Cheryl Johnson – Maine Artist/Illustrator and Author

My friend Cheryl Johnson is a talented Maine artist/illustrator and writer of children’s books. She is one of My Maine People and I am delighted to introduce you to her talent and her books. My younger grandchildren have her books and I highly recommend them all. They are fun, whimsical, adventurous, and teach good values in a fun and exciting way. Her characters are beautifully and brightly illustrated, and grownups enjoy these books as much as children do. If you have children or grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other children you love… take a couple of minutes and listen to Cheryl’s story and see her books and the wonderful characters she has created. Selling her books will enable Cheryl to pay off her student loans. She already had a family when she was finally able to go to college. She graduated and then the worst thing possible happened. She was diagnosed with cancer. Surgery and recovery meant she couldn’t work for sometime and the interest on the loans kept piling up until it is now impossible to pay, unless people learn about her talent and artistry and start buying her amazing children’s books. Once you read one book, you will want them all. One of her characters is Sidley the Snail. He’s a special character and very wise. Sidley the Snail is anxious to meet you and tell you about his creator Chery Johnson!!! Please take a moment and listen. Thanks!!

 

Cheryl’s books are available on amazon.com and createspace.com

If you happen to live in Maine, her books are available at Longfellow Books in Portland and at the Bridgton Bookstore in Bridgton. Your children will love these books and the great cast of characters. The Mish the Mushroom man series is ongoing with more great titles to come. The next book currently under production is the “THREE MISHKATEERS” – featuring Mish, Chonk, and world traveler Sidley the Snail. Her latest book is “Pobkin” and is a story about a dwelf with a bad attitude. These are great books that appeal to children through their fun stories, characters, and beautiful illustrations. These books are perfect for gifts for your own children and grandparents will love to get them too. As a grandmother myself, I know how much fun it is to have great stories to read to my grandchildren.

Posted in Everything Maine, Maine People, Shop Maine | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April in Maine

spring crocusAffectionately called “Mud Season” by Mainers, this month is when “ice out” occurs on ponds and lakes (often preceded by some betting on the date for a specific lake), and the month when boards start appearing (even flattened cardboard boxes) in driveways and walkways to prevent cars (and feet) from getting stuck in mud. Very few rural Mainers will have a paved driveway… ain’t natural! Crocus, daffodils, and tulips make their appearance, often with an occasional dusting of snow just to be a bit dramatic. April is the month of transition. When the temperatures finally hit the high 30s and low 40s, shorts and t-shirts start showing up on grocery store shoppers. Convertible tops go down, sun roofs open, and motorcycles make appearances at 45 degrees (Fahrenheit of course… this is Maine).  Continue reading

Posted in Buy Maine, Everything Maine, Maine Businesses, Maine Fun, Maine People | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maine MAPLE Sunday – March 23, 2014

Maine Maple SundayIt’s time for Maine’s annual Maple Sunday. Many of the Maple Farms provide great fun this Sunday! There are games, activities, treats, sugarbush tours, music, and so much more. And you can be sure there will be lots of delicious Maine Maple Syrup!! Click on the link to see the Maine Maple Producer’s map of all the participating farms. Be sure to click on the link of the farms you want to visit and check their hours and schedules.

http://www.mainemapleproducers.com/maine-maple-sunday-map.html

Enjoy these recipes with your family.

MAPLE BUTTER

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup Maine Maple Syrup

With an electric mixer on low setting, beat the butter and syrup until well blended. ENJOY! Refrigerate any leftover.

________________________________

Start these potatoes in the morning before you leave for work and they’ll be ready for dinner when you get home, or put them on at night and they’ll be all done when you wake up. Pack some in your lunch and be the envy of everyone at the office. They are a definite dish to serve on holidays!

 Crock Pot Maine Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes

1/4 cup Maine Maple Syrup
1/4 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon butter
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup raisins

In a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker.

Mix the Maine Maple Syrup and apple juice in the crock pot. Add the butter, sweet potatoes, and raisins. Cover and cook on LOW until the potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 hours. Serve with the syrup from the cooker and raisins spooned over the potatoes.

_______________________________

Spiced Maine Maple Syrup Cocktail Ribs

Ingredients:

4 pounds spareribs, cut into 4-inch pieces (see Note)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup pure Maine Maple Syrup
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan with non-stick foil.

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Arrange spareribs bony side down in a single layer in the baking pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine Maine Maple Syrup, Dijon mustard, molasses, cider vinegar, and cumin until well-mixed.

Remove the spareribs, and drain the fat from the pan. Turn ribs over. Coat the ribs with 1/2 of the maple syrup sauce. Bake another 25 minutes. Turn ribs again, add remaining sauce, and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

________________________________

 Maine Maple Cream

It just doesn’t get any better than this!! Maine Maple Cream is good served with anything and everything. Try a spoonful on top of vanilla, coffee, or chocolate ice cream!

Ingredients:

4 cups pure maple syrup (Grade A Light Amber or Medium Amber works best)
A few drops of butter or vegetable oil
A large pan or sink full of cold water

Fill pan partially with water and a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil, and note the temperature of the boiling water. Empty the pan.

