Chores Aplenty

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today was a day of chores because the forecast is predicting rain for the next 3 days and if we did not get all the grass cutting and weedwacking done today, it would be out of control by Monday.  The island always looks her best when all trails and lawns are ready to greet guests, so Brian and I split up the list and off we went.

Brian ended up working the Cove and Cobblestone Beach area.  He was having mechanical issues with the push mower down there and need to work on it for a while.  It is hard to play mechanic on island when there are no spare parts for most of the older machines and his go to test equipment are on the boat in Georgia.  It took him some time to figure out the spark issue and borrowed a part from another machine to let him get his grass cutting done.  Now a part is on our shopping list for Wednesday.

I ended up with the top of the island’s maintenance, I feel like I competed in a grass cutting triathlon, first event weedwacking, moving on to transition into the push mower and then complete the day with a pass with the riding mower. It took most of the day to get done, but we are ready to have our weekend guests arrive.  The negatives Brian and I both dealt with yesterday is the unbelievable clouds of pollen when you hit a bayberry bush and there are ant hills on island that easily challenge the ferocity of fire ants from Florida.  If you accidently hit one of these ant hills with the weed whacker, be prepared for 1000’s of ants to quickly try to attack your feet and legs.  Yes, we both are taking allergy medicine at night and putting a lot of triple antibiotic ointment on our ant bites.

With the warmer temperatures during the day, the island is coming alive with color.  The wild flowers are blooming along the trails and it is adding a new dimension to the island.

There were 6 visitors to the island yesterday.  A couple traveling to Boothbay Harbor for the summer on their boat and needed a pit stop for their 3 border terriers.  A fun visit with the dogs and it seems they couple visit the island many times over the summer.  The second group was from Harpswell, ME and they had with them a very cute set of twins, Zach and Ryan.  Again, there is nothing better than giggling children on the lawn playing and were curious about everything.

At the end of the day, we enjoyed a quiet meal and a cocktail on the sunset bench.  It was a hard day but worth it and it allows us some down time over the next few days to work on inside projects.

 

Guests today – 6

Guests total – 91

USCG – 6

Ice Cream on island

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – So simple ice cream recipe

Happy Flag Day!  And wait for it……..we are leaving the island for a day off on an actual Wednesday!  The wind is light, air temperature is warm and I am in shorts at 7am awaiting the launch, yeah.

The Wednesday Warriors arrived in full force bright and early to oversee the island while Brian and I had a much-needed mental health day which included a 25-mile bike ride from Portland to Falmouth.  We get plenty of exercise on the island but for us a nice ride on beautiful bike lanes along the Maine roads is better than any therapist.  It must have been a good ride because my camera did not come out once during our day ashore and if you ask Brian, that rarely happens.

Now I have written in the past about my need for chocolate and I have been baking away to keep my sweet tooth satisfied, but as the warmer temperatures hover, I need my summer ice cream fix.  I don’t think ice cream will travel well from the mainland so I needed a quick and easy recipe for ice cream and sure enough I found one and it is delicious. This recipe is very creamy and rich, I won’t even discuss calorie counts with this.

When I got back tonight, I whipped up a batch of Oreo/Chocolate Chip/Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream and it is oh so good!

The finished product, Oreo/Chocolate Chip/Chocolate Sauce Ice Cream

Basic Ice Cream Recipe

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed evaporated milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

Mix-Ins

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and whipping cream into a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric hand mixer for about 5 minutes until peaks are formed and stay in position.  Gently mix in your added treats, use your imagination and go wild!

Pour mixture into a Pyrex dish and cover, freeze for 3-4 hours before serving.

I hope you enjoy and I think next week I may bring back some fresh blueberries from our day off to try homemade blueberry ice cream.

Ice Cream, very rick and creamy.

