With the end of winter in sight, the Island Cooks are preparing meals for five elderly residents. A program started by Karin Whitney in 2009 and inspired by some Islesfordians cooking soup in the cold winter months for their neighbors, The Island Cooks on GCI provide meals every other weekend in winter for a handful of older GCI residents. It’s a nice way for a few generations to cross paths and also good practice in giving time to others.
This weekend it was my turn, and I was lucky to have help from a high school friend Rachel, visiting from Massachusetts, who prides herself on her kitchen prep work. Into the pot went salt pork, caramelized onions, chopped russet potatoes, some fish broth, diced parsley, chopped clams, shrimp, lobster, haddock and cod. No good meal goes without heavy cream, and we added that to the pot as well, and then poured the chowder into individual containers, with crispy bacon bits as garnish. This was delivered to five island residents with oyster crackers and some cookies that Rachel had baked. Bringing soup to neighbors on a chilly winter evening warmed Rachel and myself better than the crackling wood stove we returned to, and cooking with a friend had made the experience all the more enjoyable. Rachel is leaving the island this weekend with a true appreciation for this community and the quality of life that we live. Seeing it through an outsider’s eyes has renewed my sense of gratitude as well.
Oliver Blank has qualified for the Maine State Geographic Bee, part of the annual National Geographic Bee. Congratulations, Oliver! On April 1, state geographic bees will be held nationwide to choose one state champion from 100 qualifiers. The champion from each state qualifies for the national championship in late May.
Oliver and Nate Philbrook also were on the Mount Desert Elementary School basketball team. They won the Orono Classic tournament that included a dozen schools. Steve Philbrook was one of their coaches. Well done, Oliver, Nate and Steve!
Wednesday included fire training for the Islesford crew. They spent time on Sand Beach Road working in the rain. Thanks to the fire and EMT crews on both islands for all they do.
Kathleen Lake came out to Islesford for a few days. It was a good chance to catch up with several friends.
Lew Powell has taken his first unaccompanied steps! Congratulations, Lew!
In further support of the GCI community, many have donated to Michael Westphal’s 4th Boston Marathon run this April. Last year, Mike raised $38,000 for Team Fox and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and is hoping to encourage more support for the foundation this year. He’s been running about 45 miles a week, each step closer to a cure. This year, Mike’s event is called Michael Westphal’s Boston Marathon Quest. He wants to be clear that he is grateful for those who supported The Great Run Marathon fundraiser last year and is not expecting second donations but is hoping for first time donors to step up to the plate. Anyone wishing to support Mike Westphal and Team Fox can donate by looking on the Internet for “Michael Westphal Team Fox 2016” and following the link to Mike’s personal page. Those who prefer not to donate online can email Michael for a mailing address at [email protected].
Kaitlyn Duggan’s “Crafternoon” with Ukrainian Easter Eggs is this Saturday, March 5, at Ann Fernald’s, from 1-4 p.m. Beeswax, candles, dye and kistkas (decorating tools) will be supplied; there’s a $5 materials fee. Bring RAW room-temperature eggs, preferably white; also bring your own candle holder (for a tapered candle).
The Democratic caucus is this Sunday, March 6, at Jeri Spurling’s home on Islesford. Come for the 3 p.m. meeting.
Henry Isaacs has a solo art show, “Gatherings,” at The Maine Jewish Museum. It celebrates his move to Portland and includes local paintings. He will be at the opening reception Thursday, March 10, from 5-7 p.m. There also will be an artist’s talk on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. The Maine Jewish Museum is located at 267 Congress St. in Portland.
This Sunday, March 6, little Louis Powell will celebrate his first year. Wish Lew a happy birthday, along with Phil Whitney and Molleson O’Donovan on March 3, and Kelly Sanborn, Cherie Weed and Pete Eldridge all on March 6 as well.
We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items to us by 5 p.m. on Sunday. For Islesford, email Sally Rowan at [email protected], and for Great Cranberry, email Sarah McCracken at [email protected] or call her at 978-879-5939.