Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

South Wind Through the Kitchen-Happy Lammas Day

I closed the computer lid, Jeff washed the last of the paintbrushes, and we did the final chores before we locked up our project at Comfort Found Literary Lodging and headed off for the weekend. This is the first time in 15 years of summering here that I have had any time to do anything other than write, illustrate, and give lectures. This year (though my ride will be ending soon) I savor every second and try to experience as much of Maine as possible.

For years I've wanted to attend the Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, Maine, which is about 2 1/2 hours north of us. This weekend I got to spend a little time there, and it was well worth the drive. The conference had great speakers and demonstrations and was sponsored by King Arthur Flour, a company I love (who can resist their catalog?).

The last day of the conference was the Artisan Bread Fair appropriately held on the eve of Lammas Day. Lammas (loaf-mass) marks the halfway point between summer solstice and the autumn equinox and is the ancient celebration of the summer's first grain harvest.

Inside the fairgrounds building
Who could resist these cooking tools made from native wood in Blue Hill, Maine?
Blue Hill Spoonworks, P.O. Box 243, Blue Hill, ME 04614, (207) 374-3263, 

Lots of things to choose
Cookbooks, my weakness (one of many).
Oh, and rolling pins, my weakness (didn't I already say that?)
And cast iron, which I've collected forever and inherited from my Grandmother Lovejoy. Another weakness.
One of my favorite booths
One of the blogs on my blog roll is Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Looks like they can bake too.
Our beloved King Arthur Flour sponsor
This is a great cookbook for children. Easy recipes

The Artisan Bread Fair was a baking lover's delight. It is held inside a large barn on the Skowhegan Fair Grounds and outside in the show area. I enjoyed all the displays, which included a booth called "Knitting Out Loud," CDs about every aspect of knitting and fibers read by authors and storytellers.  Oh my goodness, how I LOVE to listen to audio books, and if you're a knitter, YOU MUST order some of these. What stopped me was the "Cooking Out Loud" offering, which is the beautiful anthology of works by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth David. The audio book is "South Wind Through the Kitchen: The Best of Elizabeth David." Three hours and 35 minutes of PURE BLISS. So now Kathy Goldner's company is not only producing wonderful books for knitters and fiber enthusiasts, but also for cooks. I think that Kathy's soulful business is involved in celebrating home, hearth, hands, and happiness.
So there is some hope for me

On our way to and from Skowhegan we antiqued. We are always searching for great things to include in Comfort Found, and we discovered an old bookcase and some antique lamps, which we've already put in place.

On Sunday, we were picked up at South Bristol Town Landing by Olive, the boat you met in my last posting. Sunday was the Annual Boat Builders Festival at the Ocean Point Marina in East Boothbay, still the home of some of the world's greatest boat builders.

Captain John with Ginny, Ali, and Patrick in the stern
The crew
Heading into the historic village of East Boothbay
Some of the antique boats on display

Twist my arm, I'll take the Nellie. 
This is pure grace

The Ardea (Heron) is perfect. Can you see Ruby, the dog, peering at you from the stern? 

The Olive is set up with flowers, spit-and-polish, and love

Julie and John in the Olive

This is the immaculate interior of the Ardea (Ruby's boat) 

John coiled the lines perfectly. Remember this is a boat show and everything has to be in top shape 

Inside Nellie

An overview of the boats 

Something for everyone

I loved how this festival included children in everything

Large tents sheltered children as they made their own boats out of wooden pieces and turnings

Ali builds her first boat

Hmm, so much from which to choose

The boat building projects drying

Making sails for the boats (they had rubber stamps with pirate symbols) 
This is Peter who is our local Maine television celebrity. What a hunk!

This bagpipe player broke my heart. He would play for a minute or two, and from the far shore another piper would answer. 

Ali loves her paper hat. What could be a simpler pleasure? 

The Harvey Gamage-built by our most famous South Bristol craftsman of the same name. 


This wonderful young mother supplied her daughter with strings of kelp. The little girl laughed uproariously every time she popped one of the kelp bladders. 

For Sale: $30,000.00. Gulp. Wish we could, but... 
Jeff-my captain

Homeward Bound. The Heron Islands and Thrumcap in the distance. 

