Rainy Days and Mondays Won’t Get Me Down

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I feel like I shouldn’t be saying this, but I’m so happy its raining today.

I have indoor stuff to do today,  I planned on making a Miso Soup tonight for dinner with Soba Noodles & Japanese Eggplant (Farm Share!) + Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs and if it was hot and sunny I would a) feel obligated to go outside a lot and b) probably wouldn’t want to deal with soup. Also my new Kindle arrived today so I can sit on the couch and play around with it without feeling like I should be outside, weeding or riding my bike or something like that. Our Wifi Signal doesn’t go outside…its kind of annoying.

2014-07-28 09.04.34         Me and the Cats slept in a bit…2014-07-28 09.04.39

Speaking of Kindle, am contemplating Amazon Prime– what say you all? Free Shipping + Movies + 1 book a month? I signed up for 1 month Kindle unlimited (books & audiobooks) to see how that works, I can’t sleep without a bedtime story and Audible is PRICEY!

We have been listening to the same podcasts & Bill Bryson books for years, its time for an upgrade. (Sorry Mr. Bryson, I really heart you, alot, you inspired us to try small town living , really we LOVE YOUR BOOKS, but sometimes you need a bit of a change).

Also on board today Zucchini Muffins, have an enormous summer squash that was left here post family vacay, and it needs to be re-purposed, maybe with walnuts., dried cherries and a brown sugar crumble- Gonna have to wait for tomorrow, its 2:30 already, where did the day go?

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Thursday I made a pie, then we went out to the Island for Lobster Dinner with the Family….My littlest nephew and I spent some quality time chasing and tickling and turning upside down, 

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1/2 Butter 1/2 Lard
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Vanilla Sugar

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It was an everything I had in the house pie, Local Raspberries, Wild Maine Blueberries plus a couple of Nectarines I had leftover from Sangria

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Friday night we went out with the family for Last Night in Maine at a restaurant in Harpswell called the Dolphin. It has a beautiful view, I mean just gorgeous, and the food was well, exactly like the food at most places with a view, not so much.

The Mac & Cheese for the kids was Kraft! And my husband got a Haddock Basket, the fish was fresh but the fries were of the batter dipped, frozen variety and get this the “basket” was like $13.95, and the Kids Meal Fish & Chips was about $6… and they were exactly the same size the only difference was the Adult meal came with a dish of cole slaw.

I shouldn’t complain because Husband’s Mom’s Fiance treated and we had a really nice time. It’ll be a great place to go for a drink, not a great wine list but a cheap one and to sit and have a $28 bottle of Prosecco and some calamari looking out at the ocean won’t be so bad at all.

 

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The VIEW
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The Deck
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The Dining Room

I got pretty tipsy Friday, a rare thing, though I sobered up by the time we got back to the House on Bailey Island, it was nice sitting around the fire pit listening to the waves crash.

On Saturday we went to the Farmers Market then fought all morning over something ridiculous.

Oh My God It’s seriously POURING outside Thunder and Lighting right now! My tomatoes are going to monsters.

OK back to Le Weekend. Saturday, day was pretty uch. On Saturday evening we hung out next door, and that was fun. When we came home we ate an unfortunate steak that just was not able to live up to its original potential, thanks to poor scheduling over cooking and over salting- totes my bad- and then I passed out half way through Inglorious Basterds.

On Sunday we had an adventure!

First we went to breakfast at The Kopper Kettle, where I had a pretty good Veggie Omelet and Chocolate Bread. Chocolate Bread is thick sliced brioche swirled with semisweet chocolate, Chocolate Bread is then toasted with salty butter for like breakfast dessert… I shared it with my husband because I am nice.

Then we headed Northwest to check out Augusta the Capital of Maine.

August did not have much to offer, in fact it seemed closed. Most of the people wandering the streets, were pretty much doing that wandering the empty streets on a Sunday with nowhere else to go. It was pretty sad, you’d like to think  a state capital would have some energy but nope not really.

Actually it was kind of spooky.

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The drive there and back was just spectacular, we live in an absolutely beautiful place. It takes my breath away…and while on one of these beautiful country roads what did we spy but a sign for a Winery. Union, Maine is Wine county, they have 2 wineries and we went to both of them.

 Sweetgrass Winery 

The wine tasting at the vinyard was $2.50. Two Dollars and Fifty CENTS!!! And we got to keep our glasses and try 5- FIVE things… um in Sonoma it was like $25 for 3 tastes and then they’d let you get 1 for free if you bought at $30 bottle of wine.

