I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A hearty Butternut Squash Soup recipe.

The fall has been playing tricks on us here in New England!  We've had several frosts and we've even had snow flurries.  Yesterday, however, it was 70 degrees outside!  Today it's blustery and it barely reached 50 degrees.  The leaves are crisp and the colors are beautiful.  Light a fire and stay in tonight.  You'll just love this butternut squash recipe!  It's perfect for the season.
Chop 1 large onion into small pieces, add 1 teaspoon of salt and cook over medium heat until onions are clear.
Cut 3 small carrots into small pieces (approximately 1 1/2 cups).

Peel and cut (also into small pieces) 1/2 of a large butternut squash (approximately 2 1/2 cups).
Add the carrots and squash to the onion mixture.  Cook for 15 minutes.
While you're waiting for the stove top mixture to cook, slice bread (of your choice), put on cookie sheet and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake bread in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the vegetable mixture until smooth.  Add a dash of nutmeg.
Serve while hot; wonderful for a chilly night!

Friday, October 30, 2015

The fall garden at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.

As Vermont waits patiently for the snow to begin falling, here's one last look at the gorgeous and very well maintained grounds at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.

Color was everywhere!
The view is spectacular.
I have asked my husband to recreate these steps at home.

I didn't realize the family cemetery was at the lodge.  It is beautiful and peaceful.  The public is not invited in, which is certainly understandable.

Such scenic views.
A lovely spot for grazing.

The garden was waning but so pretty none-the-less.


If you get a chance to visit, go inside the lodge and enjoy a meal.  A stunning spot to enjoy conversation over lunch or dinner.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The inspiration behind an easy spooky spider cake creation!

Let me say this right up front….I don’t like spiders! I don’t really know many people who do. I’ve been known to suck them up in the vacuum cleaner only to set it outside until my husband gets home and can dispose of it! That being said, my attitude towards these creepy crawly eight-legged creatures has changed recently. Keep an open mind and read on….

Several years ago, I watched “Charlotte” for many weeks. Of course I’ve named her after E.B. White’s famous character from the all-time classic book Charlotte’s Web. Nothing more than a barnyard decoration, you say? Think again. My Charlotte spun her daily web to measure about two and a half feet long and a foot and a half wide. She did this every day and every day I tried to catch her creating this masterpiece to no avail. Light on? Light off? What did she prefer? She never spun while I was watching. When the wind blew several leaves into her sticky prison they left large gaping holes in the web but the next evening the entire thing was re-spun and I must say, quite beautiful. The innate ability to create something like this amazes me.
According to my research, this legged lady was an Orb Weaver of the family Araneidae. Her common name is Garden Spider, which makes total sense, as that was exactly where she was located. She was very docile, non-aggressive and quite beneficial! She masterfully caught and ate pest type insects. Unfortunately (I can’t really believe I’m saying this), she died at the first frost, but much like E.B. White’s famous friend, her eggs survived the winter and I had hundreds of her tiny children to carry on the legacy!

Charlotte has inspired a seasonal dessert that your family will adore. Now, if only she would write Bon Appetite in her web….
Make any cake of your choice.  I choose chocolate, simply because it's my favorite.  Frost using a white or other light color frosting.
 Beginning with a small circle in the center of the cake, use black icing to draw a circle.
 Keep drawing circles until you reach the outside of the circle. 

Simply draw a knife through the frosting at several different points.  The closer your circles are and the more times you draw your knife through, the more intricate your web will be.

 Dress the cake up as much or as little as you'd like! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Creative pumpkins along Main Street in Damariscotta, Maine

Every October, Damariscotta, Maine draws thousands of people to the Damariscotta Pumpkin Fest.  There are all kinds of pumpkin related activities for kids and adults alike.  The Regatta is one of our favorite aspects of the festival....giant pumpkins are carved out and outboard motors are attached!  The first year this took place, we were able to easily grab a front row seat on the shore.  Now, it's one of the most popular events at the event and almost impossible to get close to!  The very colorful and artistic pumpkins shown here are along Main Street.  I urge as many of you as possible to go and view these beauties.  While you're there, grab lunch at one of the fabulous restaurants in the area.


 My absolute favorite!

Keep an eye on the website for information regarding the 2016 Pumpkin Fest!

Note - The new State of Maine champion pumpkin (and all time record holder for the state) weighs 1,727.5 pounds!