When I asked the Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook, “If you could have only one piece of pie on Thanksgiving Day, which kind would you choose?”, I expected that Pumpkin would be the favorite. I admit my surprise that Pecan finished in second place beating out Apple. Forum member Michael Dreimiller created this graphic PIE chart demonstrating the over 200 answers. Happy Thanksgiving Ledyard! While I won’t be eating the traditional Turkey dinner, I will be enjoying a piece of Pumpkin Pie with Prime Rib, my Thanksgiving tradition.
When July rolls around I usually look forward to one my favorite summertime adventures - a trip to Buttonwood Farms in Griswold. There are 2 reasons to go there.
First is the photo opportunity.
The owners at Buttonwood Farms plant 10 acres of sunflowers, providing 300,000 magnificent blooms framed by blue skies and stone walls. Every year they sell bunches of these flowers and donate the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. People and their cameras show up from all over the state to visit. I go back each year to see if I can take an even better photo! This year the event runs from 10 a.m. to dusk the week of July 23rd – 31st.
Second is some of the best home made ice cream in Connecticut. My favorite is peppermint stick, while my husband really loves the peach so I pack a cooler and bring him home his own private pint of it. Check out these flavors if you need some extra incitement to go there. Fortunately, it is only about 25 minutes from my home in Gales Ferry.
That being said, last year was a bit of a disappointment. Here is what I had to say a year ago:
I knew there was trouble when I saw the cars parked (illegally) along Route 165. The place was absolutely chaos. I finally found a parking place and met my friends but after checking out the 100 people in line( I counted) we decided ice cream could wait for another day and we took off for the photo opportunities. That turned out to be difficult as well as we dodged people and cars.
In the past, the crowds weren’t nearly as large and the line for ice cream was manageable. I think social media has helped spread the word about the spectacular sight of sunflowers with really good ice cream as a bonus. My Facebook newsfeed has been filled with sunflowers and ice cream for two weeks. I managed to get a few nice shots and I will return to Buttonwoods sometime this summer but probably after the event. The sunflowers will be gone but my Peppermint Stick Ice Cream will be there.
Buttonwood Farms is located at 473 Shetucket Turnpike, Griswold, CT 06351
When July rolls around I find myself thinking about one of my favorite summertime adventures - a trip to Buttonwood Farms in Griswold. There are 2 reasons to go there.
First is the photo opportunity.
The owners at Buttonwood Farms plant 10 acres of sunflowers, providing 300,000 magnificent blooms framed by blue skies and stone walls. Every year they sell bunches of these flowers and donate the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. People and their cameras show up from all over the state to visit. I go back each year to see if I can take an even better photo! This year the event runs from 10 a.m. to dusk the week of July 18 - 26th.
Second is some of the best home made ice cream in Connecticut. My favorite is peppermint stick, while my assistant Kerry loves the peach. That is also my husband’s favorite so I pack a cooler and bring him home his own private pint of it. Check out these flavors if you need some extra incitement to go there. Fortunately, it is only about 25 minutes from my home in Gales Ferry and once the sunflowers have finished blooming, the ice cream is still there.
Buttonwood Farms is located at 473 Shetucket Turnpike, Griswold, CT 06351
About the author: Linda Davis has been a licensed real estate agent in Ledyard CT for over 35 years. She has a long history of community service and currently serves as Chairman/Deputy Mayor of the Ledyard Town Council. Linda is the administer of the popular Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook and also teaches and speaks on technology, mostly for beginners. Linda can help with homes for sale in Ledyard as well as homes for sale in Eastern CT including, Groton, Mystic, Stonington, Norwich, Montville, New London, East Lyme, or Waterford.
Two years ago, I asked the Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook to name their favorite lobster roll in the area and there was no question that Captain Scott’s was the winner. I decided to ask again after I talked about finding a nice lobster roll at Jimmies Ice Cream Shoppe right over the Ledyard Line into Preston. It seems that opinions have shifted over the past two years with Ford’s Lobster in Noank giving Scott’s a run for your lobster money. I thought it would be fun to see what the viewers on Yelp thought about the question and our answers. They seem to agree.
and closest to Ledyard is Jimmies Ice Cream Shoppe (Yes, they sell Lobster Rolls)
The weather looks to be perfect for the Ledyard Farmer’s Market, held in Ledyard Center (across from Valentino’s) on Wednesdays from 3:30pm-6:30pm. There are some new vendors this year so be sure to stop by and meet them.
I’m not a farmer but I have a passion for whole foods and love being able to buy and eat local. It is sure nice to have a local market to replenish my fresh stuff during the middle of the week as well as see my neighbors and support local businesses. There is plenty of parking!
Here is just some of what you will find this week at the Ledyard Farmer’s Market:
- D&L BURTON FARM will have lots of delicious tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, and sweet frying peppers. “Unfortunately no cucumbers at this time because we have the healthiest deer in Ledyard! We have planted more (in a different place) so hopefully we'll have them soon.”
- You’ll find sandwich breads, sweet breads and cookies from Breads N Cookies. His stand will also offer Wildflower Honey plus Maple Syrup from Sugar Maple Farms.
- To celebrate the last week of National Picnic Month, grab some steaks and burgers from Stonington Beef and try their ground beef and sandwich steaks. They even have dog bones for your pooch!
- Dragon’s Blood Elixir will be at the market and it is always fun to see what sauces they have been magically brewing in their kitchens.
