Maine Extension Homemakers Newsletter, Summer 2021

Table of Contents

Presidential Ponderings from Bea LaPlante

Bea LaPlante
Bea LaPlante. Photo by Lisa Fishman.

To all our Homemakers in Maine,

I hope you all are enjoying the flowers blooming and the warm weather. As I think of the past year and what we all have gone through, it makes me sad. Now we have another year started and maybe we can get to do all the things we like. I know some groups have done many things to help with

COVID-19 virus. They have made masks, helped out with nursing homes, and raised money so people would be able to have food. Many people in Maine have now been vaccinated and no longer have to wear masks (I still keep mine with me when I am around people who I don’t know). It has been a pleasure working with the Homemakers in Maine and we will probably be electing new MEHC officers next year.

Please think of someone who would like to serve in any of the positions.  If you have any needs do not be afraid to ask any of the officers.

— Bea LaPlante

Around the State

The Somerset County Extension Homemakers Club was featured in the 2021 Ripley Historical Society Calendar. Members of the Ripley club made 150 face masks and donated them to nursing and assisted living facilities, as well as to a beauty shop and to families.

The Caribou Homemaker and the New Sweden Homemaker clubs in Aroostook County assisted with the distribution of 250 cherry tomato plants as part of the One Tomato Project.

Officers Needed

The State Board of the Maine Extension Homemakers Council is seeking nominations for leadership positions in 2022.

If you have ever considered holding an officer position on the MEHC Board, this is the perfect time to make that dream a reality. The MEHC Board will need to replace its President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer in 2022, which means we need YOU. Your County President and your County Advisor have application forms for you to fill out upon request.

County Fair Schedule for 2021

Many clubs throughout the state will be exhibiting at County Fairs in 2021. Here is the Fair Schedule for 2021:

  • July 22-25: Pittston Fair (Kennebec)
  • July 29-August 7: Bangor State Fair (Penobscot)
  • August 5-8: Northern Maine Fair (Aroostook)
  • August 8-15: Topsham Fair (Sagadahoc)
  • August 12-21: Skowhegan Fair (Somerset)
  • August 21-28: Union Fair (Knox)
  • August 26-29: Acton Fair (York) and Piscataquis Valley Fair (Piscataquis)
  • August 29-Sept. 6: Windsor Fair (Kennebec)
  • Sept. 2-6: Blue Hill Fair (Hancock)
  • Sept. 3-6: Harmony Fair (Somerset)
  • Sept. 10-12: Litchfield Fair (Kennebec)
  • Sept. 15-18: Oxford County Fair (Oxford)
  • Sept. 24-26: Common Ground Fair (Waldo)
  • Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Cumberland County Fair (Cumberland)
  • October 3-10: Fryeburg Fair (Oxford)

University of Maine COVID-19 Updates

The University of Maine System adheres to guidance from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and the Office of the Governor of Maine regarding COVID-19. Extension offices are now open to the public, but face masks are required for entry into the building. Conference rooms are open to Extension staff and volunteers, though masks are required and social distancing is expected, regardless of vaccination status.   Contact your local office to make arrangements. There is no expectation for social distancing or masks for outdoor gatherings.

Remember This?

Readers last month were quick to identify the unidentified antique tool as a butter mold! Before our modernized times, people made and molded butter by hand into pieces for individual use or sale. Oftentimes, different farms would have their own design on their butter mold. If you had your own butter mold, what pattern would you want carved in it?

antique butter mold
Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Art. (Open Access image.)

For this issue, how many remember this moment?

moon landing
Photo courtesy of WikiImages on Pixabay.

Make the Connection: 4-H and Extension Homemakers

The 4-H Virtual Exhibit Hall committee would like to invite all Extension Homemakers to enter items into the Virtual Fair. There will be a special “room” created especially for the Homemakers to show off their projects! We would like to create a deeper connection between 4-H and Homemakers because there is so much we can learn from each other, and what better way than to exhibit? Use this form to enter up to three photos per project. Here is a photo tip sheet to assist you.

