Life in a Northern Town

Frosty Morning on the Beach

Well, it's been a while since I've posted and its high time I get back into the Cookery Maven swing of things. I've been cooking, eating, drinking wine, taking pictures, and stirring the pot wherever and whenever I can but haven't made time to sit at the computer and hammer out a blog post. The hiatus is over and this morning's beach adventure seemed like the perfect place to pick up where I left off in June. The pups and I went to Bayview Beach this morning and it was stunning— the frost has settled on every surface and the Lake was steaming offshore.

It was a busy summer and an even busier fall. We are down to three kids in the house and that's been a huge adjustment— Jack left for his sophomore year at Madison in September and Will left for the Conserve School in August. It all hit home in the early part of October when I was getting ready to make a batch of fresh pasta dough and realized I didn't need to double the recipe. I always knew the emptying of the nest would happen as quickly as the filling but it's still a tough pill to swallow. I have been tempted to get a puppy but since I'd like to keep Ted in the nest....I'm not pulling the trigger on that one.

Other than the kids growing up and flying the coop, I do have a couple of new projects in the works—  a cookbook/photo essay book published by the Wisconsin Historical Press (due out in 2017) and a new photography project called, Words for Water. The book will be a similar format as the blog...recipes, stories and photos from the Chequamegon Bay and beyond. I honestly can't believe 'published author' is going to be a phrase that's associated with Mary Dougherty but I never thought mother of five was going to be my main gig either (and that one worked out brilliantly) so I'm excited to see where this one goes.

The Words for Water idea came up a few weeks ago when I learned of a very large (like 1,700 sows and 8,000 piglets large) hog farm setting up shop in Bayfield county. As I was reading through the ordinances, it occurred to me that the words we use to describe the Lake or the water in our community are not represented in the regulations that directly affect our water. I wondered what would happen if the people who live in and love the Lake Superior Basin were able to speak for all that water, what would happen? And then Ted went to Nashville and that's when it all came together. Maybe it was the barbecue, the grits or the country music but something clicked and he walked into the kitchen with the idea for Words for Water. I've been gathering the images for a couple of weeks and we are building a powerful story of love and reverence for Lake Superior and ten percent of the world's fresh water. You can post your own words for water on the Facebook or Instagram pages or get in touch with me and, if you live in the Bayfield area, I'll take your photo and put it on the website.

I'm looking forward to re-connecting with you and sharing what's cooking in my kitchen, what pots I've been stirring and the beautiful place I am lucky enough to call home. It never ceases to amaze me.