Nibbles: Apple picking, a blueberry cookbook and a Downeast dairy goat herd

Wild about blueberries

As a child, Boston food writer Sally Pasley Vargas loved Robert McCloskey’s “Blueberries for Sal” and thought the classic children’s book had been written for her. Decades later, the chef rented summer cottages in Maine and rediscovered the landscape from her favorite childhood cook by chance while blueberry picking on Brooksville’s barrens. The pastime became a summer ritual and inspired her newly published “The Blueberry Cookbook,” which she illustrated herself with lavish, mouth-watering photos.

Published by Down East Books (2019, $19.95), the cookbook is packed with creative, but reliable recipes for baked goods and desserts. The book also contains a lot of useful information and tips such as how to effectively remove blueberry stains and the use of coarse sugar — either demerara or turnbinado — for sprinkling on muffins, pies and galette crusts.

Picking pleasures

Johnston’s Apple Orchard is officially open for picking daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through November on the Branch Pond Road off Route 1A in North Ellsworth. At this stage, early McIntoshes and crabapples are among the apples ready for picking. As more varieties ripen, the answering machine message will be updated at 412-8831.


Dairy delights

Meet Painted Pepper Farm’s Nigerian dairy goat herd, see how the goats are milked and load up on fresh cheese, yogurt, kefir, gelato and fudge from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, at No. 55 Goods Point Road in Steuben.

Goat farmers Lisa Reilich and Margaret Mae also will hold a Kids Fun Run starting at 12:30 p.m. for youngsters under 18. Each participant will receive a button and gelato cone. Top runners in four categories (5 and under, 6-8, 9- 13, 14-17) will receive a coupon for a container of gelato to take home. For more info and directions, visit

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