Before the sun rose last Wednesday, my adviser/boss Dave picked me up and we drove to the airport. We flew off to Manchester, NH where my friend Amanda picked us up from the airport. Our destination was Skowhegan, Maine for the Kneading Conference, but first we needed lunch. Dave's wife recommended us to a local Manchester diner famous for New England cuisine called the Red Arrow Diner.
The walls and pictures stated that lots of famous people have sat at the counter. Adam Sandler and Bill Clinton were two that I remember.
Amanda and I decided to order two entrees and split them. She ordered the buffalo burger with sweet potato fries and I was craving some waffles.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter chip waffles! They were advertised as stacked in a tower, so I was mildly disappointed when mine were plated horizontally.
Dave with his tuna melt.
After re-fueling we began driving north to Maine in Amanda's "Kansas Mafia Honda Civic".
Along the way we pit-stopped at a couple bakeries Dave knew about. The first was Borealis Breads. I had to try their granola bars. I think I may need to work on mine a bit more.
Our next stop was the Standard Baking Co. in Portland. Not surprisingly, Dave knew one of the workers and we got a tour of the bakery. We bought a baguette and some croissants from them and dashed out the door to glimpse a view of the Atlantic ocean.
From the coast we drove inland to reach our final destination of Skowhegan, Maine. After some slight directional confusion we arrived at our host family's home. David and Susan live in a beautiful house "off-the-grid" outside of Skowhegan. When we pulled up, Susan and David were outside tending to their massive garden and beginning the makings of a delicious dinner. Our meal was a tabouli salad with newly plucked green beans and fresh bread.
After our delightful meal, we all crashed into bed. Amanda and I arose bright and early at 6:30 am to take a jog out into the forest trails. Unfortunately, the deer flies were up and active also, so we cut our run short. Mostly because I whined a whole lot. I hate things buzzing around my ears.
Naturally, after burning a few calories we needed to consume more calories. David and Susan's kitchen was extremely well stocked- full of nuts, great coffee, fresh fruit, dried fruit, newly laid eggs and homemade yogurt.
We explored/grazed for a bit in the kitchen and house, then showered and drove into town for the Kneading Conference opening ceremonies.
All the ovens at the conference were mobile wood-fired beauties by La Panyol. While they are lovely, they are also expensive. Ovens range from $5,000-$20,000. I started saving yesterday. I have $3.27 so far. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to make a donation.
Lunch was catered by a local organization called Fire Fly Farm. So many greens. So many vegetables. So much greatness.
After lunch the festivities continued with a gluten-free workshop. Kelley Hughes of Wildflours Bakery prepared gluten-free bagels. For a gluten-free product they were mighty tasty.
I meandered over to the clay-oven building workshop to watch their progress. It was very interesting to watch and dream about building my own someday.
When the lectures and workshops concluded a corn dance was conducted by the Penobscot Nation. Our host mom, Susan jumped right into the action. I wasn't feeling coordinated that day so I refrained.
Following the corn dance, dinner was served.