A sudden storm...

A sudden storm came up late yesterday afternoon. It announced itself with sudden wind and boiling dark clouds.

The sky opened and we got nearly an inch of rain in a half hour. And then it was over


and it blew out to sea.


Out and about

The sun came out around noon today for a while so we went out for a drive. The wonderful thing about where we live is that there is just not an ugly view to be had anywhere. So we meandered about for a while. Here are some shots of what we saw.

We stopped for some annual seedlings here and across the road is a typical style Maine farmhouse --


Then we would around to Liberty --

Then we went around the corner --


The road wound around Lake St. George --


and then home again, just in time for a thunder shower.

I have started the main edge chart on Aeolian so the end really does seem in sight. I motivate myself by telling myself I can start Sharon Winsauer's Dargon of Happiness when I finish this.

More good Maine stuff

We have been a Maine shellfish kick lately. Last night my husband made us oysters Rockefeller. Around 20 years ago, oyster cultivation was reintroduced into the waters around Damariscotta and from there more growers have taken up raising oysters. Yummy fresh briny oysters.

Here they are just after Neal shucked them --

And after he worked his magic on them --


You'll notice I didn't make the mussel recipe one of the Food By Mom group -- because my kids, despite being Maine natives, just do not eat shellfish and never have. One of my failures as a parent. :::sigh:::

Almost there

I keep working on Aeolian. The rows are long now -- it takes about an hour to do 2 of them. But I am soldiering on -- 20 rows left now. I couldn't really spread it out but here you have an idea of how it looks, including a couple of the hated nupps --


Of course my helper slows things down just a little --


The local wild mussels were too good to resist again -- at $0.99/lb why resist? So last night we made curried mussels and served them over rice. 

1 tablespoon  butter 

1 shallot , finely chopped 

1 tablespoon curry powder 

1 can cup coconut milk  

juice of a half lemon

3 pounds medium mussels , scrubbed, debearded, and rinsed 

1/4 teaspoon  salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 jalapeno, chopped 

1 lime , cut into wedges 


Melt the butter in a 5- to 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook 1 minute, or until softened. Stir in the curry powder. Add the coconut milk, wine, lemon juice and jalapeno. Cook for 3 minutes. 

Add the mussels and stir well. Turn up the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly, cover, and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until all mussels open. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels as they open to a large bowl. (Remove and discard any that don't open.) Season broth with salt and pepper. Transfer equal portions of the mussels and broth to bowls. Serve with lime wedges on the side.  

Roscoe discovers the window

Well, the hated nupps are behind me now as I have begun the last 40 odd rows of Aeolian. No point in pictures because it is past the point where I can easily show you how the patten is unfolding.

We have had several warm days this week which has meant having the windows open. And Roscoe has been beside himself with delight. So today you get photos of him in his new element.




I hope your weekend is full of kitten-wonder and delight.

Nupps -- I hate them!

I want to go on record here about nupps -- I HATE them! I don't like making them and I am underwhelmed by how they look when finished. In the future I will substitute a larger beads for the damned things. So here is my Aeolian shawl, as I am completing the final Agave --


With all the time it has taken to knit those rows, there is no way I am going to rip them out to get rid of the damned nupps, so it's a good thing I am not a perfectionistic knitter. They will not be appearing after this row, believe me.

Now to more delightful things --

In the monkey see, monkey do department, Roscoe got into the squirrel watching action yesterday --


He and Spike really hang out with each other a lot, but it is not usual to see all three of them like this. 

Moe likes solitary play --

Now I am off to finish my last row of nupps -- last ever!

Food By Mom -- Cioppino

Long ago, my friend Susie taught me how to make cioppino. At least I think it was Susie I learned it from. I have this very clear memory of making it one summer when we rented a cottage on Isle au Haut. My daughter was 2 and we spent a lovely 2 weeks there in late summer. So it is a recipe I associate with summer. And though it is not summer here yet, when my husband brought home some wonderful locally harvested wild mussels, I immediately thought of cioppino. I can't say that my kids ever ate this when I prepared it, because both of them, even though they were born and raised in Maine, were adamant about not liking fish!


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 2 oz tin of anchovy fillets

2 cups fish stock

1 can (14 ounces) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

1 t. oregano

1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced

1 cup dry red wine 

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound monk fish, cut in chunks

Black Cherry

This is one of those quiet weeks that is punctuated by excitement. This week I have been interviewed twice about my posts over on Jung At Heart on HBO's In Treatment. This is the second season for the show but it must have leaped in popularity as I have had a big increase in traffic. So Monday I talked with a reporter from the New York Post and yesterday with a writer from the Canadian magazine Maclean's . I think they count as my few seconds of fame.

And now the week is back to a more ordinary quiet. 

Yesterday this nice 10/28 baby merino from Colourmart arrived. I will be using it to knit the Lace Cropped Cardigan   -- yes, it calls for aran weight yarn and mine is fingering weight but I much prefer to work in finer weight yarns and I can easily adapt the pattern.

The color is scotch pine and it is a very blue green.

Tomorrow I will be taking my slideshow of my year long photo project, A Year From My Window, over to the Hutchinson Center for the Senior College Art Show. 

Why the black cherry of the title? I have a new favorite ink -- 

I'm back

A week can fly by so fast! This week I have been wrestling with getting the slideshow of my year-long From My Window photo project put together and matched with Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It wasn't so hard making the slideshow or even getting the music set right. It was getting a DVD that would play, with the music, on a DVD player. But I finally solved that yesterday. So, this week it goes off to the Senior College Art Show. It is the first project of any kind that I have entered in an art show and great art it is not. But I feel good about it just the same.

This week Roscoe has decided that Spike is the cat he wants to be wen he grows up. So he follows him everywhere and imitates what he does. Like this --


Meanwhile, Moe gets his lap time while I read --


The leaves are starting to come out -- always by Mother's Day. This is the view from my window. Note that the smudge is the result of kitty noses all morning.


I have continued to work on my Aeolian shawl. Because I am knitting it with very fine yarn on small needles, I am having to do more repeats of each motif in order to get the width I want. Here it is with the second repeat of the Agave motif about half done. I think I will probably do at least 4 repeats of this pattern, maybe more.

One day in May...

Ready for pictures? Cause I have lots of them today!

Starting with what I saw this morning -- Spike and his little buddy.


Then off we went to Wiscassett to meet my daughter and her husband for lunch. The idea was to give her the bread cookbook I forgot to take to her house several weeks ago. Did we remember the book? Of course we didn't! But here is good news -- she has a blog now -- Cooking Wench! Following in Mama's footsteps -- makes this old mom's heart proud. I'd post pictures I took at the restaurant but I didn't ask her if I could, so discretion is indeed the better part of valor. Trust me she is adorable and her husband isn't bad either.

We took some back roads home and happened upon a farm with Scottish Highland cattle.  




Between Lincolnville Beach and Northport (which is the next town south of Belfast) is Ducktrap. And where the Ducktrap River empties into the bay is a lovely little beach.


Like most baches in Maine, it is all stones.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2007. All  rights reserved.