 

Guests today – 7

Guests total – 85

USCG – 6

There is no heat wave on island

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Since June 1st, I have lovingly trying to get a vegetable garden thriving in the not so hospitable environment of late spring on the island.  When we were landlubbers in Connecticut the rule of thumb was don’t plant anything outside until after Mother’s Day, but if I wanted anything to harvest before we leave after Labor Day, something needed to be done.  On one of our off-island days, I bought the seeds and a few seedlings to give it a go out on the rock!  The garden is one of the first things visitors see when they look down from the tower, it most likely was an old cistern for the cottage.  I wanted it to be something interesting to look at, functional and tie to the surroundings of the island.  I staked it out first with twine into wedges, it looked good, but I wasn’t satisfied.  Final decision was small rounded rocks from Cobblestone Beach to use as dividers, our backpack now became the norm while I walked the paths to check on the seagull nests. It took about 8 trips to make the outlines and to get the rocks I have been using as name markers as well. With yesterday’s warm temperatures and many trips with a watering can, the seeds have sprouted and it looks like there may be fresh veggies on the island this summer.  The 2 hints I can pass on to future keepers:  the wind chill during some of the early June nights is at the freezing levels, make sure all seedlings are protected (lost a watermelon plant), and I don’t think Impatients are a plant to do well here but the Petunias are thriving.

The veggie garden(around 6/3/17) viewed from the top of the tower

The twine is gone and the lines are made with rocks from Cobblestone Beach

My tomato plants

The zucchini plants grown from seeds

I took a walk around the Cove to Cobblestone to check on the seagull nests today.  I bring the pruners with me to make it seem like I am working cutting back the trails when all I really want to see is any new seagull babies have hatched.  I was rewarded with an hours old hatchling today, its nestmates still have not hatched but it will be any day now.  Brian laughs at me because I call all the nests and hatchlings mine but I have become protective of the island’s birds and am in awe of their lives out here.

Another seagull hatchling joins life on Seguin Island

After lunch, Brian went back to working on the push lawn mowers, they are in desperate need of tune-ups and I was determined to finish sprucing up the birdhouse.  There was a lot of scraping down of paint, sanding, and once I decided to match the roof to the cottage’s roof, I needed to get rid of a lot of lichens/moss from the roof shingles.  When finally done, it looks great now how are we ever going to raise this monster back up!

The birdhouse facelift is complete

Tonight, was one of the first nights we could sit outside comfortably to watch the sunset, the wind was light and there was still a warm air mass from the mainland.  It was gorgeous as always and gives each of us a chance to reflect on our day and how we changed our world just a little.  I wanted to share Brian’s thoughts of the sunset:

Not everyone would like to be stuck on a small island for six days a week for an entire summer. There are disadvantages for sure.

Want to go to the movies? Not happening. That great summer street festival you always attend? Not this year. Let’s go sailing? No but can watch a lot of sailboats sailing around the island. Want to hang out with family and friends this summer? Hope they are adventurous and want to travel some.

But there are some great advantages to living a summer on a small island.

You will never have to worry about forgetting your car keys or wallet while on the island. Your not going to be driving anywhere and there is nowhere to spend money for the six days your on island. “Island Time” becomes the normal schedule. There is a lot of work to upkeep this island but we do the work at our own pace making sure we spend time with visitors and taking in in the beauty we have surrounding us.

We have no reason to rush. Things happen or not depending on the day, weather and tides. As on our sailboat what we love best is that we always make time to enjoy the surroundings that we have around us. The land, water and all the creatures that are part of it. Most of all we take time for the sunset. It is the gift we could never disrespect because it has more value in our life than most our possessions. It represents a day that we have been given to see all the beauty in it.

 

Guests today -0

Guests total – 78

USCG – 6

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

It turned out to be a busy day on the island today, we had 10 visitors (and 2 toddlers) while the mainland had a few extremely hot days for June.  The wind was blowing a gentle cool breeze over Seguin all day, it was warm but only in the mid 70’s.  The fun of being the care keepers is getting to meet a wide assortment of people and a chance to get a brief glimpse into their lives.

