December 4-H Coming Events


Volunteers needed in 4-H: Looking for volunteers as Kent County Fair 4-H Division chairpersons, judges and much more! Call the Extension Office if interested, 410-778-1661. The University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources programs are open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

December 2016
1             MD Council (State Teen Council) Applications Due via 4-H online Portal
3            4-H Toy Drive Booth, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon, Fountain Park, Chestertown
8            Dairy Bowl Practices Begin! 7:00 pm, Hill Farm, Kennedyville
10          Kent Clover Kids Program, 9:00 – 11:00 am, Extension Office. Focus – Crafts
12          UME 4-H Online Volunteer Training Webinar, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Must register through Kent 4-H Office
13          4-H Animal Science Updates Webinar for Volunteers, 6:30 PM, Can view at Ext. Office Meeting: Ag Center Board of Director’s, 7:00 pm, Extension Office
16-19    4-H Toy Drive Weekend! Look for dates and locations of shopping, sorting etc. soon!
26         Christmas Holiday ~ Extension Office Closed
28         Workshop: 4-H Record Book Work Day, 8:30 – 4:00, Ext. Off. All 4-H youth encouraged to work on RB’s!


Bits and Bridles 4-H Horse Club – Meets 3rd Saturday, Running W Kennel, Worton, 1:00 pm, Leaders: Stephanie Turner, 410-708-0994
NEW: Kent 4-H Triple Shots Club (Formerly Clay Crushers 4-H Shotgun Club) – Meets 2nd & 4th Sunday noon weekly, alternating between Kent County Gun Club and Sudlersville Skeet Club, Leaders: Russ Parson, cell (443-480-0292) and Robert Baldwin (410-348-5727)
NEW: Kent 4-H Triple Shots Club (Formerly Shore Shots 4-H Archery Club) – Meets 1st Sunday and 3rd Sunday from 2:00pm. Cypress Creek Archery, Millington, Leaders: Teresa Quinn, (410-708-0217) email:
NEW: Kent 4-H Triple Shots Club (formerly Junior Rifle Club) – Meets 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2:00 pm, Kent Ag Center Rifle Range, Leader: John Curlett (410-778-0924)
Junior Dairy Associates – Meets 3rd Friday monthly, 7:00 pm, Kennedyville United Methodist Church, Leaders: Beth Hill (410-778-1661) and Cheryl Plummer (410-648-6828)
Kent Clover Calf – Meets 2nd Wednesday monthly, 7:00 pm, Kennedyville United Methodist Church, Leaders: Jennifer Debnam (410-348-5905), Leader: Carrie Douthit (410-928-5860)
Kent Fuzzy Tails and Shiny Scales 4-H Club – Meets 4th Thursday monthly, 6:30 pm, Winter: Presbyterian
Church of Chestertown, Summer: Lovett Farms, Worton, Leader: Carrie & Jay Douthit, 410-928-5860, Jessica Matthews, 443-480-9308
Puppy Pals 4-H Dog Club – Meets 3rd and 4th Wed., 6:30pm. Summer: Running W Kennels, Worton, Winter: Radcliffe Creek School

Ring in the Yuletide with Adkins Arboretum’s Candlelit Caroling Celebration


candlelit-caroling-bonfireRing in the holiday season with an evening of music, light and merriment when Adkins Arboretum hosts its annual Candlelit Caroling Celebration on Sat., Dec. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m.

At the Visitor’s Center, enjoy seasonal live music in the gallery by Chestertown performers Dovetail and Nevin Dawson, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash wine bar. Take a candlelit walk through the woods along the Blockston Branch, stopping along the way to sing carols and toast marshmallows over a roaring bonfire. Join Delmarva Stargazers in the meadow to view the winter sky, step inside a twinkly gingerbread house, and top off the evening with a winter hayride to the Funshine Garden for hot cider and tree decorating.

Tickets for adults are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Children ages 3–18 are $10, and children 2 and under are free. Registration closes on Mon., Dec. 5.

To reserve tickets for the Candlelit Caroling Celebration, visit or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature, conservation and gardening. For more information, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Mid-Shore Food Notes: Ken MacDonald and the “Harriet” Influence at Perry Cabin


It was certainly reassuring to note on the resume of Ken MacDonald, the Inn at Perry Cabin’s new executive chef, that he had spent quality time at such iconic dining venues as the Ritz of London and the Peninsula in San Francisco.  Perry Cabin has had a significant track record in the area of fine dining, and it was in keeping with this tradition that a new leader in the kitchen would come with this type of pedigree.


