Maine Extension Homemakers Newsletter, Spring 2023

April-June 2023

Table of Contents

Presidential Ponderings

Dear Maine Extension Homemakers across our great state of Maine,

Homemakers Presdient Marie Temm

Finally, we can celebrate the return of spring! Let us be thankful daily and truly enjoy one another.

Extension Homemakers are showing up in communities across Maine. Our groups are renewing their efforts to service our needy folks. We are addressing our concerns, especially to our seniors and children. We are planning fundraisers to give to food pantries, and visiting the homebound, and have put in place telephone tag lines to check on folks who need that touch. We have training in cooking, and nutrition, in “help a friend,” fundraisers for cancer centers, shelter bags for the homeless, and clothing for needy children. We are renewing our spirits together and planning for “75 Years of Extension Homemakers” in 2025.

We will be gathering for our state spring meeting on April 29th in Bangor. I am really looking forward to sharing that day with you all. Thank you all for your efforts, good food, pretty decor, raffle baskets, beautiful displays, and new teaching.

Thank you for allowing me to be your leader for a time. I wish you many daily blessings and will see you soon.

purple iris
Purple Iris. Photo, Creative Commons.

My presidential symbol for 2023 and 2024 is the purple iris. The purple iris stands for faith, energy, healing, purification, wisdom, courage, protection from evil spirits, good news, and friendliness. All of these things show up regularly in my life and I find the purple iris to be a comforting symbol, both in giving and receiving.

Best wishes to you all, your MEHC President, Marie Temm

Around The State


Androscoggin-Sagadahoc members met in March and filled plastic eggs with tokens and words of encouragement before placing the eggs along a public walking path. They are going to be working on a garden project with the Master Gardener Volunteers and are very excited.


The Cumberland County Homemakers have increased their membership. They have made shelter bags, held a Valentine luncheon auction, and created raffle basket centerpieces and displays for the April 29 State Spring Meeting in Bangor. The group will discuss caregiving tips and make Cupcakes for Cancer, proceeds that will go to cancer patients. During May and June, members will try their hands at floral arranging.


The Franklin County Homemakers held their annual facial tissue drive and distributed 360 boxes of tissues to 12 Franklin County elementary schools (every elementary school in Franklin County). A new Homemaker group was started at the Edgewood Nursing Home. The groups name is the ‘Edgewood Doers’. The group has plans to make ornaments for the Rotary Tree Auction, have plans to invite speakers to their meetings, and would like to get involved in a project that helps kids. They have a lot of enthusiasm, and each of the Franklin County groups will have an opportunity to facilitate and work with this group of lifelong learners.


Hancock County Homemakers are looking forward to being able to hold meetings that don’t get cancelled because of snow and ice! They will host a speaker who makes unique items from nature’s ingredients, such as pine needle soap and lilac blossom jelly.


Penobscot County Homemakers have been meeting for many, many years and have a busy year planned. In January they made Valentine’s cards for nursing home residents, and in March had a tour of Eastern Maine Community College. They will have a genealogy speaker in April and are asking members to bring a dozen cookies to be donated to the shelter. They will have a speaker on gardening in May, and in June will meet at Birdsacre Sanctuary in Ellsworth. If you see any of the Penobscot Homemakers at the Spring Meeting in Bangor, do give them a Homemaker’s welcome!


The Somerset County members held their County Spring Meeting in late March, with 35 attendees! Celebrating National Nutrition Month, their centerpieces were edible arrangements of fruits and vegetables! The speakers were Alice Cantrell and Bella Russo from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. There were lots of door prizes, a wonderful showing of cultural arts, and delicious breakfast items made the day one to remember.


The York County Modern Day Homemakers spent January sewing, and February was “Tappin’ and Sappin’ and sledding, too! March was dedicated to learning about fruit tree pruning. The group is strong with 35 members, and we hope to get to meet some of the members of this phenomenal group at the Spring Meeting in April.

Home Horticulture Notes from Around the State

April is a great month to start native seeds indoors. As the days begin warming, and sunlight floods our windowsills, it’s a great time to take inventory of your seed starting supplies and get some native varieties growing. While the majority of native species need a cold winter to force them into dormancy before emerging from the spring soil, there are a few gems that can be started from the warmth and comfort of your home. Asters, some Rudbeckias, and campanulas will all grow and flower the first year, so why not give them a try? You can learn more about Maine’s native plants and starting seeds with these University of Maine Cooperative Extension bulletins:

Solve the Riddles!

This month, we have a couple of riddles for you to work out. Answers will be at the end of the newsletter.

  • What building has the most stories?
  • What has 13 hearts but no other organs?
  • What do you see once in June, twice in November, and not at all in May?
  • How can you ride your horse into town on Friday and stay three days, then ride your horse out of town, and still be on Friday?