We had a family of 4 vacationing from New Hampshire staying at a cottage in Popham Beach, the high school age sons had just finished school for the year.  Also, a group from LL Bean with 2 little ones came out for a picnic and gorgeous views, it was fun watching the toddlers run around on the lawn giggling.  And then at the end of the day, we had 2 gentlemen arrive by power boat and were going to spend the night on one of the courtesy moorings.  One of the men was due to graduate from Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Saturday, and these few days were his last before starting work full time.

While the list of yard maintenance is always present, sometimes you just need to take a moment and play a little.  Brian found a kite from a previous keeper and decided it was the day to fly it near the tower.  It was fun watching it flutter (and fall) near the lighthouse for an hour of fun time.

Brian flying the kite

The kite made it higher than the tower

One project Brian has been contemplating since we got on island is the crooked birdhouse in the front yard.  He realized it was standing at an angle because the wood was rotted and the wood around the bolts was cracked.  Between the 2 of us and a rope, we successfully lowered the birdhouse to the ground.  Turns out this birdhouse weighed a lot and still no birds were living in it.  We finally managed to get the house down to the Whistle House so I could scrape and paint it while Brian figures out how to put it back up safely.  This may require a few stronger hands to get done, maybe some help from the Wednesday Warriors?

Tara getting the bird house all spiffed up

First coat of paint is going on

Even the dogs decided the warm change in temperature was meant for serious sun worshipping on the rocks off the kitchen, they melted.  A nice change from wearing the sweaters I make them wear!

Pickles and Phinneus enjoying the warmer temperatures

Guests today – 10

Guests total – 78

USCG – 6

A lazy Sunday

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The wind was howling for most of the day. The Hart family was safely on their way bright and early to avoid the winds that were predicted for the rest of the day.  We assumed there would be very few people adventuring to the island so off we went to show our friends, Debbie and Gerry Connolly the trails around the island and the nests of gulls and Eiders as they hatch.  The 4 of us ended up hiking along the Cove Trail along the shore line to Cobblestone Beach.  I could check on the hatchlings from this past week as well as the incubating eggs for the Herring Gulls and the Common Eider.  As we walked along the trails, Debbie and I tried to figure out the foliage surrounding us.  A little overwhelming.

Tara showing Gerry one of the nests, while Brian waits patiently along the way

Newly hatched Common Eider ducklings.

As we walked along the shoreline, I found a newly hatched Eider nest.  The eggs must have hatched in the past 24 hours because on my sunrise walk yesterday, it was a 5-egg nest.  I was fun to share this information with friends, and Gerry even identified another marine bird for me, but I don’t I will find a nest and eggs.

When we got back to the house, we saw our flag flopping in the wind with one part of the flag halyard detached from the flag.  On a boat, this would give me a chance to climb the mast to retrieve the halyard end but on a flagpole, it is a totally different plan of attack.  Brian and I seem to play MacGyver regularly on the boat, fix a major issue with string, duct tape and some sort of pole!  This is where a joke should be posed, how many people does it take to retrieve a US flag from the flagpole without it touching the ground?  The answer:  an environmental engineer/sailor, a Canadian builder from Nova Scotia, his wife to document the event with pictures and a Veterinary Manager who by default is the smallest person to climb the ladder!  Our creative tool is a boat hook from the engine house at the cove, and old aluminum gutter and a role of duct tape.  This gave me an additional 20-foot reach to snag the flag and pull it within reach of us.  The wind was of no help but eventually we succeeded in retrieving the flag and securing it to the pole for the rest of the day.

Trying to catch a wayward flag with a flagpole and an old aluminum rain gutter with 2 good looking guys holding the ladder

Flag retrieval success with Pickles and Phinneus supervising

The rest of the day was windy and cold.  The mainland was handling record setting hot temperatures, but with the wind blowing around 25-30 mph, we were relaxing with blankets, books and the space heater.

We did have 2 visitors today from a personal power boat.  The couple had come last year as well to climb the tower and today they wanted to hike the trails.

The sunset was ok.  I know, we have a chance to watch the sunset from all angles on the island, somehow it should always be spectacular but it was just ok!  No problem, we again had great company from our friends and we had homemade ice cream for dessert, in my opinion and perfect ending of a weekend.

