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Posts Tagged ‘Cumberland’

If you haven’t noticed, goats are kind of a thing these days. You can be the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). You can go to yoga class with goats, hike with goats or perhaps the most popular option, snuggle with baby goats (kids). Our own children find it hard to resist the bright eyes, gangly legs and soft fur of these adorable babies. They’d likely take a goat kid home for themselves, if we would allow for another pet. Fortunately for us, there are several visiting farms that offer spring goat snuggling sessions. Following are a few favorites:

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This is the time of year in Maine when we could all use a good dose of green. Thankfully, the first day of spring is just around the corner. We can’t wait to walk woodland trails, smell that welcome mix of evergreen and earth, and relish in temperatures above 40º.

In the spirit of feeling hopeful, we’re sharing pictures of one of our favorite new hiking spots—Rines Forest in Cumberland. We visited on a spring afternoon and had so much fun playing in the streams, throwing stones, and muddying our boots.

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One of the things we love best about our new home is its close proximity to some incredible farms and orchards. The team recently stopped by Sunflower Farm & Creamery in Cumberland to visit with their newest baby goats. Owners Hope and Chris Hall regularly open the farm to visitors, so children and adults can enjoy spending time with the babies. And boy, did we ever.

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Clearly, the Cute Potato kids were smitten. They asked MP and DP multiple times if we could bring one home. MP suggested we visit the farm more often!

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MP has heard the term geocaching many times over the years, but chose to ignore it. The word implied a level of technological ability that MP didn’t believe she had. If someone had promoted free treasure hunts throughout the state, she might have paid closer attention.

Thanks to the encouragement of a friend, MP learned that all geocaching requires is a cell phone and a sense of adventure.  What is a geocache?  It’s found treasure that comes in several sizes. You and your family get to decide how challenging you want your hunt to be.  The smaller the geocache, the more challenging the search!

DP downloaded a $10 geocaching app on iTunes. There are many free options, but DP chose Geocaching by Groundspeak based on user ratings (he’s the technology guy at our house). As it turns out, there are hundreds of geocaches all around us. Our team decided to find a medium sized cache in Twin Brooks Park in Cumberland. The kids brought backpacks, flashlights, and garden trowels, plus a few small treasures to leave behind. The rule of geocaching is: once you find your treasure, you leave something for the next person.

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The kids wore wellies and lots of bug spray for this adventure!

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Look who's coming to breakfast...

No, not Clarence Clemens, famous E. Street Band saxophonist. The other big man… Santa Claus himself. When the Cute Potatoes’ mama was a little girl growing up in N.J., it was a family tradition to have breakfast with Santa. It was a fun, family outing made even better by good food and the appearance of the man behind the beard. Okay, enough of that.

Fortunately, there are several towns in Maine where Santa plans on enjoying breakfast this year. And each location has its own unique spin on the event—kids can write letters to Santa, have their photo taken with him, visit with Mrs. Claus and the elves, create fun holiday crafts, sing, listen to holiday stories or pig out on bake sale food. And what, we ask you, could be better than that?

Saturday, December 5:

Maniax Café
8 Market Place Drive, York
8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Free
Juice, muffins and more
Added info.

Wilhelm Reich Museum
Dodge Pond Road
Rangeley
8 a.m.-11 a.m.
$5.00 per person
Blueberry, M&M and chocolate chip and plain pancakes, sausag
Added info.

Crescent Park Elementary School
Crescent Lane
Bethel
9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Free
Added info.

Hamden Academy
One Main Road North
Hamden
8 a.m.-10 a.m.
$3.00 per person
Added info.

Molly Ockett School
25 Molly Ockett Drive
Fryeburg
8 a.m.-10 p.m.
$4.00 per person
Pancakes, sausage
Added info.

Sunday, December 6:

Greely Middle School
351 Tuttle Road
Cumberland
7 a.m.-10 a.m.
Kids: $3.00
Adults: $10.00
All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast

Saturday, December 12:
(not quite breakfast, but….)
Farmers Fare
Route 90 and Cross Street
Rockport
Noon- 3:00 p.m.
Free
Cookies and cider
Bring your own camera

Sunday, December 13:

Nonantum Resort
95 Ocean Avenue
Kennebunkport
8 a.m.-noon
Kids: $10.00
Adults: 20.00
Holiday brunch

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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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