Gastronomical Tour of Maine
Not wanting to let any grass grow under our feet, we set off for a five day, four night visit to the coast of Maine. It is always good to get a whiff of the salt air and the beach but where we were there aren’t many beaches. Just a lot of rocks. The coast isn’t that long a drive for us if we cut across country. It’s about five hours with a stop for lunch. It was a misty day here when we left and it was really misty when we got to Camden. They had had quite a bit of that Maine fog off and on all summer. There is certainly something magical about the fog and the sea and the various fog horns so we didn’t mind it at all. Dinner our first night was nothing to write home about unfortunately but it went up from there. Lunch at the Camden Yacht Club the next day brought bright sunshine for the rest of our stay. We stayed with good friends from Dataw who we had met some years ago at a mutual friends wedding. We were seated next to them at the wedding because the groom’s parents knew they had a place at Dataw and they knew we did too. Kismet as we became fast friends toasting the bride and groom and have remained so ever since. They head north to Camden for the summer about the same time we head to Canada and we all return in the fall about the same time too.
Cathy and I spent a lovely afternoon with her granddaughters who I call Les Belles. Charming seven and 10 year olds who kept us on top of our game the whole time. They insisted that we stand under the wedding arch that their aunt had been married under a few summers ago. We obliged. The views are spectacular.
More Datawites and Foodies Delights
The real gastronomy started when Betty and John arrived. Let me back up a bit, John went into a wonderful bookstore called The Owl and Turtle Bookshop & Cafe and struck up a conversation with the owner. Small world, his best friend is the chef at one of our favorite places in Asheville The Market Place. Anyway, we asked him for recommendations for lunch and dinner. He knew we were staying at The Hartstone B&B known for its wonderful food and foodie opportunities. We followed his recommendation to go to Peter Otts for lunch and there I had one of the best lobster rolls served with a lime aioli I have ever had. The secret to trying to stay on the straight and narrow, have a taste of the bread but savor the lobster. You needed a knife to cut the pieces. Others had seafood chowder and shrimp salad. Cocktails were first at the B & B served outside by the fire (not for heat just ambiance) with a complimentary hors d’oeuvres of lobster in a dumpling cup. We ran into some very interesting folks and had a good chat there. Then off to the top of the 16 Bayview Hotel where we had a beautiful spot overlooking the harbor and we watched the sunset. We followed this by having dinner at Hoxbill which was just plain magical. The waitress seemed to like us and insisted on putting two tables together so we had more room. It was just us on the balcony overlooking the harbor and one other couple. I think if she could have moved the other couple she would have.
Breakfast was something to behold. The fritata on the left was light and fluffy served with a dollop of sour cream. It had bacon and green onion and red pepper in it and it was hot. The eggs were served with ham and an English muffin similar to Eggs Benedict but the sauce was a roasted red pepper sauce that was much lighter than the traditional hollondaise would be. We tried to fool ourselves but there is no way this was light fare. Would we go back again, you bet we would. However, I think 24 hours was perfect otherwise I would have had to walk home from Maine.
Lobster as it Should Be
No trip to Maine would be complete without the prerequisite picture of John Moses eating a boiled lobster on the wharf by the sea. We stopped in Castine, a little town on our way to Bar Harbor, and found this waiting for him. I had another lobster roll but it didn’t come close to the day before but it was still good.
We ended up in Bar Harbor and ate a wonderful dinner at The Bar Harbor Inn. We enjoyed cocktails on their terrace and dinner in The Reading Room. Our B & B was not quite the stuff of the night before and we were greeted by our host who was in a very bad mood. Almost enough to make me leave but I could tell she was stressed and that she really felt bad that she wasn’t her usual self. We said we would leave her be and come back later which we did. I found Bar Harbor to be very touristy but we found some nice walking and we didn’t have to get in our car at all while we were there. We ended up walking over five miles just exploring and walking to dinner and back.
Our drive home was in the pouring rain. How lucky we were that the sun came our for our visit and it only rained when we left. Our last stop on the way home was for lunch at The Orange Cat Cafe in Kingfield, Maine. Just as funky as its name sounds but they have delicious homemade food all locally sourced and made fresh daily. We got home, ate something simple like a huge caesar salad with a slice of tourtiere and went to bed and slept for 10 hours.
Now to get back on the wellness road. Not that we weren’t on this trip, we made good decisions and we did walk but we enjoyed ourselves and enjoyed our friends which is just as important in any healthy living style you could come up with.
A Recipe to Enjoy
We enjoyed an appetizer that was made of artichokes and something else but I couldn’t get the recipe. However, I did find a recipe for an artichoke and kale dip that seems to me to be worth trying. Here it is, let me know if you like it.
2 ½ T coconut oil
1 shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 oz. chopped kale, ribs removed
¼ cup dry white wine **may substitute with vegetable broth
1½ cup Cashew Sour Cream
1 cup chopped (canned) artichoke hearts
½ cup diced water chestnuts
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp dry mustard
1½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp ground ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup grated parmesan (optional)
Heat coconut oil in a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and garlic for 1 minute, then add kale and continue to sauté for 3 minutes.
Add wine and cover for 1 minute or until kale has wilted and all the liquid has dissolved from the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove mixture from stove and transfer to a food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times and set aside. (if you want the dip more chunky then make sure and watch between pulses to reach desired consistency)
In a large mixing bowl combine the kale mixture with the remaining ingredients and stir together until the dip is well mixed. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with chips, bread, or raw veggies like carrots or bell peppers.
The dogs and I just completed a good hike with lots of hills. They were wonderful with their sport collars so I was able to let them run free in the woods. Feeling good and back on track after a great couple of weeks.