Sunday Sunset over the North Trail

Guests today – 2

Guests total – 68

USCG – 6

A Living History Visit – ‘Dot’ Hart

Saturday, June 10, 2017

We woke up to a warm sunshine, a first for the season.  I had to go back in and changed into shorts! Today on the island is going to be a busy one, we will be welcoming our first overnight visitors in the guest quarters and friends of ours from Nova Scotia are due to arrive on the 11am ferry.  Brian and I went down to the Cove to meet the ferry and not only were our friends, Gerry & Debbie Connelly aboard but a family of 4 from Melbourne, FL came out to finish their last day of vacation touring the island.

Our friends from Nova Scotia were our sailing buddies three years ago in the Bahamas for 3 months and then Brian helped Gerry deliver the boat from Connecticut to Antigonish, Nova Scotia.  We were so excited to see them after 2 years.  It was our chance to catch up and to show them the beauty of Seguin.  The Connelly’s were the first pinned visit on the museum map from the Maritime Provinces. Turns out our first warm day on the island brought a lot of visitors our way as well, I kept up with the tours of the lighthouse, while Brian spent time below greeting and socializing with everyone as they made it up the hill. 

Finally, midafternoon our guest of honor arrived by way of her son’s boat.  Mrs. Dorothy ‘Dot’ Hart was stationed here as a newlywed from 1955-1957.  Her husband, Charles, was a US Coast Guard lighthouse keeper for the 2 years and when their tour of Seguin Island was done, off to Cornell University to finish their education.  Dot was treated to a night on the island for a Christmas present by her sons, David and Steve.  These two made sure to make her stay a memorable one.  She was known to tell anyone on the mainland she was going to go back to the island for a visit, she even trained through the spring to make sure she could hike up the Lighthouse Trail without a problem.

David, Dorothy and Steve Hart

Sitting on the bench with Dorothy Hart listening to her memories of her younger days on Seguin Island

Sitting on the bench near the lighthouse bell, she relayed to us how her life was on the island over 60 years ago.  She told how they had to use alcohol to light the wick to get the light burning when they first arrived and on really cold days, there were times when the light could not be lit.  Dot was also the reason the first helicopter landed on the island, she had an appendicitis and was transported from the island to Boston for surgery.  Their refrigerator and stove were kerosene powered, occasionally she would come into the kitchen to find the refrigerator smoking!  She and Charles lived on our side of the house when stationed here, she recounted stories about the children who lived on island as well as a short stay of a monkey dressed in children’s clothes who was a pet of the women in the other side of the house where the museum is now housed.  When the couple first arrived on island, they had a St. Bernard puppy and his favorite past time in the late spring was playing with the seagull eggs and throwing them up in the air until they went splat!  She also showed us where on the west wall of the cove would be a shear ice cliff in the winter because the water would drain off the top of the northern point and have a frozen waterfall along the cliff area and most snow that fell would be quickly blown off the island by the winter winds.

I have read and researched as much as I could about Seguin to be an informed tour guide for our guests, but she was a living history lesson for the island.  She then walked me through the museum where a good portion of the museum pieces were from her personal collection.  Her son’s remembered living with some of the pieces in their living room as they grew up. For me, the museum pieces have far more meaning now knowing the person who used them while on the island.

The Hart family went off exploring the island as more visitors appeared up the trail, the day kept us busy.  The good news is there was no grass cutting today, bad news is the grass is going to very long and rake worthy come Monday’s chore list.

With a full moon, a scene set for a perfect sunset, new and old friends gathered, we decided to set off our sunset signal cannon.  The cannon lives on our sailboat, S/V Scout, but we decided to bring it along this summer.  We wanted to celebrate Saturday nights with our guests with a reason to gather and enjoy each other’s company.  Sunset was at 8:20pm, ear plugs were passed out to everyone, count down was on, and boom Brian set off the cannon.  The only thing I did not get was a picture of the blast!  David and Steve Hart volunteered to take down the flags at sunset reliving their summer camp days.  All in all, it was a great day.  The group on island were well fed, well cocktailed and happy!

