Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts

Friday, November 1, 2013

Queen Anne's Lace

Things quiet down in September and October
Everything stills in November
Tall grasses sway
They whisper about flowers that will fade and fall away
Flashes of amber light up the field, the trees, the sky
One flower stays
Once light, white, and delicate
Now, transformed
Bound together, sturdy, and secure
Preparing for the inevitable
It towers over the meadow
Standing alone
Striking, solid, and tall
It is Queen Anne's lace in the fall

 A week or so ago I went with Evan to one of his trainings in Bangor. I sat in the truck for the majority of the time but eventually got bored. I grabbed my camera and started walking. While walking near a field I noticed this cool cage looking thing and had no idea what it was but knew that I wanted to take pictures of it! I came home and found out that it is actually Queen Anne's Lace. Such a cool transformation.....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

State O'Maine

Behind Dunkin Donuts in Machias. Hunter's Moon.
View from the walking trails on the Machias river.

I am in love with my state. I always have been. During the past two months, I have visited many parts of central and northern Maine for the first time. There is one specific view that catches me off guard every time. While driving through Patten there is a spot where you can stop and take in miles of open fields, rolling hills with changing maples and oaks, dark outlines of evergreen trees, and Mount Katahdin in the distance, ALL in the same picture. It takes my breath away.

One day I will stop and take a picture of this gorgeous view. I haven't yet because I'm usually in such a desperate state trying to keep the boys calm during the 5 1/2 hour drive. I also tend to get very discouraged by these landscapes...I see them as being too big and too beautiful to try to capture them in one shot. It would never do it justice.

Where the sights of northern Maine are gorgeous, I am quite partial to downeast Maine.
It has always been my home, and I'm proud to be a "downeastah". Happy to say that I've always appreciated what it has to offer...the ocean, the lakes, the woods, the blueberries, the people. Now that I have moved away from it....going back takes me to a tourist state of mind. Places that I've always known to be beautiful, now pop out at me like never before.

Roque Bluffs

View of the hunter's moon in Machias, early morning.

Fall blueberry fields in Northfield


I am a sucker for dew drops on anything!

View from Washington Bald Mountain, Wesley

View of third Machias lake from Washington Bald Mountain, Wesley

Sunrise on Machias river from the view at Inn at Schoppee Farm
I just started reading Louise Dickinson Rich's State O'Maine. It isn't very often that I get excited about a book by it's introduction, but this one did just that! The first page of the book made me smile...she captures being a Mainer, perfectly.
To Mainiacs, Maine is not merely a place. It is a spiritual home and shelter as perfectly fitting and comfortable and natural as its shell is to a snail; which, like snails, they carry with them wherever they may go. To them, Maine is a state of mind and a way of life inseparable from the geography and topography of the area and from their own bones and blood and thoughts and dreams.
  I feel that this is so true. Since I was 13, every summer has been spent working at Helen's in Machias. I grew up being asked tourist questions like,

"What on earth do you do for fun around here?"
"What do you mean the nearest Walmart is one hour away?"
"Are you serious? You have to drive 2 hours to go shopping at a mall?"

Unfortunately, for the tourists who ask me these questions, just like the snail that Louise Dickinson Rich describes...carrying the shell wherever we go...I get very defensive. I feel the need to protect my home. I get angry when people can't appreciate the simplicity of things. First of all....I hate shopping. I loathe Walmart. Every time I enter the place I end up wanting to hurt myself 20 minutes in. I hate it simply because my brain cannot handle such overload. Hannaford in Machias is my place to shop. I love the simplicity of being able to walk into a store and knowing exactly where to find what I need. I like knowing the names of the employees. Are the prices higher than Walmart? Some of them, sure. But I know that when I walk in a Walmart....I'm going to purchase more than what's on my list...just because my brain loses all control and sensory overload destroys all rationale.

It is impossible to convey a frame of mind, to explain why I love my state, and why I love Machias to someone who has already decided to hate it and pity me for being stuck in such a desolate hole. Of course not every tourist asks these questions with the same horrified look on their face. There are plenty of tourists who return every summer to soak up everything good our area has to offer. It is their opportunity to unwind, to get away from it all, and to recharge. Come early September, they're shipping out to carry on their busy city lives.

Simply stated, ours is a different way of life. It is not for everyone, that is for sure. But for me, it's the way life should be! :)


Monday, October 7, 2013

Winnah Winnah Partridge Dinnah

 Evan and I started out on this beautiful fall day to search for some birds. We left Meemaw and the boys at home snug in their beds. It's not often that we get a date nowadays and a good chunk of time riding down dirt roads is always nice! This country is so gorgeous. We ended up seeing two cow moose with one calf each trailing behind.
We tried some new roads we hadn't been down yet. Spotted a bird and I took a shot with the 20 gauge but I was too far away and it hopped up in the woods. I was so discouraged that I lowered the gun and started back to the blazer. Evan used a bit of profanity, disgusted with my attitude of defeatedness, and told me to walk toward the alders where the bird disappeared. I walked closer and I was able to see only his head peaking out the other side of a tree. I took the shot and feathers flew. It was a VERY exciting moment. I will admit there were a few tears....I was ecstatic.
 We came back to the house and Evan walked me through the process of skinning and cleaning the bird.
I grabbed onto the partridge feet and lined up my feet on either side of the breast and directly on top of the wings.  
And he told me to pull.
And so I did.....
And there you have it....good ole partridge breast!

So after this excitement had ended....Mom, the boys, and I went for a walk to the airline and back around to the house. We saw four partridge off to the side of the road, and it gave me an itch to go back out. Came home, packed the boys up in the blazer and off we went. Spotted the first one pretty quickly. Fired and feathers flew.

But.....he wouldn't die.

He kept flippin and floppin.

And I got the giggles.

And Evan wasn't around and I had no freaking clue what to do!

Thank goodness I didn't have to do anything. He stopped breathing and I threw him in the bag. I got one more and we headed home.

The view on the way home.

So after the fun, I had to get to work....but really...cooking doesn't usually seem like work to me! I read a little bit on what pairs well with partridge from the Joy of Cooking cookbook and a common theme seemed to be citrus. I immediately thought of an orange chicken recipe I'd found on foodgawker months ago. Evan and I were both nervous about how we'd feel about the flavor/texture of the partridge compared to chicken. We've both tried it before but it had been way overcooked with little to no flavor added. I knew the marinade would be pretty important.
A problem when you're shooting your dinner.....if you don't get a clean shot...the pellets end up buried in the meat. For the record...this wasn't one of my birds...it was Evan's!!! aahaha!
After I cleaned up the breasts, I cut them up into bite size pieces. I had to use 5 partridge breasts. I get easily distracted and I didn't bother to read the recipe for the orange chicken after I got done reading about the citrus marinade in the Joy of Cooking....SO I ended up doubling up on a marinade. You will see that the marinade in the Orange Chicken recipe is heated first and then dumped on the chicken. This one is not....so yours won't look like this but I just liked the picture. :D

I love onions and red peppers paired with this recipe. You could do whatever vegetable you wanted. I think broccoli would be great or even green beans. I just sautéed them lightly and threw them into the sauce at the end.

Bringing the sauce to a boil right before adding the partridge.


It seems like every time I make this for dinner...I regret putting the chicken in the sauce. When the chicken gets deep fried it's nice and crispy on the outside...and when the sauce is added, it takes away some of that crispiness. It's not too bad if you don't let it sit for long.  


AND the finished product. From dirt road to dinner table. Delish.
Find the recipe here: http://www.homeindisarray.com/2012/01/happy-new-year-orange-chicken.html

He is excited about the day he will be able to join us! :)