Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Apple Picking Time!

October in Maine is apple picking season. Local fruit can be had for a pittance at stands and grocery stores, and many people go apple picking as a fun family activity. The benefits of picking your own apples are obvious: being outside, enjoying the weather while you can, getting some excercies and a break from the ordinary. The trouble is you end up with alot more apples than you likely need before they start to get soft. Frugalistas will turn that into a plus, however: though raw apples don't freeze well, and preserving is a pain in the ass, it's easy to bake sliced apples for freezing. Like so:

3 small Mac Apples
3 tbsp honey
1/4 cup brown suggar
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter

Slice the apples in 1" bits and place in 2-quart covered casserole. (Pyrex or commercial stoneware would work but handmade is always best. Anyway I think so, but I am biased.) Dump the honey, sugar, and spices in; cut the butter into pats and dot the top. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°. Remove, uncover, and stir contects of casserole; replace in oven and bake for 10 minutes more.

Allow to cool before spooning into freezer bags. Or enjoy right away!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A New Dome for the Statehouse!

I have been following the progress from my front yard. Look how it gleams in the October sun! The Lady of Wisdom, who stands atop the dome - you can just about make her out in this photo - has been re-gilded as well. According to the Bangor Daily News:
Once complete, the statute will be be noticeably brighter from below, and the exquisite detail on the statue will be preserved, Boulter said, although at 200 feet above the ground, it’s difficult for visitors to appreciate the artwork.
Boulter said weather and strikes from hail have damaged the copper, especially on the topmost portions that are more exposed, and holes have developed, causing leaks into the building.
The seams between the copper sheets, which were first installed when the building was expanded and renovated in 1909 and 1910, also have caused problems for the underlying steel and concrete structure of the dome.
And while other parts of the building have been renovated over the past two decades, including a full restoration of the interior of the State House and portions of the exterior from 1998 to 2001, the exterior renovation of the dome is the most visible work on the building since it was expanded more than 100 years ago.
The building was expanded in the early 1900s to replicate the U.S. Capitol, in a move that was sweeping state capitols across the country.
But Maine, unlike many other states, decided not to gild its dome with gold. Boulter said historical renderings of the building show it both with a golden dome and a brownish, copper-colored dome, but none of the earliest renderings show the greenish color of oxidized copper.
Boulter said he was unsure whether the color was ever an intended effect or just the result of time.
What is certain is that the building, once the staging starts to come down later this year, will not look the same again for at least 30 years.
Read more here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Maine Craft Weekend!

In conjunction with American Craft Week, this coming weekend is Maine Craft Weekend! Click here for a list of events and participating studios and breweries.

So far we've had a fabulous autumn, and this weekend looks great as well. Meet the artists, have a brew, get a jump on Christmas shopping, and peep at some leaves, while you're at it.