It was cold but we were ready for sunset

Gerry Connolly waiting for sunset

David and Steve Hart taking the flags down at sunset

Showing us how to fold a flag based on their youth summer camp experiences

Saturday’s sunset

We knew the Harts would be leaving early on Sunday morning, plans were made to help the group down to the cove to make sure everyone made it to their boat safely.  A quick side note on Sunday morning, as I was drinking my coffee in the living room, I could hear Dot laughing like a young woman with her sons, it was a blessing to hear how very happy she was with her stay here and I hope she goes back home with more stories of Seguin today to share with her friends.

Guests today – 16

Guests total – 66

USCG – 6

Rain, Rain, GO Away

June 5-9, 2017 Rain, Rain, GO Away

The weather has not been the greatest out on the island for the past few days, in fact, it makes all the stories of summer in Maine being 2 weeks in late July very believable.  The temperatures have stayed in the 50’s with a brisk wind all week.  Not the best conditions for guests to visit us.

Tara all bundled up for the hike on the South Trail

Brian checking out the sea conditions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surf’s Up!

 

We have kept busy with grass cutting and trail clearing, but you are probably tired of hearing about how great the riding lawn mower is!  I thought instead I would show you more about one of my new obsessions, seagull hatchlings.

I have watched the seagull nests since the second day I was on the island and finally this past week I have been blessed with seeing hour old hatchlings as well as getting to see one as it was hatching from its egg.  In fact, this morning as Brian and I walked the trails (yes, in the rain again) the 4 hatchlings I have seen all week, are all very fluffy and healthy. In one nest, the 2 eggs hatched 2 days apart and the size difference today is still amazing.

The first seagull baby seen on the island! This one was just out of the shell for less than 3 hours (6/3/17)

A few hours old

Second egg hatching (6/5/17)

The nest area where the 2 babies hatched 2 days apart (6/6/17)

The chick in the foreground is the original hatched egg, its younger sibling is in the back ground (Friday 6/9/17)

A second nest of hatchlings, 2 of the 3 eggs in the nest have hatched so far

 

The Common Eider’s are hatching as well.  There has been one swimming in the cove with its mom all week.  The flock of Eiders seem to buffer the baby as it swims around the rough waters, there always seems to be 2-3 adults in its proximity, a good community to raise a baby in tough conditions.  The funny thing is the difference in the nests from the Eider to the seagull.  The Eider nest is usually in a protected bush/grassy area and the eggs are beautifully warmed by a nest of downy feathers and the seagull nest is right out on the cliff with grass as the bedding but little to no protection from the weather!  Evolution is an amazing thing.

A Common Eider duckling swimming in the cove, it is the little dot surrounded by 2 adults

 

A female Common Eider incubating her downy nest of 5 eggs

Brian has kept busy by organizing the different work areas and is having fun doing it on a rainy day.  One project he took on was repairing the original distance sign which was slowly falling apart.  Luckily one of the recent wind storms blew in a great log for the base of the sign.  The downfall is in came ashore in the cove and needed to be carried up the Lighthouse trail to the top of the tramway.  Nothing is ever easy on the island.  The result is a work of art, he even made sure all of the compass headings are accurate for the locations are on the sign.

Our directional sign on island with a few new locations added including Seguin, TX!