Mark Your Calendars

  • April 17: Tax Day-cook up a pot of Hoover Stew or fix yourself a Po’boy
  • April 26: National Audubon Day, commemorates the birthday of Mr. Audubon, born in 1785.
  • April 29: Maine Homemakers Spring Meeting in Bangor.
  • May 9: Lost Sock Memorial Day (in case you needed something fun and silly to celebrate)
  • May 15: National Nylon Stocking Day-take a trip down memory lane and celebrate hosiery freedom!
  • May 30: National Hole-In-A-Bucket Day and National Water-a-Flower Day-Coincidence? June is National Dairy Month
  • June 6: MEHC Advisory Board meets in Bangor at 10:00 am
  • June 15: National Photography Day
  • June 21: National Smoothie Day
  • June 28: Paul Bunyan Day

What Was It?

Last issue, we really were stumped with the mystery gadget we featured! Lois King contributed the photo, and said it was one of those items “she had acquired from somewhere” over the years, and never knew what it was. The responses we received guessed that it was either some kind of wood plane for wood working, or it was some kind of whistle. We still aren’t sure what it is, so if this is the first time you’re seeing this gadget, and you know what it is, let us know!

Survey Results

Last issue, we asked for your input about what skills young adults seemed to be lacking. While responses are still being collected, there are definitely several themes being noted. Many aspects of financial management, including how to budget, save, balance a checkbook, how to shop and how to invest were all mentioned as very high and important skills that many young adults lack. Coming in at a close second were skills pertaining to cooking, including how to follow a recipe, measure ingredients, store leftovers, select healthy food, can, freeze, and cook in quantity. Other skills mentioned included time management, communication, and basic mending/sewing skills.

Out and About: Things to Do

Spring is a great time in Maine, with plenty of activities. Check out some of these events:

  • April 21: 10th Annual Earth Day Film Festival,  from 6:00-9:00 pm at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth.$15.00 to register. Call 207.781.2330
  • May 6: Medicinal Plants Walk, 10:00-11:30 at Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital Street, Augusta. $25.00 to register. Call 207.626.7989
  • June 3-4, 2023 is Maine Free Fishing Weekend
  • June 17: Maine Blues Festival, Lisbon Falls. All day, outdoor festival with 20 acts on five stages. Tickets in advance are $16.00 and $20.00 at the venue.

Staff Highlight

Tiffany Wing, Administrative Specialist in Franklin County. Tiffany is always ready with a smile, and a “can-do” attitude. Tiffany supports the Franklin County Extension Homemakers in every way, from assisting with newsletters to helping recruit, to collecting can tabs and making copies, Tiffany is a class act! She likes to travel to warm places in the winter almost as much as she likes hitting the snowmobile trails, and enjoys life to the fullest. Hats off to you, Tiffany, and thank you for all you do for the Franklin County Extension Homemakers!

Tiffany Wing, Administrative Specialist,
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Franklin County Office.

Answers to Riddles

  • What building has the most stories? A library.
  • What has 13 hearts but no other organs? A deck of cards.
  • What do you see once in June, twice in November, and not at all in May? The Letter “E.”
  • How can you ride your horse into town on Friday, stay three days, then ride your horse out of town, and still be on Friday. The horse is named Friday.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension EFNEP Recipes

Spinach Pie (Crustless)

Makes 8 servings
(For a how-to video, recipe sheet PDF and nutrition label, visit EFNEP’s Spinach Pie (Crustless) page)

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat cheese, shredded
  • 4 cups chopped, fresh or frozen spinach (or other greens, such as bok choy, kale, or Swiss chard)

Note: 4 cups of fresh spinach is equivalent to about 1 cup of frozen spinach. Additional cups of spinach or other greens can be added to this recipe.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt butter in a 9 x 13-inch pan, and spread on the bottom and sides of the pan.
  3. Beat eggs well, add flour, milk, garlic powder, and baking powder.
  4. Stir in cheese and spinach, then add to a 9 x 13-inch pan.
  5. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the edges are brown and firm all over.

Creamy Blueberry Shake

Makes 4 servings | Serving size: 8 ounces
(For a how-to video, recipe sheet PDF and nutrition label, visit EFNEP’s Creamy Blueberry Shake page)

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, washed and sorted
  • 2 small, ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey (or sweetener to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ cup vanilla yogurt, nonfat
  • 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt


  1. Combine blueberries, bananas, honey, and lemon juice. Puree on high speed in a blender.
  2. Add yogurt and frozen yogurt and blend until thick and smooth.
  3. Serve immediately in cold glasses.

Tip: To decrease sweetness, use plain nonfat yogurt instead of vanilla nonfat yogurt.

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.

© 2023

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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