Cookhouse gets attention at Northern Forest festival
That was the spirit, too, of boat captain Ray Fecteau who, with his grandson Cameron Leveille, sat ready for passengers in the pontoon boat docked on the Androscoggin River. The two were prepared for the dampness of the day, with rain gear and umbrellas. As they kept an eye on the rising level of the river, they weren't getting any takers and by early afternoon thought they might have to close up shop for the day.
The event's main attraction — the food — was not at all affected by drizzly weather; in fact, the flavor of the warm comfort food was only enhanced by the contrast to the dreary skies outside the Cookhouse, where the food was served.
Attendance may have been down from past years, due to the lack of sunshine, but appetites were not. The multi-cultural food is served cafeteria style in the warm log building, allowing diners to get a taste of every country represented. Reasonably priced, the $1 to $3 helpings of Norwegian meatcakes, Cherokee Brunswick stew, Canadian ragout, Russian cabbage rolls, and other dishes more than satisfied the soul.
Lisa Dombroski of Madison pleasurably dug into her helping of German bratwurst with sauerkraut, saying it reminded her of when she was younger and there was sauerkraut “homemade, sitting in a crock pot in the cellar.” Dombroski, a vendor at the festival, cans locally-grown food for her North Conway business, A Taste of Yesterday, so she knows the real thing when she tastes it.
Sitting on bales of hay in the Horse Hovel, Doug Roy Sr. and Doug Roy Jr. enjoyed their Italian Wedding soup.
The younger Roy — whose son, Douglas Roy III, is the youngest of the line — and his wife, Jennifer, were there with their two children, Doug, 4, and his sister, Madison, 6, and several of their animals from their Roy Family Farm in Milan.
Frank Edmundson of Gorham had several animals in the hovel, too, including a camera-shy miniature horse, Cadillac.
The recreation logging camp's buildings were open for self-guided tours, although there was a resident guide in the Blacksmith's Shop, Dick Merrill. Merrill, who learned the skill from his grandfather, was busy straightening nails with the help of the hot forge. He wasn't too busy to answer questions and walked one man through a few steps in ax making.
The park's next event, River Day/Wingzilla is on June 16. For more information about the events or park, call 752-7202, email email@example.com or visit northernforestheritage.org.
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