Archive for the ‘family’ Category

We have reached escape velocity

June 15, 2012

We are spending the summer traveling across the country, so Henbogle blog is on a hiatus until we return.  Join us on our travels at our trip blog, Every Day is a Winding Road.

****Thanks guys!*****

We could never have made this trip without the help of friends and family.  Thanks go to Dan’s amazing Mom, Jean, who’ll be house sitting for us, and our friends Bill and Michelle, who will be stepping in to give the poor kitties some extra attention and give Mom some time off for good behavior.  Thanks also to the many other friends who are keeping an eye on Henbogle, or who have given us great advice and support.   We appreciate you!

Don’t forget to join us at Every Day is a Winding Road!

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Seeing stars

September 4, 2011

Years ago, I went on a minor rant about form follows function, form being colanders than don’t drain well.  I was trying to replace an old classic aluminum colander which was not supposed to go in the dishwasher, but had, and was thus corroding.

Long story short, independently of one another my sisters-in-law came to my rescue, and a while later two very different yet highly functional new colanders showed up at my door.  Both are excellent, one is shiny stainless that hangs on the pot rack, the other is stored near the sink ready to use its adjustable handles to drain over the sink from the rim.  Life was good.

Still, I had hung on to my mother’s old colander, as a memento, and attempted to clean it as per Martha’s instructions, which worked pretty well.  I just loved the memories and that pretty star pattern.

Yesterday, Dan made my day when at an estate sale, he found my colander’s big sister.  I love him.

You can bet I’ll keep this one out of the dishwasher.  If I could find 3 identical small ones, I would use them to make pendant lights, wouldn’t that be cool over the kitchen counter?  Someday, maybe….

 

New additions to the coop

February 27, 2011

Trixie

Whew, it has been a crazy February here at Henbogle.  Early this month, we learned Dan’s mom had a buyer for her house!  Yay, Mom’s moving to Maine!  With her canine companion, Trixie.

Ruh roh, she’s staying with us for a while ’till she finds a place and our house is not company ready.  Not. At. All.

You see, we are in the middle of the big kitchen project, so the state of the housekeeping, always precariously perched on the side of acceptable, had plunged over the cliffs of cluttered and into the deep dark abyss of dusty, cat-haired and cluttered.

Heroic cleaning and decluttering ensued.  Half a library was donated to Goodwill (there’s some good reading in there so if you live in Maine be on the lookout).  A few hours days of sorting and re-organizing resulted in a lovely 2-room suite for Mom.  We like it too — it looks amazingly good.  Considering that those rooms are the guest rooms now that Kyle is living on his own, they should have looked better all along!  Sorry friends who came to visit and tolerated the ugly cluttered rooms.

Earlier this week, we rented a GIANT pickup truck and drove to New York to bring Mom and Trixie home to enjoy the good life in Maine.  The closing happened, despite the most neurotic, obnoxious buyers EVER, and we packed Mom and dog, and headed east.  They are all settled in and once Mom gets rested  up, she will begin looking for a place of her own.  Although, I could use an undergardener….

Mom

In other news….  home renovation projects continue.  With the impending move, we decided to get some help, so a local cabinet maker will be installing the new laminate for us this upcoming week.  We will do all the prep work and once the laminate is in, we will install the new sink and faucet.  With luck, by Saturday afternoon, I will have my gloriously large new sink and faucet installed, and backsplash, too.  I hope all goes smoothly!

The other exciting news is that we have a visit from SupaFlu coming up to repair our leaky chimney, and if all goes as planned, we will soon be able to repair the ceiling and paint the guest room!  Yay more homeowner projects!

I also need to report out on the seed swap I and some of my fellow Master Gardeners planned and held earlier this month.  Of course, seed starting is on the horizon, and an update from the hoophouse, where things are growing!  The cardinals and chickadees are singing their spring songs, and the hoophouse is heating up to the 80s on a regular basis.  Spring is on the way even if we did just get another foot of snow Friday.

Did I mention it is snowing gently now?  Boo hoo.

Ahhh home again

November 28, 2010

Dan and I traveled to the Catskill region of New York to spend Thanksgiving Day with mom.  If only we didn’t have to drive past Boston it wouldn’t be a bad trip, but we spent over an hour creeping along Rte 495 on the way to mom’s, ugh. Once on the Mass Pike the driving went relatively quickly.

Once there, we relaxed until I realized I had forgotten the pie crust I made ahead.  Dang!  A quick trip to the grocery store ensued Wednesday morning, and I made crust enough for an Apple and a Maple Pumpkin Pecan Pie, using pumpkin from the big taste test.  On Thursday,  I cooked us a nice turkey dinner, (the gravy came out really well) and some pumpkin rolls.  Yep, I had a lot of pumpkin.  And more to come!  I also gave mom 2 butternut squashes from the garden.

It was a flying visit, as we are still putting the garden to bed and preparing for winter here at Henbogle, and none to soon, as we discovered we’d had our first snow of the season while we were away.

The rest of the weekend was spent participating in Small Business Saturday beginning with a bagel at our favorite bagel place, Mr. Bagel, then a little shopping and then home to work.  Once home, we added some weatherstripping to the recently re-installed front storm door, patched the garden shed roof, cleaning Henbogle Coop, mulched the garden, did laundry, and I made some delicious cream of broccoli and vegetable beef soups.  At least I have lunches planned for the week ahead.  Sigh.  Tomorrow is back to work, no rest for the wicked here at Henbogle.  I hope everyone enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Congratulations Amanda & Steven

September 5, 2010

Dan’s daughter Amanda got married today.  She was a lovely bride, and we are happy to welcome her husband Steven and his daughter to the coop.

It was a good opportunity to get photos of the clan looking their best.  I don’t often see Dan in a suit.

Dan and his mom.