Place Maine Maple Syrup in a deep pan (the boiling syrup will foam up fairly high when boiling). Add a few drops of oil or butter. (This helps to keep foam down).

Boil carefully over high heat without stirring, until temperature of the boiling syrup is 24 degrees above the boiling point of the water, as noted earlier. NOTE: Watch carefully as the temperature climbs higher. It can get too hot very quickly near the end. If your pan boils over, you’ll have a real mess! If it cooks too long it can scorch, even catch fire. Watch it carefully.

CAUTION: This is very hot and sticky and can cause bad burns. Be very careful!

Remove from heat, and place immediately into a large pan or sink of very cold water to cool. Do not move, stir, or disturb the syrup during cooling. You can gently add some ice cubes to the water bath if necessary.

Cool to near room temperature. (Hold the back of your hand close to the surface. It’s cool enough when you don’t feel any heat radiating off the surface anymore.)

Remove from water bath and stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it loses its gloss and starts to get opaque. You will notice a change in the color of the liquid. This will take a strong hand and some time. It will get to the consistency of peanut butter when finished. Spoon into containers and keep refrigerated.

Yield: about 2 pounds

Posted in Buy Maine, Everything Maine, Shop Maine | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bonifantes Boys Choir Comes To Western Maine

The Davis Family Foundation of Yarmouth has awarded a grant of $8000 to the Mahoosuc Arts Council as fiscal sponsor of an arts consortium including the Arts Institute of Western Maine and the Kingfield Pops to support the visit of the world renowned Bonifantes Boys Choir to western Maine February 24 to 28.  

choir_03edBonifantes, an extraordinary choir of 32 boys, ages 10-18, from Pardubice, Czech Republic, will be touring the United States and Canada from February 21 through March 21. They will perform in numerous cities including Montreal, Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis.
While in Maine for five nights, they will be giving public concerts at 7:00 at Telstar High School in Bethel on February 25 and at 7:30 at Nordica Auditorium at UMF on Friday February 28, and will be appearing in schools in Bethel, Farmington, Kingfield and Strong. For this five-day regional visit in these western Maine communities, the group will be hosted by the Wilson Lake Inn in Wilton, the University of Maine in Farmington, Gould Academy in Bethel, Old South Church, the Homestead Bakery and Restaurant , Titcomb Mountain, and the Narrow Gauge Cinema. Choir members will also spend two nights with families in Farmington.
This extraordinary opportunity for international cultural enrichment is a collaborative project of the Arts Institute of Western Maine, the Mahoosuc  Arts Council, and Kingfield Pops to bring a world-class musical group to the Maine Mountain Region for an extended stay of performances, school programs, and experiencing hospitality in the communities of Farmington, Wilton, Bethel , Kingfield and Strong.
Bonifantes Boy's ChoirThe foundation for this visit is the musical friendship between Bruce McInnes, director of the UMF-Community Chorus and the Old South Church Choir, and Jan Misek, the director of the Bonifantes Boys Choir growing out of the meeting of the Bonifantes and Bruce McInnes’ Mastersingers USA in a festival in Barcelona in 2005.
Bonifantes had a successful tour of the US and Canada in 2006, and in planning a return visit this year, decided to add western Maine to their tour for an extended stay. This will be a wonderful opportunity for Farmington to welcome this group of charismatic, and highly trained young boys and give them a memorable introduction to the community warmth and spectacular natural setting of Maine.
The Arts Institute, Mahoosuc Arts Council, and Kingfield Pops wish to express their gratitude to the Davis Family Foundation for so generously supporting this collaborative community arts enrichment effort.
For more information on Bonifantes, visit: www.bonifantes.cz. For information on this upcoming series, please visit: www.artsinstitute.org or www.mahoosucarts.org.
choir_02ed
Posted in Everything Maine | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Children’s Book by Cheryl Johnson

Sidley's Story by C. Johnson

We all remember our favorite children’s books.Classic children’s stories always contain a message of love and acceptance. Who can forget Winnie the Pooh or Charlotte’s Web? Maine author/illustrator Cheryl Johnson has created a new series of characters destined to become a classic series of children books. The stories are fun and exciting while subtly addressing issues such as loneliness, bullying, being different, sadness, loss of a loved one, and other issues children deal with. Mish the Mushroom Man, Sidley the Snail, and their friends deal with issues children relate to everyday. Positive outcomes, building friendships, learning new things, and having fun with friends are some of the themes contained in each book. The third book in the series, Sidley’s Story, is now available for purchase online along with the other two books in the series. Order Sidley’s book at the following link on Create Space.

Sidley’s Story – PURCHASE

Mish the Mushroom Man – PURCHASE

Mish’s Winter Celebration - PURCHASE

Mish the Musroom Man by C. Johnson

You can learn more about Cheryl and the work she does by visiting her WEBSITE

Mish's Winter Calebration by C. Johnson

Posted in Everything Maine | Leave a comment