The directional sign set among the oil barrel cradles at the top of the tram

Our Wednesday day off was postponed again this week because of the sea conditions, we woke up Wednesday morning to swells 6-8 feet going across the cove, there was no way we were going to make the crossing safely let alone try to get our dinghy off the beach to meet up with Captain Ethan.  Thursday morning was a little better and off the island we went.  The negative of this was the weather was only going to get worse by the afternoon.  Our fun day off plan of biking in Portland was quickly changed to running around to get all our errands done and meet back at the dock at Fort Popham by 2pm.  It was a wet and very bumpy ride but we did it!  Brian and I have figured out that as much fun as a day off the island is, once arriving back to the island with all our provisions we have the chore of hiking everything up 125 feet above sea level.  It seems we are doing this while soaking wet!  A damper on a day off.  Brian wrote on his Facebook page:

“Our only day off the island for the week started off bad.  After a wet ride in, we had to return at 1400 instead of a normally 1600 planned because of rough sea states and tides.  Then it seemed everything we wanted to do on shore took forever.  After getting wet again on the return trip to the island, we totally messed up our dinghy landing.  We were grumpy, wet and tired and we still had to carry our weeks provisions up to the lighthouse cottage.  Why do we do it?  Here is the answer, nothing good in life is free!”

The lighthouse at sunset on Thursday evening

Sunset Bench

Tara enjoying sunset up in the tower during another cold sunset

As I write this blog entry, it is 57 degrees, raining and the cold seems to be a tough thing to battle.  But why are we doing this gig for the summer? Because we are surrounded by beauty no matter where we look, we have a better view from the top of this rock than most can ever dream of and even on this dreary Friday morning, I am looking out at a local lobster boat working the traps, and occasional sunbeam is shining off the top of Mt Washington and the forecast says we will have 3-4 days of sunshine coming up.  I wouldn’t trade this morning for one anywhere else.

Guest this week – 0

Guests total – 50

USCG – 6

Real Men DO Eat Quiche

June 4, 2017 – Real Men DO eat quiche

As promised, I am posting the recipe for quiche.  Back 20 years ago, there used to be a saying ‘Real men don’t eat quiche’, which I never understood where it came from.  Brian loves this recipe and it is so easy to make. This is a great basic recipe you can easily modify based on what is in your refrigerator.  Also, I make my own pie crust but please don’t let a pie crust stop you from making one of the easiest recipes, buy a pre-made crust or a mix and roll it out yourself.  You will look like a genius when you serve a quiche with a simple side salad to your family.

Again, we were gifted with a dozen fresh eggs from Captain Ethan, and I had some left-over bacon from breakfast and with some sautéed onions, garlic and spinach I had the makings of a delicious dinner.

A dozen fresh eggs, some are a beautiful light blue color.

A simple quiche is so easy to make

Quiche

4 large eggs, beaten

1 cup light cream (I only had ½ & ½ in the refrigerator so I used a total of 2 cups total and it worked out great)

1 cup milk (didn’t use because of doubling the ½ & ½)

1 tablespoon flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

Dash of nutmeg

1 ½ cups shredded cheese, I tend to use cheddar

Mix-ins based on what your preference is, be creative

Pie Crust – bottom shell only

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Prebake the piecrust for 5-7 minutes at 450 degrees.  Remove from oven and decrease temperature to 350 degrees.

Whisk together eggs, cream, milk, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg to a smooth consistency. Mix in cheese and other mix-ins.  Pour egg mixture into pie shell and bake for 50-60 minutes until firm and if you insert a knife into the center, it comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Quiche served with a side salad. We will never starve out on the island

Leftovers heat well in the microwave as well.

Farm Fresh Eggs

June 3, 2017 – Farm fresh eggs

This morning we woke up without any concrete plans, no visitors were on the schedule and the riding mower was still missing a wheel.  We lazily enjoyed a big breakfast that Brian is known for and Pickles got her bacon fix.  Pickles loves her bacon and steak and she will be the first to let you know her need for such chihuahua delicacies!

How quickly a lazy day on the island can change.  Captain Ethan sent a text saying he is bringing out 3 visitors and our fixed wheel in about 20 minutes.  OK, then.  Off to the cove to great our guests and retrieve the all-important mower wheel.  Brian rowed out to meet the boat and came back with a few extra goodies compliments of Ethan, fresh cut asparagus and a dozen farm fresh eggs.  I know what we are having for dinner tonight, Quiche!  When you live on a boat with a very small refrigerator, eggs that have not been washed and refrigerated are the gold standard because you don’t need to waste precious refrigerator space on the eggs, they can be left out for 7-10 days without worry.  This present of eggs from Ethan was an excellent surprise.