Kyle and his girlfriend, Megan

The couple and Dan and I

Me with Dan’s sisters, mom, and neice

Congratulations, Amanda and Steven!

Happy birthday, Dan!

July 9, 2010

The view at breakfast.  We’ll be enjoying the view while having Dan’s choice of scrambled eggs for breakfast, then are off to Portland for a day in the city by the sea.

Best. Sprouts. Ever.

November 27, 2009

Thanks Mom, J & H for joining us at Henbogle for a fantastic day of food and friendship, and the best Brussels sprouts I have ever eaten, let alone cooked.

Our locally raised turkey, rubbed with sage butter.

Maine Wild Blueberry Pie and Maple Pumpkin Pecan Pie, with artful decoration by Dan.

I hope everyone enjoyed a delicious holiday full of fantastic food, friends and family, and is today enjoying a chance to relax and maybe have a turkey sandwich for lunch.

Thanksgiving preparations

November 25, 2009

Today was a busy day!  The dishwasher earned its keep,  it is currently on its 5th load today.  Actually, last night was, too.   I made turkey broth and pie dough, each now resting in the fridge awaiting use tomorrow.  I made a batch of corn bread for stuffing, but it failed to rise.  I attributed that to using powdered buttermilk.  I made cranberry sauce with apricot and candied ginger.  I can just taste the turkey sandwiches!

This morning, I arose early and after breakfast, made another batch of corn bread.  Again, it failed to rise, this time I attributed it to the baking powder since I used real buttermilk.  Hmmm.  I decided I can live without corn bread in my stuffing.  Lucky chickens!  I know they will enjoy it. While I did this, Dan and Mom worked on the dining room, moving some things around to make more room.  As usual, Dan worked his magic and created country decor from old wooden boxes and pickle crocks.

Moving on, I decided since the oven was hot, I’d roast the squash for tommorow, and reheat it as I would mashed potatoes, with milk/cream and butter.  Mmmmm, butter. While I did this, Dan decided we needed ice cream to go with the pie, so he whipped up a batch of creamy vanilla and a batch of blackberry lime –wow.  We are going to have some good eatin’ tomorrow!

While the ice cream churned, we all made a foray to the back 40′ to visit the hens then gather some curly willow, moss and bittersweet for decorations.  Dan, who gets the artistic gene from his Mom, put the table decor together.  Mom created a nice pot of moss for the drinks table.

Then, time to harvest the veggies, hooray!  Despite early snow and a wet cool summer, we are eating fresh veggies for Thanksgiving Dinner.  Dan modeled the Brussels Sprout light saber, mace, and walking stick.  The thing was HUGE, and loaded with sprouts.  No, I will not have to use both plants.  I hope they are tasty, I’ll be cooking them with an assortment of carrots, seen above, in several shades.

Meanwhile, the turkey has been sitting in cider brine for 18+/- hours.  This afternoon, we removed the turkey and began the draining process — it now sits uncovered in the fridge to drain and for the skin to dry out a bit for roasting tomorrow, making a nice crispy skinned bird.

While Mom cleaned the Swiss Chard, I made the stuffing, and then dinner, a souffle using the eggs whites left from Dan’s ice cream.  Now we are all plopped in chairs recuperating from a busy day.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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the butter holidays

November 22, 2009

Just in time to distract me from the ever present darkness of this time of year come the butter holidays.  Up first on Thursday is Thanksgiving, aka the Festival of the Brown Food.  This year, as in past, I will be showcasing local foods for the meal; as much as possible from my garden, other supplemental vegetables, notably potatoes, purchased at the farmer’s market,  a locally produced turkey from one of Dan’s teacher pals, and local dairy wherever possible.

Dan’s mom will be joining us again this year, and two friends from work, H, a human rights worker from Israel here for the fall, and J, an AmeriCorps member working with me.  We are really looking forward to it.  To make things easier on the big day, I’ll be prepping in advance wherever possible.  Today, I roasted 2 pumpkins in preparation for Maple Pumpkin Pecan Pie.  The larger pumpkin in back is a Winter Luxury; in front, a Small Sugar.  Both were from my garden, unfortunately, the only 2 to fully ripen before the frost killed them off.

I halved them, removed the seeds for roasting, then halved them again, and roasted the pieces at 425°F on an oiled pan until they were soft and browned, about an hour.  I let them cool a bit, then scooped the flesh out of the skin with a spoon.  I’ll divide the pumpkin into 2 cup portions and freeze the extra for future pies, or for Chile Cheddar Pumpkin Souffles.  Yum.

Turkey Day Menu

  • Nibbles (olives, nuts, goat cheese with savory tomato jam on crackers, pickled beets, dilly beans)
  • Cider Brined Roast Turkey with Sage Cornbread Stuffing & Gravy (local)
  • Mashed potatoes (local)
  • Roasted squash wedges
  • Pan roasted Brussels Sprouts with Onions
  • Swiss Chard with Raisins and Almonds
  • Blueberry Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Maple Pumpkin Pecan Pie

There is really no need for three pies, except I love apple pie for breakfast the next day, and I want to share Maine Blueberry Pie with our guests, and Dan loves the Maple Pumpkin Pecan.  So, three pie it is.

Other do aheads for Turkey Day:

  • Make Pie Dough
  • Make chicken stock for gravy
  • Make corn bread and stuffing bread
  • Brine turkey
  • Make cranberry sauce*

A long list, but so worth it.

*edited to add cranberrry sauce thanks to Lynn reminding me!

Signs of Maine

June 24, 2009

Check out this new blog authored by the fabulous Dan of Henbogle,  Signs of Maine.  Dan will show you the real Maine, as documented by the signs people make and place by the side of the road.  Look for more in the days ahead as we travel Maine’s highways and byways over the summer and beyond.