- Start your Holiday Shopping early! Pine Hill Alpaca Farm will be bringing beautiful Alpaca yarn, felt insoles, hand woven scarves, bird nesting balls and felted soap. All of the alpaca yarn and fiber comes from their own Alpaca herd.
- Lucky Girl Bakery will be selling a variety of hand pies (including salted caramel brownies), freshly made strawberry PopTarts, gluten-free brownies, baked donuts, and more!
- Connecticut Gourmet will have their popular artisanal breads like cheese/olive. Stop by to see what else they have been baking this week.
- Sage Hill Farm will be adding a tangy BBQ sauce to their canned goods selection, and have plenty of rosemary rhubarb or blueberry jam available. They will have kale, garlic, cucumbers, squash, peas, French breakfast radishes, okra and tomatillos this week. They will also have some new recipe cards to share with visitors. Their special of the week is an herb bouquet for $5.
Sage Hill recently created a pizza (pictured below) with their fresh herbs, rosemary rhubarb jam and goat cheese from Oak Leaf Dairy. Can you say “Yummy”!?
And finally, this week at the Ledyard Market Oak Leaf Dairy will have farm fresh local eggs at $4 a dozen and will be having a special! $1 off plain chèvre! Our plain chèvre is excellent because it can be sweet or savory! Savory... Mix in your own herbs and spices or use instead of ricotta in lasagna! Sweet.... Drizzle with honey or our caramel then use as an apple dip or make the most heavenly sugar cookies!! You will find the recipe below.
Goat Cheese Sugar Cookies
YIELD: 36 cookies TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup (3 ounces) soft goat cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
nonpareil sprinkles or sanding sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Combine sugar, goat cheese, and melted butter in a large bowl and whisk until mixture forms a smooth paste (a few
lumps are ok). Whisk in oil. Add egg, milk, and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Fold in flour mixture until
incorporated and no dry ingredients remain.
4. Pour sprinkles or sugar into a small bowl. Dough will be soft, but should still be workable. If not, refrigerate it for
15 to 20 minutes until it is. Use a small cookie scoop to portion out about 1 tablespoon of dough, then roll in
sprinkles/sugar to coat. Arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are just set and slightly cracked. Cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes,
then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
I spent Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this week with 35 of my CyberProfessional friends who arrived from all over the United States to spend an intense technology work session at the Mystic Hilton. I didn’t deliver on the weather but we enjoyed Lobster Rolls and other good food during the time they spent here. For the record, the group’s favorites for dinner were Go Fish and Peking Tokyo.
I've been helping to lead the CyberProfessionals, a group of agents from around the country, for almost 20 years. We have met in locations like San Francisco, New Orleans, Atlanta and even my old home town of Pittsburgh. This year we will be meeting in Mystic. To say I'm excited is an understatement. Planning a meeting long distance is always a challenge so being close to home is a real treat. Take lobster rolls for instance. It seems that many in the group are looking forward to trying out a lobster roll for the first time, so I've spent the last two weeks deciding on the best place to bring our group of 36. Since we are meeting at the Mystic Hilton, The Boathouse, a few doors away seemed a logical choice. I tried a cold Lobster Roll with sweet potato fries yesterday and was quite pleased. Kerry who helped with the taste test ordered the hot version and agreed. I can now check "find lobster rolls" off of my CyberProfessionals in Mystic list. Finding them within walking distance was a real bonus.
Chinese food reminds me of pizza. With Chinese Food, like Pizza, everyone has their own favorite styles. No one place is "the best" even though people will try to convince you. I’ll use crab rangoon as my example. Although I have gone to Chinese Restaurants all over the country including China Town in San Francisco, I still find Peking Kitchen in Groton to be my favorite place for Crab Rangoon. BUT there are dishes from other local Chinese restaurants I like better and I had my favorite Orange Chicken ever in a restaurant in Scottsdale.
So, when someone on the Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook asked, “Does anyone know if Ming Moon (in Ledyard) has a takeout menu online?”, 55 comments and opinions followed with members contributing their favorite places and menu items for Chinese food. The most popular included Ming Moon In Ledyard, Peking Kitchen in Groton (most notably for their crab rangoon), Peking Tokyo in Mystic, Chinese Kitchen in Groton and a few others. My personal favorite is Peking Kitchen in Groton, mostly due to the Crab Rangoon. It doesn’t hurt that they deliver to Gales Ferry.
For the record, I'm 100% Italian and as far as restaurants, Chinese food is my favorite. I rarely go to Italian restaurants. Nobody makes it as good as grandma did.
Photo by Les Sulgrove, Simply Des Moines
Pumpkins and mums have been displayed for awhile, but until I see the sign, fall hasn’t arrived. Macoun apples are now available at Holmberg Orchards. It is now officially fall in Ledyard.
Peach season in New England is one of my favorite times of year. We are fortunate in Ledyard to have a few local places to satisfy our peach tooth. I bought my first peach supply of the season from Gales Ferry Horticulture on Route 12 who get their crop from Whittle’s farm in Mystic. Now my peaches come from Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry who offer them in their store, as well as Pick Your Own Peaches in their fields. If you can’t get enough, they also have fresh baked peach pies. I happen to love baking and my very favorite recipe for using ripe peaches is Peach Pound Cake. Finally, if you are looking for an adult peach beverage, don’t miss Holmberg Orchards Harmony Peach Wine.
While peach season is winding down, another season begins as the first crop of Holmberg Apples arrived a couple of weeks ago. Even though I generally bake my own goodies, I make an exception for Holmberg Apple Crisp. It really is famous!