Monday, September 7, 2020

Sunday, September 6, 2020

You Can Pickle Anything!


It wasn't a great year for gardening - too dry - but the trusty Sun Golds did come through in a big way. They are extra-sweet cherry tomatoes that produce continuously from early August right up until frost. 

I recently learned that you can pickle pretty much any vegetable. (Probably other stuff, too but ew.) I decided to give it a try. These are refrigerator pickles - I didn't get in the whole boil-the-jars-like-our-ancestors-did stuff. 

Pickled Sun Gold Tomatoes 

About 20 Sun Gold or other sweet variety cherry tomatoes
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tarragon
2 cloves garlic, peeled

Fill Mason jar with cherry tomatoes. Fill jar with a 1/2 inch to an inch of space. Mix vinegar, sugar, tarragon and salt in a saucepan; bring to light boil. Boil for 1 minute. Let cool about 10 minutes; pour over tomatoes. Push garlic cloves under the surface of the vinegar. Screw on lid & let sit in refrigerator for a week before using. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Bike Acadia!

Somehow I grew up in Maine without knowing about the Acadia Carriage Trails. I love biking so this was

an oversight of some significance! My husband mentioned them to me on our way home from a visit Downeast. I looked into it and it turns out they are a well-known hiking and especially biking destination. They are on the National Register if Historic Places, having been built by John Rockefeller in conjunction with the National Park Service, in the early to mid 20th century. 57 miles of packed crushed gravel roads wind between the ponds and mountains.

Acadia is not a compact park. It consists of several separate areas, and even the main area is an irregular lobed shape that winds in and out of the settled areas of Mount Desert Island. The town of Otter Creek is completely surrounded by parkland, for example. We entered the park at the Hull Cove Visitors Center. 

We took the Witch Hole Pond Loop, and the Eagle Lake Loop on purpose...and the Paradise Hill Loop by accident. I don't know which of the ponds was Witch Hole! But they were all beautiful. 

My bike (on the left) is at least 25 years old. I bought it used in 1994 for $200 - it seemed like an extravagant amount at the time but has earned its cost many times over. Doug's bike is also secondhand. One of the reasons I love biking is, you don't need fancy gear or special shoes or dedicated clothes. Any bike, any shoes, (almost) any clothes, and you are in business. 
We saw these two turtles basking together. They are Painted Turtles - the larger on about as big as those get, in Maine, the small one the smallest I've ever seen in the wild. 

When we found ourselves at the Duck Brook Bridge we declared ourselves officially lost. This was a little alarming - you can get pretty lost in 57 miles of road, and it was getting late in the day. Luckily there was a map kiosk at the bridge, that showed us where we went wrong. 
There's still so much of Acadia to see! Next time I will print a map, though. :)

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Maine is...


Maine is rivers, and mountains. Maine is ocean and lakes, farmland, apple orchards, fishing boats, blueberry barrens. Maine is small cities with cute little shops and restaurants. I love that I can find it all right here, without leaving the state, because it's a terrible time to travel. 

In fact, it's a terrible time for America, and my heart goes out to those in harder-hit areas. I feel deeply lucky to have a governor who listens to the science & bases policy on that advice. As a result, Maine has very few cases of Covid, despite being a summer destination - we aren't called Vacationland for nothing. Our businesses are mostly open, our schools will have in-person classes - at least a couple days a week. Science works, and leaders should have the humility to listen to people who know more than them. 

This is the bridge from the town of Lubec to Campobello Island, Canada. I can't cross that bridge, with or without passport, because the US government has handled the coronavirus pandemic so badly that there is a travel ban against Americans in most western countries, including Canada. Why has it been so much worse in the US than other countries? See the above paragraph. Science works, and leaders should have the humility to listen to scientists. 
We won't be able to truly beat back the virus until we have new leadership. 
Vote for Biden. He's our only hope. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Upper Falls at The Cataracts, Andover, Maine


My favorite Maine hikes are always chasing waterfalls. Today I went with the always-fun Bionic Yowie, We've been friends since high school (and that is a loooong time ago!) but only recently started hiking together. 
There are two trailheads close together on East B Hill Road in Andover. We did Dunn Falls a couple of weeks ago; today was The Cataracts Trail. The Cataracts is the easier of the two. 
It was a perfect day for hiking, sunny but not too warm. I almost wished it had been warmer, though, because this trails includes several swimming holes. 
All in all a beautiful trail on a beautiful day. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Snow's Falls, West Paris, Maine

 As beautiful as this is, it isn't even, like,  a hiking destination; this is just a rest area in West Paris, Maine.