Harriet Bullitt

But what really caught the Spy’s eye was the fact that Ken had worked for, and with, the legendary Harriet Bullitt for almost seven years. While it would be understandable that the name would not ring many bells for most on the Mid-Shore, for those who once lived in Pacific Northwest, Harriet Bullitt was, and is, a remarkable superstar in all things local and sustainable.

In Harriet’s case, it has been a lifetime (she’s 92 years old now) of dedication to land conservation and local food. With her family foundation, the Bullitt Foundation, as well as her own philanthropy, Harriet has been an instrumental leader and innovator in Washington state since she created the region’s first sustainable building in 1965.

So, to see a partnership between Harritt and Ken at Sleeping Lady, her innovative retreat and restaurant in the mountains two hours out of Seattle, intrigued us enough to sit down with Ken for a short conversation about Harritt, Sleeping Lady, and his own food philosophy as he begins a new, hopefully “Harriett-influenced,” era at Perry Cabin.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Perry Cabin, please go here.

Author and Chef Hank Shaw Returns to WC on Dec. 3


hankshawAuthor, blogger, and chef Hank Shaw returns to Washington College on Saturday, December 3, to talk about his new book Buck, Buck, Moose, and to discuss the best ways to prepare that deer you bagged for your table. Following his talk he will demonstrate how to prepare underutilized parts of a deer, and he’ll be on hand to sign copies of his book.

The event at 3 p.m. in Litrenta Hall is free and open to the public.

This will be Shaw’s second visit to Washington College, following his talk in April 2015 that was based on his first cookbook, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast. Shaw has published three books, including Duck, Duck, Goose: Recipes and Techniques for Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domestic, and now Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Antelope, Moose and other Antlered Things. Shaw has also published stories in Food & Wine and Field and Stream magazines.

His website/blog, the Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, won Best Food Blog by the James Beard Foundation in 2013 and was nominated in 2009 and 2010. He also won the Bert Greene Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for Best Food Blog in both 2010 and 2011.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society and the Department of Anthropology. For more details, go to For more information on Hank Shaw’s work visit

Food Friday: Countdown to Thanksgiving | Baking


I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. We are celebrating as a small family unit, six adults and one two-year-old, and everyone is making their own contribution to the meal. For the first time the children are assuming their new roles as newlyweds and parents, and Mr. Friday and I are no longer the sole grownups. There will be additional cooks assembled for the big day who can assume the green bean casserole mantle. I can relax, as long as I show up with a fresh turkey, sausage balls, dinner rolls and a lot of Chex Mix. Pour some of the Beaujolais Nouveau, I am ready to be thankful.

I am mindful that the grown children still put away enormous amounts of food, and that there must be plentiful backup in case anyone gets peckish during the long weekend. So I am also planning on baking a couple of batches of Garden & Gun’s “Easiest Biscuits You’ll Ever Make.”

These biscuits will come in handy morning, noon and night. Initially they can first be served with Thanksgiving dinner, oozing rivulets of golden butter, or sopping up some of the nectar that is gravy. In the morning they can be re-heated and then loaded with bacon, eggs, sausage, cheese or Spaghetti Os, depending on the vagaries of the crowd. At lunch, the few leftover rolls can be the base for ham biscuits. (Be sure to stock up on ham, a little Swiss cheese and some sharp mustard on your market run.) If there are any biscuits left after this late date, you can use them to polish someone’s patent leather pumps. Or toss one, surreptitiously, to the loyal dog who has been following you around all day.

I have tried the recipe a couple of times now, and can report that short of going to a restaurant or having someone else do the baking for me, these were indeed easy and fabulous. And unlike Sharon Benton, who originated the recipe, I did not have access to fancy artisanally-sourced flour or buttermilk. I used White Lily self-rising flour and the grocery store brand buttermilk. The fanciest I got was swooshing melted French President butter over their precious little biscuit tops, and then adding some crumbles of some By-Appointment-to-Her-Majesty-the-Queen Maldon salt. Yumsters. Go for it.

I might shake things up a little bit this year. We can never quite remember what we served the year before – did we have Parker House rolls, or did we do Pillsbury crescent rolls? (No one ever remembers to Instagram Thanksgiving, so we do not have an accurate record.) Without telling any one, I have decided that we are going to have a Food52 recipe that I tested earlier this week. We are going to have Harvest Stuffing Bead.

