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Archive for September, 2009

Layout 1Cute Potato #1 is a dancing machine. It all started with the PBS Kids’ show, Angelina Ballerina, and now she wears her pink tutu whenever she can. She’s even made up her own move, “The Rose Bush,” which words can do no justice.

So it’s no surprise that we scooped up tickets to The Magic Toy Shop at the Maine State Ballet Theater in Falmouth. We knew our prima potato would love seeing dancing dolls, teddy bears and dogs flitting across the stage. Plus, the show is only 45 minutes long, which is just right for fidgety little ones like ours.

And who knows? Maybe the show will inspire more original moves like the Rose Bush. We can only hope.

Showtimes:
Saturday, 9/26
Saturday, 10/3
1p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m.

Admission: $12

Maine State Ballet Theater
348 U.S. Route One
Falmouth
781-7672

For tickets: http://www.mainestateballet.org/Performances/MSBTheaterBoxOffice.html

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2008-Logo-400We’ll admit it. We’re a little biased about the location of this year’s Henry Fest at Skyline Farm & Carriage Museum in North Yarmouth. It’s also home to Deri Farm, whose hard-working team is responsible for providing our family with fresh veggies and flowers all summer long. But back to the topic at hand: Henry Fest. The live music festival features some of the best local bluegrass bands, including Jerks of Grass, The Milliners and High Range. What a great way to introduce your potatoes to new music and fun instruments. And we can’t wait to meet Cookin’ Carol of Auburn—the woman responsible for the festival’s fresh, organic food.

Admission to Henry Fest costs only $30 per family, and in addition to live music, you can enjoy Skyline Farm’s stunning grounds all afternoon until your kiddos are ready for bed.

Henry Fest
95, The Lane
North Yarmouth

Directions available at http://www.skylinefarm.org/

Have a favorite fall festival in Maine you’d like to share with us? Let us know, and we’ll try to post it here!

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Not long ago, a friend mentioned making her grandmother’s blueberry buckle. We were curious; what the heck is a buckle, anyway? Like any smart potato, we consulted Sharon Tyler Herbst’s Food Lover’s Companion. Buckle is just another term for a single layer cake. And then coincidentally, while visiting Spring Brook Farm in Cumberland, we discovered a buckle recipe at the register. Kismet!

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But before team Cute Potato could start baking, we needed more blueberries. We decided to visit Crabtree’s Blueberries (featured in the August 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living). The beautiful Sebago spot features several varieties of highbush blueberries that are perfect for picking with little ones. The orchard’s best feature? Crabtree’s offers tin pails for picking, so the berries go kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk, just like in Blueberries for Sal.

CP#2 balances his tin buckets of blueberries

CP#2 balances his tin buckets of blueberries

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And if you’re not ready to say goodbye to summer, you can pick blueberries at Crabtree’s until October. Worth noting: another favorite spot—Sebago Lake State Park—is nearby. Or if the spirit moves you, take the family for an old-fashioned river boat ride on The Songo River Queen II in Naples.

The blueberry buckle didn't last long

But back to the Buckle, the recipe is easy to make with the kids, and delicious to boot. The taste reminds us that summer is not quite over.

Farmhouse Blueberry Buckle
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour (plus 2 TBSP)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh blueberries

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, butter, and egg until creamy. Stir in the milk. Next, sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Slowly stir the sifted dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Toss the blueberries in 2 TBSP of flour and then gently fold them into the batter. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Topping (optional):

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup of butter

Mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together. Cut the butter into the mixture using a fork/knife or pastry blender until the mixture looks like small peas. Sprinkle over the batter and bake 45-50 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Enjoy!

Crabtree’s Highbush Blueberries
703 Bridgton Road (Route 107)
Sebago
787-2730

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The Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle by Bruce McMillan

During a recent visit to Kennebunkport, we discovered the fun and equally well-thought gift shop, Daytrip Society. While we were there, Mom and Dad Cute Potato purchased two great books for the family. The first of the two—The Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle—is by Shapleigh author, Bruce McMillan. The story, about a young boy’s tricycle that escapes the village dump to find him, is a laugh-out-loud adventure, made even better by McMillan’s quirky black and white photos of Kennebunkport residents and locales.

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We also bought Dahlov Ipcar’s classic, A Cat at Night, for the Cute Potatoes’ cat loving cousin. We’re big fans of the Georgetown Island artist/author’s colorful illustrations, and the story of the cat’s adventure keeps kids guessing what they’ll discover next.

Happy reading!

PS: We love signed copies for gifts. Autographed copies of McMillan’s book are available through Apple Island Books, 176 Country Road, PO Box 190, Shapleigh, ME 04076.

And if you’re interested in meeting Dahlov Ipcar in person, she will be signing books at L.L.Bean in Freeport on September 12. Check Yarmouth’s Islandport Press for event details.

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