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A Few Days in Ohio

September 8th, 2014

Since my mom and I were traveling to Seattle, WA together this week, I flew into Ohio a few days early to visit with family. Mr Chiots went with me, he’s flying back to Maine today after spending yesterday visiting with his family. On Friday we went down to the family cabin and enjoyed a day of fun with our nieces & nephew.
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We also stopped by the farm where the kids have their ponies. They have two ponies that someone is keeping for them until they buy their new place.
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On Saturday we went to the Wayne County Fair, a favorite and a family tradition. We like to go on opening day to see all the flowers and vegetables at their finest. We also must buy Lerch’s Donuts and my dad likes to watch the horse pull.
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This fair is everything a rural county fair should be and we had a great day! Of course I’m probably prejudiced, but this is the best county fair there is and I have been to a good number of county fairs.

Do you attend a local county fair in the summer?

There We Went Wassailing

January 26th, 2013

“Health to thee, good apple-tree,
Well to bear, pocket-fulls, hat-fulls,
Peck-fulls, bushel-bag-fulls.”

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Last Saturday night, Mr Chiots and I went wassailing. It was the real wassailing, at a local orchard, with a big fire, lots of cider, both hard and sweet, musical instruments, candles, and toast soaked in cider.
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We gathered around the oldest tree in the orchard and sang the wassailing song, cider soaked toast was hung in it’s branches, then cider was poured around the base of the tree to ensure a prosperous year filled with load of apples.
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It was a fun event, something out of the ordinary. We were especially intrigued because we’d seen Hugh talk about it on The River Cottage Series shows we watched last month.
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John Bunker, the Maine apple guy who’s orchard the celebration was at, will hopefully be a guest on the Cultivate Simple Podcast soon. We talked about our experience wassailing on this past week’s episode if you’d like to hear a little more about it.
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After wassailing in the orchard, we all went inside for a potluck dinner and lots of conversation. Mr Chiots and I enjoy attending events like this. There’s nothing better than meeting new people and enjoying new experiences. No doubt there will be many more interesting community events in our future.

What’s the best event you attended last year?

The Algonquin Mill Festival in Carrollton, OH

October 10th, 2011

Mr Chiots and I have a fall tradition; to kick off the fall season, we always attend the Algonquin Mill Festival with some friends. It’s an old timey festival featuring lots of steam engines, the main one being a big grain mill which grinds flour that you can buy at the festival. They also use this flour in the pancakes that a local club makes and sells. We always kick off our time with a big plate of hotcakes, which we smother in homemade maple syrup that we take in a jar.

After a hearty breakfast we spend taking in all the sights: the old saw mill cutting logs, antique farm and garden equipment, local artisans are doing everything from chair caning to wool rug hooking. I set up a slide show so you could see all the sights. To view in full screen click on the icon in the top left hand corner, click the same icon to exit full screen mode.

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Do you have any great fall festivals in your area? or any thing you do to kick off the season?

Christmas in Zoar

December 3rd, 2008

Mr Chiot’s and I are huge fans of little local festivals. We really prefer the ones of historic origin like the Algonquin Mill Festival. Each year we kick off our Christmas season with a day at Christmas in Zoar. It’s such a fun event.

Start your holiday season with a visit to Zoar Village during Christmas in Zoar December 6, and 7, 2008. The historic village recreates many of the Christmas customs of the German Separatists who settled in Zoar in 1817, and includes the Krist Kind, who will distribute candy and sweets to good boys and girls.

The aroma of ginger cookies will waft from the Zoar Bakery, where cider will be served along with the cookies, and German Stollen and Bread will be available to take home, all made from Zoar recipes.

Saturday at 5 p.m. a Christmas Concert will be presented in the Zoar United Church of Christ, followed by a candlelight procession to the Zoar Garden and the Lighting of the Christ Tree.

Hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission, good for both days of the festival, is $6 for adults and children under the age of 12 are free. All proceeds from this event are used to preserve historic Zoar Village.

So if any of my local readers are looking for a great way to kick off their holiday season head down to Zoar for the festival. My only piece of advice is to skip the tree lighting (trust me it’s not what you think!).

Anyone else have any great local Christmas festivals of activities you like to take part in?

Update: here’s my post about our trip this year: Christmas in Zoar Holiday Decor

Algonquin Mill Festival – Take 2

October 15th, 2008

On Sunday I went back to the Algonquin Mill Festival with Mr Chiots and a some friends.

On Sunday all the vintage cars are there. It’s always fun to see the old cars, I never see any old MINI’s though (Mr Chiot’s and I are saving up to buy one).

They also have little antique booths with some interesting things. It’s always hard to leave without buying something old. (I wonder what people will sell from now in 100 years? i-pods????)

Every year there’s a dulcimer group there. It’s very interesting music. Mr Chiot’s and I collect Christmas music, so I got a CD for our collection. It will be perfect for relaxing with some hot cocoa to the light of the Christmas tree.

One thing I always buy at the festival is some sorghum syrup. My grandpa always tells stories of eating sorghum on biscuits. I use it in place of corn syrup in my pecan pies, you just can’t beat that flavor. They have a horse that is actually pressing the sorghum and they cook it down in big kettles over the fire.

On Sunday we once again ate pancakes (and I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo). They are that delicious. I’m sure all the other food is good, they have beans & cornbread, chili, sauerkraut, and a few of the more typical fair foods. We’ve never made it past the pancakes though. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make rag rugs like this. HM, perhaps that will be a good winter hobby.
The sights and sounds of this little festival are just great. I love going back each and every year.

I’ve never bought any of the flour that they grind at the mill until this year, I decided to buy some blue cornmeal.

I’m trying to decide what to make with it, blue cornbread perhaps. Any suggestions?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.