Good-bye dear friends. I hope that I didn't overwhelm you with this posting, which is the longest I've ever done. 

Thanks for stopping by.

All joys to you,



Farmgirl Cyn said...

Beautiful post, Sharon! Not overwhelmed at all! I was born on the east coast (Pawtucket, R.I.) and love anything having to do with it. Mmmm...nothing like a New England clam bake!

Mozart's Girl said...

Overwhelm me all you like, Sharon, with the beauty and interest of your posts!! I love the Kneading Fair especially, could literally feel my heart aching as I saw those kitchenalia stalls. I look longingly from across the Atlantic at the King Arthur Flour website. We're behind in so many ways, different priorities here I guess! I had a great writing day today, so satisfying & I'm beginning to believe it will really happen. Loved this post as always and all the wonderful little insights into your life. Hugs to you and lots of love, Rachel xox

Erin @ I Heart New England said...

Oh, my... was this a wonderful post!! The Artisan Bread fair looked so absolutely perfect; all of those booths look heavenly! I would have fainted, I think :p

And that boat show... wow!! I think I need to relocate to Maine immediately ♥

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I would have loved to go to both places, but my heart started to beat a bit harder when I saw all the boats :-) :-) I saw some pretty wonderful boats there, as the old sailor I am :-)

I just came back from a day by the ocean myself and now I can feel how much I needed it :-) I love where I live, but I´m at home by the sea :-)

Have a great day now!

Vee said...

Oh no! Not overwhelmed at all. Loved every word and only wish that I knew about the Kneading Conference. Gotta get on my Skowhegan relatives, I guess.

The boats are wonderful, but the children are so cute and delightful. Love Ali's pose wearing her paper hat...she might've been wearing diamonds for all her happiness and penache.

Glad that the work has ended on your summer project so that you may enjoy the remainder of your time in Maine.

country girl said...

This just breaks my heart and makes it sing all at once! Thank you so much for sharing so much Maine with us. I love you for it!!

xoxo dawn

Carla said...

Being an armchair traveler much of the time, this post is just what I needed today. My face was glued to the screen (insert drooling mouth here) wishing I were shopping at this place and smelling the aroma of baking bread. I am now inspired and will bake something today to celebrate the season.

I am so happy to have found your blog Sharon!

Have a beautiful day,

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh wow....oh WOW!!! i want to be there! how wonderful!

Carol said...

Never too long! I would have loved either place but the bread would win out every time. I would have been in heaven there.

Claudia said...

Oh my gosh, what beautiful photos and what wonderful adventures you are having.

Oh, and I love King Arthur Flour!


lemonverbenalady said...

You are a lucky, lucky woman, Sharon Lovejoy! So glad we are connected through our blogging! Need (no pun intended)to work on my bread making! Enjoy your break!xxoo Nancy

Aisling said...

Loved the long post... Loved all the scenic and nautical photos. My favorite, I believe, is the bagpiper. I wish I could have heard him and the music which answered his song.

Ficurinia said...

Now that I have a good neighbor friend from Maine, I should spend more time familiarizing myself with its beauty. Portland (OR) might be far from Maine physically, but apparently it is not in spirit. We have Bob's Red Mill and lovely boats too! Thanks for showing us around.

taylorsoutback said...

What a wonderful post - so many interesting things! Envious of your proximity to the King Arthur event - I also have bonded with their catalog!
You have found another great sign too!
Have a lovely summery week.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh Sharon,.
You always are having so much fun doing so many interesting things!
I love the booth, so many cool things and the bread and festival, just wonderful!
Hugs you lucky traveler you!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Goodness, Sharon, I need a nap after all that! What fun that you had time-or made time--to go do all these excursioning. It looks like a great deal of pleasure, which we all need now and again.
I'm just back from visiting a dear friend who lost her husband rather suddenly a few weeks ago. She has five grandchildren and is teaching them much about gardening, wildlife, birds, and other pleasures of nature. Guess whose book I'm giving her the next time I go down? yes indeedy, Toad Cottages will delight all of the kids, including the oldest, a teenager who comes to see her grandmother almost daily. Thank you for bringing such joy into all our lives.

toasted said...

