Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Wendy Almeida has been writing about enjoying the outdoors with kids in her monthly Kid Tracks Outdoors column for the Maine Sunday Telegram for 10 years. Her kids have grown up exploring the trails of Maine on foot, skis and bikes as well as through the geocache and EarthCache games. The family has found treasures of all sorts while out on the trail and the journey continues to be as much fun now that the kids are teenagers as it was when they were preschoolers.
On Twitter and Instagram at @wea1021.
My family was first introduced to Tony's Donuts at the Cumberland Fair several years ago. They are sold in the 4-H food booth and have been our favorite breakfast (or anytime) treat after animal chores and 4-H shows during the fair.
So when I was trying to find a way to thank my 4-H sheep farm friends who have been helping my daughter all week with her animals, I thought of Tony's. Most every 4-H family we know who goes to the Cumberland Fair likes those doughnuts.
I texted my girls to ask them what flavors to pick up for our friends and the girls put in their own orders.
My oldest daughter has a serious sweet tooth (it's a genetics thing she simply had no chance of escaping) and is not too discriminating with desserts. She likes them all. So it was no surprise to me to have received this text from her.
I could talk about how much cow milk my family drinks in a week – about 4 to 5 gallons among the four of us. Or how I buy my milk from my friend who has a Jersey dairy cow that gives us the creamiest, tastiest milk we’ve ever had.
Or I could talk about the kids visiting a friend who raises dairy goats. She has given my kids a few lessons on milking goats. We have learned – thanks to those lessons – that buying pre-packed goat milk from the grocery store tastes absolutely nothing like fresh-from-the-farm goat milk. It’s truly delicious when you find a local source.
But no. What I am going to talk about are the efforts of my 14-year-old (and the rest of the family) this week trying to help my daughter's 4-H sheep, Minnie, feed her newborn lambs.
We’re not sure what exactly happened to Minnie’s udder but it is mastitis-like (without the fever) and milk is not flowing out correctly. So my daughter and I have been learning on the fly how to milk a sheep as best we can to get things working again.
The girls pack lunches during the week for school and sometimes dinner for their various evening activities. So by the time Saturday comes around, there’s often not much in the way of lunch-making items. But they need a packed lunch because they have all-day Saturday art classes. Actually, I use the time they’re in their art class to do my weekly food shopping.
Recently I’ve fallen in to the trap so many parents do with picking up pre-made food on the go. There are some good healthy choices at grocery stores these days but it is still much cheaper to make your own lunch at home. But my kids really like the store options.
My 14-year-old's favorite go-to food at the grocery store is sushi and she begs for it regularly. For now, I’ve compromised with a once a week purchase due to the expense of the single item.