Harvest Stuffing Bread is aromatic and delish, and frankly the most expensive loaf of bread I have ever eaten. Perhaps if my herb collection was a little more up-to-date I wouldn’t have had to re-stock the rosemary, celery seed, thyme, sage, marjoram, parsley and powdered onion. $23.65 for those seven – yikes. I had best plan on baking this bread often to justify that expense. For Thanksgiving I will be trying out the dinner roll version. The other night I baked a satisfying footwall-sized wedge of bread, that was good again for breakfast in the morning. I love the crispy crunchy celery seed and flaky Maldon salt crust, which gave me the illusory satisfaction that I can bake bread. Plus the whole house began to smell like Thanksgiving, a week early.

The Thanksgiving countdown is winding down. Have you ordered your fresh turkey? Don’t wait until Tuesday, or you will spend all of Wednesday trying to thaw a damn Butterball. There is not enough Beaujolais for that kind of worrying. You want to sit back and watch the day unfold.

Here is some of my list of things to remember – because we are spending the weekend in a rental house I am not sure what sort of kitchen equipment will already be in place – so we are planning on packing the gravy separator, the electric knife, a festive turkey platter and the spare Pack & Play for the ranging two-year-old. Also candles, $23.65 worth of fresh herbs, extra President butter, a frozen (homemade!) lasagna, potatoes, sausage balls, and lots of Beaujolais. I hope someone remembers the beans!

Here is a handy checklist from Saveur magazine, in case I have forgotten something important:

Also – Cook’s Illustrated with a veritable compendium of sure fire recipes:

National Public Radio celebrates Thanksgiving every year with a recitation of Susan Stamberg’s mother-in-law’s recipe for cranberry relish. The Spy will continue our tradition of telling you what to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Have a wonderfully sentimental Thanksgiving. Be kind to your relatives. Eat lots of turkey!

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
~Thornton Wilder

The New Eastern Shore Farmer with Future Harvest CASA’s Aleya Fraser


Through the support of the Town Creek Foundation in Easton, The idea of creating a support structure for small-scale farmers on the Eastern Shore has now come into being. Last year, the Foundation provided a two-year grant to Future Harvests CASA (Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture) to hire a Delmarva representative with the primary task of developing training and outreach programs to encourage a new generation of sustainable farming taking place on the mid-shore

Last February, Aleya Fraser was selected for this important position. While Aleya had been training in college to ultimately become a physician, she saw another future for herself after working on a small farm in Baltimore and seeing first hand the positive social, economic, and environmental impact that these small enterprises can have on their communities.

The move to the Mid-Shore to work on the Delmarva not only allowed her to work with new and aspiring young farmers in the area, which now is close to one hundred in number, Aleya is also walking the walk and has found a small plot of land near Preston to be part of this movement.

Last week, the Spy drove over to Preston to chat with Aleya about her program and the need to develop small-scale farming on the Eastern Shore.


This video is approximately five minutes in length

Food Friday: Countdown to Thanksgiving | Sweet Potatoes


Thanksgiving is a meal steeped in family tradition, and it can be a veritable minefield of ancient familial conflicts and IEDs.

Do not talk about the recent election. Do talk about the Chicago Cubs.

Do not mess with family recipes if your table is loaded with competitive/combative siblings who would like nothing better than to prove they are the favorite child.

Do pick a nice wine. Food52 suggests a Pinot Noir. We like to have the current Beaujolais Nouveau, and then we pretend to sound as if we know what we are talking about wine-wise, which is absolutely nothing.

Do iron a tablecloth. And do set out some of the silver, unless your sister has her eye on that Gorham Lyric pattern pickle fork (never mind that it was a wedding present – it matches her silver pattern and she still hasn’t forgotten what you did to her in the fourth grade).

Do light some candles. Everyone looks better in candlelight. Even the sweet potato casserole you left in the oven for a few extra minutes.

Do thank everyone for coming and contributing. We are going through a big transition, and it is best to be loving and supportive.

Depending on your states of panic and skill, and how many plates you are juggling, the Spy Test Kitchens have curated some sweet potato recipes for your Thanksgiving holiday. As I said last week, we are going to be six adults and one energetic two-year-old this year. Some of us will be able to focus on dinner prep, while some of the others are child wrangling, and still others are catching up on football. Sharing is the word of the day.

I have been slow to come to the sweet potato. Frankly, Thanksgiving is the only meal I ever associate with sweet potatoes. Imagine my surprise when I discovered sweet potato toast. What a marvelous concept! When you wander into the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning, you can either inhale a few of the sausage balls I lovingly roll up for every major religious holiday that we celebrate, or you can consider your overall health, and consume some sweet potato toast. Yumsters. Sweet potatoes, not just for Thanksgiving!

