Tag Archives: Maine

Root Vegetable Comfort Food

Rutabagas.  I received two in the CSA this week.  I had no idea what to do with them, but I was determined not to let them go to waste.  I turned to the internet to figure out what people do with them.  I discovered a Finnish dish called  Lanttulaatiko.  I have no idea what it translates into, but it is seems to be essentially a rutabaga casserole.  Here is my take on it:

Ingredients:

  • Two medium rutabagas
  • Two carrots
  • One egg
  • 1/2 cup of bread or cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • salt and pepper
  • cinnamon
  • One TBSP of butter

Peel and chop the rutabagas and carrots.  Put them in a large pot.  Fill the pot with water  until it covers the vegetables by an inch or so.  Generously salt the water.  Bring pot to a boil and continue to boil the veggies until soft, around 25 minutes.  While the veggies are cooking, in another bowl beat an egg with the milk.  Add the bread or cracker crumbs, and allow them to soak up the milk/egg mixture.  (I had wanted to use bread crumbs, but I had used the last of them on the meatloaf I was making at the same time.  I found some buttery crackers still sealed in their tube in the pantry.  I think they were from the last time we had company at the house.  I crunched them up and threw them in the egg.)

Once the rutabagas are soft drain and return to pot.  Then mash them until they look like lumpy mashed potatoes.  Pour in the milk, egg, and crumbs and mix together.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Then pour the entire thing into a greased baking dish.

Dot the top with several pats of butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.  My cinnamon kind of exploded out of the jar on the first shake.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Once out of the oven allow it to cool slightly, and then dish it up.  We enjoyed this quite a bit.  It may end up on our Thanksgiving table.  It could be served as a main course or a side dish.

Open Farm Day

Last Sunday was Maine’s Open Farm Day.  Farmers all over the state open their farms for the public to explore.  We explored three farms and two wineries.  Unfortunately, this year two of our favorite farms weren’t open.

These lovely animals live life at Savage Oakes Winery and Vineyard.  They (the farmers, not the animals, although that would be interesting) produce several grape and fruit wines.  It is a beautiful walk from their tasting room to their grapes.  We passed the pigs, the Belted Galloways and a blueberry barren on our walk. We then went back to the tasting room for free wine sampling.  They even gave K her own wine glass to sip water out of while we were tasting.

We made a brief stop at Argicola Farm.  They have a three- story gray barn that most people in town use as a landmark reference.  They have a small farm store where they sell cheese, eggs, veggies, and lamb.  They also sell several locally made crafts, several colors of wool yarn, and fence supplies. We sampled a very mild and creamy goat cheese and blueberry preserves.

We next went to Guini Ridge Farm.  We saw sheep, chickens, pigs, barn cats- one was particularly enamored with K, and she with him-rabbits, and the Border Collie.  They had veggies, lamb sausage, and yarn for sale.    They have a very large garden with beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Then we went to our second winery of the day- Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery.  For $2.50 each we got to sample six of the wines and or spirits they produce, and you keep your glass.  Let me tell you, two wineries within a short period of time on an empty stomach can make one a little light headed- especially if your sampling rum and brandy on top of the wine.  Sweetgrass produces several fruit wines, gin, brandy, and rum.  They also make a dark vanilla extract.  Sweetgrass also sells some vegetables and lamb.

Our final stop was at our neighbor’s farm, Brae Maple Farm.  I absolutely love their farm, and I get to see part of it everyday.  Their drive is lined with ancient maple trees, and as you get closer to the house  you can see over the fields and hills and see one of the several ponds in town.  Their home is one of the oldest in town and 200 years ago served as a stagecoach stop for travelers.  Brae Maple works with the University Cooperative extension, and several master gardeners volunteer at the farm to teach people about organic gardening.  They have several food samples and recipes, spinning and wood turning demonstrations, old car displays, arts and crafts, and bee keeping demonstration.  They almost convinced me to start keeping bees last year, but the only problem is I’m kind of afraid of them.

The have several types of gardens to walk through, and we visited with the donkeys that usually spend the fall at our fence line looking for handouts and arguing with my beagle.  They have Scottish highland cattle, but they were hiding on  this day.  There have been a few occasions when their cows have startled me.  On one occasion I went out in the dark last fall to close up my chicken coop.  I keep hearing this odd noise, so I started wandering  around trying to figure out what it was.  Suddenly I was face to face with a large, sleeping cow in the pitch black.  It was almost leaning up against the fence!  Here are a few photos from Brae Maple.