Mark Your Calendar!

July is bursting with mini celebrations! Get outside and enjoy National Park and Recreation Month, and feel free to bring along some of your favorite portable foods because July is also National Grilling, Picnic, Baked Beans, Pickles, Blueberries, and Ice Cream Month.

August is International Peace Month, as well as Dog, Family Fun, and Wellness month. But the best day in August is the 8th because it is “national sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch” day! Watch out, you could be on the receiving end!

September brings National Square Dance Month, National Photo, Whole Grain, Piano, Sewing, and Papaya Month. And start practicing your growls and your “Ahoy Mateys” because September 19th is “Talk Like A Pirate Day”!

Recipes for Hot Summer Nights

Recipes courtesy of University of Maine Cooperative Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

Frozen Strawberry Sandwiches

Makes 12 servings | Serving size: 1 sandwich

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1½ cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 12 graham crackers


  1. Mash strawberries using a fork or potato masher. (If using frozen strawberries, partially thaw before mashing.)
  2. Combine strawberries and yogurt in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  3. Snap each graham cracker in half.
  4. Place a well-rounded tablespoon of the strawberry mixture on one cracker. Place another cracker on top to create a sandwich. Repeat to make 12 sandwiches.
  5. Wrap each in plastic wrap, waxed paper, or a sandwich bag.
  6. Put wrapped sandwiches on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for 2 to 4 hours.

Lentil Salad

Makes 6 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or ⅓ cup dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Italian salad dressing
  •  Pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato and/or cucumber (optional)


  1. Rinse lentils and put them in a pan with water. Add onion and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  2. Drain and cool. Remove bay leaf. Combine lentils with parsley and Italian dressing. Season with pepper to taste. Add tomato and cucumber (optional). Toss thoroughly.
  3. Refrigerate to chill before serving.

Fall Meetings Around The State

Many counties will be holding Fall Meetings in September and October. Your advisors would like to be a part of your meetings by providing train-the-trainer sessions, based in large part on the approved options for 2020, as well as the Geographic Area of Study “Lesser-Known Public Lands of Maine.”

Because we were unable to hold an awards ceremony in 2020 to mark membership milestones, we will also have an awards ceremony in each county. Likewise, we will be honored to assist in any memorial service your county may wish to observe to remember members who have passed away.

Contact your advisor if your county would like to hold a Fall Meeting.

Meet Your County Advisors

Angela Martin, Statewide support
Favorite food: “Pizza (My go-to lately).”

Lisa Fishman, Aroostook, Franklin, Somerset Counties
Favorite food: “It’s a tie between a classic Reuben and a Cheeseburger.”

Cathy Gray, York, Cumberland, Oxford Counties
Favorite food: “A good, rich, and creamy baked mac and cheese!”

Zabet NeuCollins, Hancock County
Favorite food: “I really like salty snacks, like chips and popcorn.”

Maine Home Garden News, July 2021

Maine Home Garden News is an online monthly newsletter bursting with information all home gardeners should know about. Subscribe to receive this newsletter in your inbox each month and learn all about what’s eating your garden, what tools are hot, what cookbooks will help you use up all that produce, and what the experts are saying across the nation about all things gardening!

butterfly on coneflower
Photo by C. Eves-Thomas.

Do You Love to Read?

The West Virginia University Extension Homemakers invite Maine Extension Homemakers to join their Book Club discussion each month via ZOOM.

Upcoming books include:

  • July 27: Killers of a Flower Moon by David Grann
  • August 10: The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes
  • August 24: The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
  • September 14: Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
  • September 28: Carnegie’s Maid by Heather Terrell
  • October 26: The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
  • November 9: Same Kind of Different as Me by Denver Moore, LynnVincent and Ron Hall
  • November 23: Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

To join the discussion, contact Lisa Fishman at 800.287.1421 or

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2021

Call 800.287.0274 (in Maine), or 207.581.3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit

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