Sometmes .. I just want your life! And I certainly want your surname... Great post.

Hindsfeet said...

"It's a Wonderful Life" my......

...and I know this is a needle in the haystack of this particular post, but I'm with you on the cookbook fettish!! Love love LOVE cookbooks!!! : )

All joys to you too...thanks for that sweet blessing, Sharon...

Pondside said...

Not too long at all - I read every word and enlarged every photo. Very envious, way over here, of those antiques booths and antique store stops on your trip.
Your post made me just a little homesick for the east coast.

Zuzana said...

What a lovely festival. Here it is only a notion of sweet melancholy and the departing sun that signals the departing solstice and the approaching equinox. I would love to celebrate the mid way between the two.
LOVE all your photographs, what a delightful maritime theme.;)
Have a lovely week dear Sharon,

Anonymous said...

That Kneading Conference sounds really neat. I never did understand bread machines. To me the greatest pleasure in baking your own bread is the kneading, that and the smell of yeast proofing.

I loved the pics of the sailboat, especially the one with the lines all neatly laid out in a figure eight. Now that's love!

rebecca sweet said...

Yours is the blog I chose to wake up to this morning, coffee in my hand, hoping to start my busy day on a good note. I'm so glad I did! Thanks for the tour of Maine - a state I've always wanted to visit. I felt like I was there, watching that little girl pop the seaweed! Thanks, Sharon, and safe journeys back home to us in California!

Kristina said...

I loved this post!! I have never seen the ocean (I live in landlocked Nebraska) and am fascinated with boats! We have our big fresh-water lakes here but there just is something about the ocean, isn't there?? The Kneading Conference...oh my! I love the handmade wood tools. I really enjoyed this post!

marcia @Child in Harmony said...

Oh Sharon, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear about your travels and all the details. Never too long...a great post!

I also awarded you a Verstaile Blogger award. It is your choice whether to play or not, but I still wanted to include you in the blogs that most inspire me and that I want to share with others.

happy day!

Fearless Nester said...

Wondered if that island is the same Thrumcap near us. Ours is certainly tiny just like that one. Oh my goodness those boats were really something. And it was so enjoyable to tag along with you to all those fun places! ~Lili

vicki said...

How wonderful was this! I loved every single picture! The bread seminar looked like a wonderful event - so much fun that would be. And those boats - your photos are fabulous - how I love being near the water and the boats are stunning just by themselves!

The crafts, the children, the sights - oh my! A wonderful, wonderful post!

ps - dont worry about all the photos - I AM THE QUEEN of long posts - my Maddys Tea Party post had almost 70 photos!!! Your post was delightful!

Mozart's Girl said...

Thanks so much for visiting me, Sharon, and your words of wisdom & support! You're right, I'm also working on a novel (researching just now) and I think that's a good thing to be popping back to every now and then. When the recipes are finished, I'll concentrate on that properly, feel it'll be much more challenging but I'm sort of looking forward to that too and the difference of fiction and imagination. Reread your post, still love it!! xox R

Joan said...

Loved the photos of the gorgeous wood boats. And the shot of "Sharon's Redemption" was priceless.
What a picture-perfect weekend!

the REAL girl said...

This was so so fun to read and see--thank you for all of your beautiful photographs, thoughts, and insightful wisdoms....much enjoyed! I'm a writer at heart, so this spoke to me!

Storybook Woods said...

Oh wow, the kneading conference looks really amazing. How much fun. One more of a zillion reasons to go to Maine xoxoox Clarice

Thea said...

Sharon, I loved every little drop of this post. Maine looks lovely this year. hugs, Thea

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Ah, it all sounds so lovely. I want those spoons. Did you know King Arthur is coming or has come out with a gluten free flour? I'd love to try it someday. I used to diligently order from their catalog before I was diagnosed. Glad you're getting some downtime.~~Dee

Lori ann said...

Dear Sharon, Oh MY GOSH. I don't know what to say. This was a fabulous post. I loved every bit of it. I think i need to go read it again, there was so much here!

Your life is magical and it's a beautiful thing to see how much you appreciate that.


Knitting Out Loud said...

It was a great pleasure to meet you at the Bread Fair, Sharon! I'm delighted you are enjoying the audiobook.