Archive for the ‘Autumn’ Category

Took a lovely trip up to the Kancamagus Highway this past weekend. I haven’t been a leaf peeper in many a year, being surrounded right here with our Autumn splendor..

Just a spur of the moment mini trip.. and I wasn’t disappointed. Still plenty of color along the 30 plus gorgeous mile stretch, that seldom disappoints. No gas, no houses, no stores. Only miles and miles of windswept wilderness, an enchanting land with adventure and surprise behind every twist and turn and shadow.

Only a little light drizzle early one morning as I walked.. the rest… sunny and powdery blue skies.. a perfect backdrop for this colorful byway. It’s easy too see why it’s been voted as one of the five most picturesque byways in America.. especially during our foliage season.

And my final destination.. the Mountain View Grand Resort… just a perfect ending for a great getaway weekend.

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It’s that time of year again when many of the locals ready for the little goblins, trick or treat night. Actually, it’s gone so far that it’s a voted upon annual tradition here.

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… for this season anyway. With the exception of a few rows of carrots, beets, cabbage, kale, ruby chard & some Brussel sprouts, the fields are looking pretty bare now that all the winter squash, gourds and pumpkins have been picked. My resident family of deer beat me to some… Geez and we planted them their own dedicated 4 rows of corn just for them this year in hopes that they’d steer clear of the pumpkin patch! LOL ah well, everybody’s gotta eat I guess.

The only thing left to plant is some spinach and of course, more garlic, (yes, Jimbo it’s time again) and horse radish in a dedicated location, that never got planted this year. We’re due for some heavy rains early next week, so the seaweed and salt marsh hay will be plentiful and mine for the taking. My friendly cow farmer has promised to deliver a truckload of fresh manure to top dress the fields for overwintering, once everything is tilled under one last time… and that’s a wrap for this year. Weather permitting, I’m planning to add a few more raised beds to be built and hopefully a second cold frame. Keeping fingers crossed my plans go as scheduled.

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The first of October, with it’s chill in the air can mean only one thing– pumpkin season! Spent the weekend down in Boston and popped into Wilson Farm for some delicious treats. ❤ their display! Best I’ve ever seen!

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Two hot food trends for 2019 had been reported to be soups and mushrooms, and you’ll get no argument from my good friend Timmy, who’s my fave mushroom mogul in my neck of the woods. A true nature lover, Tim has been playing in the dirt and working on his green thumb, longer than he can remember, and seldom does he come to visit without bringing me a sack of his most recent foraging trips. Yum & lucky me! 🙂

His love of mushrooms, and living off the land led him here to Maine some 30 years ago where he bought a broken down old, neglected farm. The land around his farm was the deciding factor for his purchase, where he now primarily forages wild mushrooms and grows a plethora of healthy fresh mushrooms, organic veggies and some cut flowers.

With such a varied selection of mushrooms you’d be hard pressed making your selections… pink, grey, golden oyster mushrooms, shiitake, pioppino, lions mane, nameko and so many more! With all this harvesting to do, Tim keeps pretty busy supplying his long list of local restaurants from Boston to Maine. And then of course, there are his good friends he graces regularly with all of this fungi goodness, too! LOL

So, some of my ‘sack’ went into a large pot of mushroom spaghetti sauce and some into a fave soup, Mushroom Chick Pea & Veggie.

Now I realize it’s still 87 degrees here today, but I’m a planner! And before we know it.. I’ll be thrilled to have many containers of this scrumptious tummy warming, heart healthy soup in my freezer for those not so far off ( unfortunately!!) chillier evenings.

Mushrooms are a wonderful substitute for meat in a vegetarian and vegan recipes and are touted worldwide for their health benefits. What better way to use mushrooms than in a delicious soup loaded with healthy veggies?

One of the things I love about this soup is it’s flexibility. You can easily substitute whatever you like for so many of the ingredients. For example, you could use oyster mushrooms in this soup and substitute chicken for the chick peas ( if you’re not doing vegetarian or vegan), use bok choy instead of spinach, and make it very Asian. Or you could use a different vinegar, perhaps, Balsamic and leave out the soy sauce, use tomatoes instead with some chard and cippollini onions and adjust the seasonings, to make it more Italian. And it’s vegan and gluten-free too!

* 1/2 cup chopped onion

* 4 cloves minced garlic

* 1 cup sliced assorted mushrooms

* 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

* 1/2 cup chopped carrots

* 1/2 cup other veggies ( like peppers, celery, sweet potatoes or whatever you like)

* 1/2 cup cooked chick peas

* 1/4 tsp cumin

* 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

* 1/4 tsp white pepper

* 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

* 1/4 tsp cayenne

* 2 tsp soy sauce

* 2 tsp rice vinegar

* 1-1.5 tsp sugar

* 2 cups vegetable broth

* 5 cups water

* 1 cup spinach, chard or bok choy, roughly chopped

* 1/4 tsp sea salt

* cornstarch to thicken (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook 3 minutes or just about translucent, stirring occasionally.

2. Add mushrooms and cook, and mix for 3 minutes or until they start to get golden.

3. Add ginger, carrots and veggies and cook 3-4 minutes

4. Add chickpeas and spices and cook another 3 minutes.

5. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, broth and water. Partially cover and cook 20 minutes. Add in the spinach or other greens. Cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add sea salt if needed. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer another 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs of choice or scallions serve it hot.

6. *** If you’d like to thicken, mix 2 tsp cornstarch in 2 TBL water and mix into the soup in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Makes 4 servings.

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