Here is a short list of sweet potato recipes for your holiday enjoyment – ranging from fast and easy to slightly more involved, but still highly pleasurable.

Easy Peasy:

Here are some sweet potato toast toppings to consider:
Poached egg with bacon and guacamole
Sausage with guacamole, salsa and peppers
Prosciutto with avocado slices and tomato
Smoked salmon with guacamole and cucumber slices
Wild salmon, arugula, roasted tomatoes
Almond butter with fruit and drizzled honey

If you want to have a traditional casserole, but want to show your family that you are the fun one, consider this recipe:


If you are trying to worm your way back into the will, and no one ever liked your aunt’s sweet potato casserole, then try this good old reliable tour de force:
Traditional Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole:

If you have made wise investments, and are living an admirable life with lots of volunteer hours, and your only dinner assignment is the sweet potato dish – then for heavens sake, spend some time, and do a decent job. You may get back into your brother’s good graces after all these years.

What You do for Love:

Remember to clean as you go, empty the trash, put the lid down, take the two-year-old out for a throughly exhausting run on the beach, and don’t drink all the Prosecco. We gather together for a reason.

“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”
― Andre Simon

Town Enjoys Autumn Flower Show


Amateur gardeners and floral arrangers displayed their love of all things horticultural at the Chestertown Garden Club’s Small Standard Flower Show which was presented to the community on Friday, November 4.


Photos: Co-Chair Phillis Roberts with a first place design award “George Washington Supped at Ringgold House”. The ribbon went to Mary Anne Shea-Reynold (left), Priscilla (Sid) Cooper took Best in Show, Horticulture Division, for her plant Aucuba Japonica Variegated (right).

The theme “George Washington Slept Here” encouraged maximum creativity in tabletop displays such as “Crossing the Chesapeake, George Washington Supped at Ringgold House” and “There is a Tavern in the Town”.

Ribbons and a variety of special awards recognizing artistic and horticultural excellence were determined by a panel of expert judges. The show’s chairs were Phyllis Roberts and Rita Premo, both of Chestertown.


Design For You: A Boston Kitchen by Pamela Heyne


I was recently in Boston on a book launch. My book shows how Julia Child’s ideas can be relevant today in modern kitchens, with an emphasis on cooking and sit down dining and a de-emphasis on lounging, snacking and TV watching.

I was lucky to be hosted by a couple who had a beautiful kitchen that could easily have been in the book. The lady of the house, who did most of the cooking, said she hated barstools, so none encircled the space. She favored sit down dining, so a dining room was reached from one door, a breakfast room from another. The TV was in the cozy library, remote from the kitchen.

unnamed-3Her appliances were cunningly concealed. The microwave oven was under the counter. The refrigerator is a new “refrigerator column” or “integrated refrigerator”. It basically looks like a cupboard. She also had two “drawer freezers.” They are convenient 2’ deep drawers, and avoid a lot of that rummaging we hate. Her designer was Paul Reidt from Kochman, Reidt and Haig in Stoughton, Mass.unnamed-2

Designers have always had a problem with the bulky refrigerator. The refrigerator in Julia’s French Chef TV show was recessed in an arched niche, making it much more presentable. We architects and designers were happy when “counter depth” refrigerators arrived on the scene a generation ago. Actually 27” deep, the door sticks out past the counter. Now, the “new kids on the block” are the integrated refrigerators. They are designed to sit flush in a 24” cabinet. They also have varying widths, from 18” to 36”. Thermador and Subzero are the leading manufacturers. Some of these models qualify as “energy star”. This means that they exceed federal energy standards.

Interestingly, Julia Child and Paul Child had tried to make the old fashioned refrigerator in their Cambridge kitchen less visible. Designer Paul painted it black and nestled it in bookcases. During my original interview with Julia she had asked me, “It’s more chic, don’t you think?” She also had small freezers under the counter. All these elements are now preserved at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. That Cambridge kitchen has been enshrined behind glass walls, viewed by millions every year.

In Julia’s day, climate change was not as critical an issue as it is now. Beyond looks, we want kitchen appliances and equipment that help us reduce our carbon footprint. If one decides to purchase a new refrigerator, the government recommends against putting the old one in the garage. It becomes an “energy hog”, can cost the homeowner hundreds of dollars a year to use, and certainly does not help the environment.

Pamela Heyne, AIA has a design studio in Saint Michaels, Md. She will give a slide presentation on the relevance of Julia Child’s design and lifestyle ideas at the Saint Michaels Library Dec. 1 at 5:30 pm. The book, In Julia’s Kitchen, practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child will be available for purchase.