipes?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The garden is overflowing with herbs right now and one of my favorite ways to use them up is to make a simple vinaigrette. We use it on green salad, to marinate veggies before they go on the fire, or in a pasta salad. I thought I would share the recipe for anyone looking for a way to spice up their meals.

1/3 chopped herbs- Lately I've been using nasturtium leaves, cilantro, dill, oregano, and thyme.
2 cloves garlic - My garlic is still a little small so I usually throw in 3 or 4
Juice from 2 lemons
1/2 a cup olive oil- My sister just brought me back some great garlic olive oil from California
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar- Cider vinegar works too
1 tsp honey- We use Swan's Maine Beekeeper raw unfiltered honey
I usually just chop everything up and put it all in a mason jar so it is easy to shake up. Keep it in the fridge if there are any leftovers. This amount usually lasts us 2 meals.

Monday, July 12, 2010

store for tomorrow

My gardens are in full swing and although Andy and I are eating a lot of fresh produce we've also been preserving some of it for the weeks and months ahead. Last weekend we made strawberry jam and this weekend we started some sauerkraut, made bread and butter pickles, and dehydrated some veggies and herbs for soup mix. I'm still looking for the perfect dill pickle recipe. Something that really makes your mouth pucker. Anyone willing to share? -Christina

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Views from Baxter State Park

BF hiked in Maine's Baxter State Park and shared some photos from his 12 hour hike. These were taken in and around Blueberry Knoll. Enjoy!--Janyce

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Artisans Collective

We just joined a great group called The Artisans Collective. It's a wonderfully talented group of people dedicated to creating beautiful, high quality items: jewelry, pottery, photographs, kitchen accessories (that's us!), clothing, fine art. There is lots to explore on the site including artist biographies and links to the artisans' shops. Here is a sampling of the work you'll find.

"there can never be good for the bee, which is bad for the hive..." ralph waldo emerson

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weekly seconds sale

Our weekly seconds sale is going on. We have lots of great deals on seconds that will be up until Monday morning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baking outside

Lately it has been hot and humid here in Maine and it has put a serious damper on any baking being done around Madder root. Jan and I both love to make bread and the occasional gooey treat for work. But with all this heat neither one of us wants to make our houses even hotter. Andy and I have been looking into making an outdoor oven and that led me to stumble upon a great new blog. Breadhunter's blog is written by a fellow Mainer and I'm even more inspired to get an outdoor oven going after looking at his blog. He'll also be teaching a workshop on outdoor ovens at the kneading conference that is coming up the end of this month. Although I won't be able to attend I am hoping to go to the free bread fair that follows up the conference on Saturday July 31st. And hopefully I start working on an outdoor oven soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thanks Thea!

Janyce and I were lucky enough to be chosen as a Friday follower on Thea and Sami's blog.
Thea has such a great blog and we love to look at her great fabric designs and drool over her set-up and equipment. Go and check her out at: