Friday, October 1, 2010

Common Ground Fair

I've been going to the Common Ground Fair here in Maine for as long as I can remember. It's been around for 30+ years and I think that's nearly how long my family has attended and been involved.

The fair is sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and showcases all sorts of stuff associated with natural living - solar power, hand dying and spinning wool, tons of farming and gardening stuff, handmade crafts, stone masonry (let's hear it for the Maine Stoneworkers Guild - my family and friends!) and so so much more. Then there's the Social and Political Action area (read: bleeding heart liberals :) ), all the crazy high-priced food (but yuuummmmy), all the animals (we made three trips to see the bunnies...), the sheep dog demos, ox pulling, the kids' area with their face painting, haystack-jumping and vegetable parade and just all the general whole-lifeness of it all.
Crazy hippies.

So, I love the fair. Curtis is just meh about it. He doesn't have the same emotional attachement that I do, but anyway, he goes with me nearly every year with a minimal amount of grumpiness. I do appreciate it, Love.

My dad and brothers working on a stone bench.

I think my favorite part of the fair is seeing people and hanging out. (Though "hanging out" was significantly easier pre-children. Now it's all about "when can I get my faaaaaace paaaaainted mooooom" and "let's go to the bunnies again" and "popcorn!" and "waaaah." Sigh.) Anyhoo, I got to see some old friends from high school (and I mean old - we're like 35 now - sheesh) who I haven't seen in years and years and it was really wonderful. I don't know what the heck was wrong with us - not a single photo of us together. Still, it was great to see those dears (you know who you are!).

Betty checking out the sheep and border collies demo.

I think the kids' favorite part of it all was hanging out with their cousins. It's like they all really like each other or something. Go figure.

I love this picture of Dex and Kaylee. He almost fell asleep on her back. She carried him for a long time!

Because of the Extreme Food Prices, I brought a big bag of homemade pumpkin chocolate chip raisin cookies, which we supplemented with french fries, popcorn and apples (thanks, Tami!). It was waaay cheaper than paying $17 for a plate of Indian food (not joking about that).

At the request of a few people, here is the pumpkin cookie recipe:
Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin (if you use an average size can of pumpkin, you should double the recipe - I always do and they freeze well, too)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour (Aprill and Rachael - the kind I brought to the fair were almost all whole wheat (King Arthur White Whole Wheat) but you can do 1/2 and 1/2 or all white or whatever)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
(sometimes I throw a few shakes of ginger, clove or allspice in)
1/2 package chocolate chips (opt.)
3/4 cup raisins (opt.)
3/4 cup nuts (opt.)

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture. Mix. Add chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, whatever. Bake at 350 for 15-20 min. until just starting to brown.
I love love love these cookies. My mom used to bake these and give them out at Halloween, which I think may not have made our house a super popular stop, but maybe the kids liked them. I don't know. I know I'd rather have one than a Kit Kat! (most of the time...)

At the end of our time at the fair - kids all tuckered out.


Anonymous said...

thank you so much for taking the time to share your recipe! i have cans of pumpkin at the ready and will be making these soon!
it was SO wonderful to spend a little bit of time with you and your beautiful family.

Gwennie said...

Wish I could have been know how much I love the fair too

My Ugly Garden said...

What a fun day! Can't wait to try out your cookie recipe.