A dozen fresh eggs, some are a beautiful light blue color.

Fresh aparagus

Our guests came from Westport Island and really had no idea what to expect when they arrived on island.  They were thrilled to find out someone was on island to give tours and suggest where they would enjoy the vistas the most.  Again, 3 guests that were the nicest people to have on island.  I thought the tour guide part of the summer might be the hardest to handle but it turns out, it is the most fun (next to riding the mower!).  We spent almost 2 hours talking about the history of the island and the maritime significance of the light station as well as pointing our various landmarks out in the bay.

Today’s guests visiting from Westport Island

As I was entertaining our guests, Brian was putting the repaired wheel back on the mower.  When I waved out guest’s goodbye, the mower was waiting for me to give her a spin.  Also, the North Trail has been a nemesis for Brian, he has been trying to finish clearing this trail since the 2nd day we were on island but it is either 10 inches under water or the nesting gulls are dive bombing him.  He thinks by the beginning of July; the trail should be 100% complete.

The vegetable garden has been a work in progress since arriving on island.  However, this past Thursday I could buy the seeds and plants I wanted and even got them back to the island safely through the mini squall we arrived back on island in.  I needed to spend some serious time planning how best to use the limited space I had.  I think by the middle of August I may get to enjoy the fruits of my labor, but if not the past keepers who man the island in September will get fresh veggies.  I needed to make sure all my plants/seeds would produce within 50-60 days.  I think it will be interesting to see what survives the island conditions.

The veggie garden viewed from the top of the tower

The flower planters are in place awaiting warmer weather to flourish

As promised tonight we had quiche for dinner, farm fresh eggs give a quiche a beautiful yellow color that store bought eggs can’t compete with.  Tonight’s combination in the quiche was onions, spinach, cheese and leftover bacon from this morning’s breakfast.  And yes, real men do eat quiche.  I will post the recipe in a separate blog post.

Fresh quiche hot out of the oven

Quiche served with a side salad. We will never starve out on the island

Another beautiful sunset atop the lighthouse tower, never gets old

Guests today – 3

Guests total – 50

USCG – 6

Yikes No Chocolate!

Saturday, June 3, 2017 – Yikes no chocolate on the island

When you live on an older sailboat in warmer climates, the last thing you want to do is heat up the cabin with the oven to bake cookies or some other sweets!  I am a big fan of no bake cookie bars.  I have a few recipes that are my go to’s.  I have mentioned before my husband is no a sweets eater but even he likes these bars!  Give them a try and by the way, the freeze well so keep out a few for today and then freeze the rest for emergency situations like when you forget to buy chocolate on your one day off the island!

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars – No Bake!!!!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups old fashioned oats

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

½ cups chopped walnuts (optional)

1 cup dark chocolate chips

¾ cup chunky peanut butter

Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together until butter is completely melted and sugar is well dissolved, stirring frequently.  Mix in oats, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.  Cook over medium heat and stir constantly for 4-5 minutes.  If you are adding walnuts, mix in at the last minute.

Pour half of the oat mixture into the parchment lined pan and press down to an even layer

In microwavable bowl, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together until well blended, usually at 30 second increments.  Pour about 4/5’s of the melted mixture over the pressed down oat mixture.  Then add the rest of the oat mixture and press down firmly.

To drizzle melted chocolate or icing, I usually use a baggie or Ziploc bag.  I put the melted mixture into the baggie and squeeze to one bottom corner of the bag. Twist the bag close so no mixture escapes the top of the bag and snip a very small corner of the bag where the melted chocolate is and slowly pipe the chocolate over the top of the oat mixture.  No need for fancy equipment when baking most of the time!

Refrigerate the pan for about 4 hours until set.  Pull the parchment paper out of pan and place on cutting surface.  Cut cookies into 1 inch squares and then indulge.  Absolutely the best with a cup of tea on a windy cold day on an island out in Sheepscot Bay.