Sweetgrass is both a Winery and a Distillery, their wines are surprisingly tasty for non-grape wines. They weren’t cloying and syrupy, they tasted like the fruit from which they hailed. The Peach wine was heady like ripe peaches and just tart enough, and the Apple wine tasted like a crisp fall day. The surprising wine was an oak aged Blueberry wine that was really complex, we even bought a bottle. I have it bookmarked for a dinner of Pork Loin glazed with Spiced Wild Blueberries, sometime in the winter when summer days like this are a memory.

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I tried to get a picture of the 2 peacocks that came out to greet us, but they were too fast, also I stubbed my toe on a rock, damn flip flops.

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Such beautiful country out here.

Their booze was pretty good too, I’m not much of a gin drinker but it made a pretty good G&T. They have these things called Smashes. Cranberry, Rhubarb and Maple. I liked the Maple the best the cranberry tasted like candy and the rhubarb was good too. The Rum was a light rum ( I prefer dark), but it certainly packed a punch. It would be fabulous in a hot cup of tea,  on a blustery day, maybe while sitting out near my new/old fire pit.

I’m waiting for the Apple Brandy & Vanilla Extract to return, I have plans for them… big plans, pie shaped plans.

 

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Sorry the pics a bit blurry post- tastings
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This Overalled Dude from a nearby farm, came by to pick up some Cranberry Gin and Cranberry Smash for Sunday night cocktails…I LOVE MAINERDS.

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Savage Oakes was the next winery we stopped at and they had sausage!… I love sausage.

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We bought some Chorizo from these absolutely LOVELY people (they raise the pigs) and some leaf lard, which is a part of my Pie Shaped plans.

Their wines were grape wines, and they were just ok, The dessert wines, however, were delicious, all three of them. We finally had to choose between the Blueberry Pi and the First Kiss (a muscat type). After some eeny meeny miney mo we ended up with a bottle of Blueberry Pi which will be used to glaze a duck from the farket when JP comes to visit in 2 weeks.

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We took the coastal route home through the rain and fog, stopping at the State of Maine Cheese Company for some Gouda and Garlic Cheese spread. They make the cheese on premises using milk from only 20 miles away.

We didn’t have much time to dawdle, but we’ll be back, to visit the attached butcher Maine Street Meats, and for some Cocoa Rubbed Dry Jack- hopefully its 1/2 as good as Vella Dry Jack, one of my Favorite Cheeses.

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Lady Cow named Jacob
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Cocoa Rubbed Dry Jack

We were home by 5, opened a bottle of wine and had some Gouda and pPums before a dinner of Cream Crab with Buttered Rice & Sugar Snap Peas and a Summer Vegetable Salad with a riff on Catalan dressing. It was all very old fashioned-y new fashioned, and really delicious.

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Have you read Jerry’s Poem? Also, please follow Gourmandatory, I just wrote my first article for them, it should be coming out soon.

XOXO

Ali

This Weeks Farm Share

  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuces
  • Radicchio
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onion

This Week’s Menu

Monday

Miso Soup with Soba Noodles Japanese Eggplant, Kale & Tempura Carrot & Beet + Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

Tuesday

Soft Corn Tacos with Chorizo, Avocado & Fresh Cucumber/Tomato Salsa

Wednesday

Spaghetti & Swiss Chard laced Meatballs + Oven Fried Zucchini & Raddichio Salad

Thursday

I’m a working … Big Salad with Chicken for the Husband

Friday

Working Again… Cheeseburgers & Veggies for The Husband

Saturday

Working- Take out From Work: Green Papaya Goi w Shrimp + Pork Egg Rolls + Pho Noodles with Beef

RECIPES

Cream Crab

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Cream Crab does not a Pretty Picture make

Serves 2 – 4 depending on appetites,

  • 1/2 Pound Fresh Picked Crab
  • 1 Cup the Best Heavy Cream you can find
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry Sherry
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Parsley, Tarragon, Chives & Chervil (one or all or any combo)
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  1. Gently Heat Cream, Butter & Sherry  in a saute pan
  2. When just bubbly add Crab
  3. Stir and cooked gently over low medium heat till cram thickens
  4. Remove from heat, season generously with Pepper, sparingly with salt
  5. Whisk in Herbs
  6. Serve over Buttered White Rice or over Toast Points for an Retro Appetizer or for  Lunch or even Breakfast over a biscuit or  topped with Poached egg YUM!

Summer Vegetable Salad with Curried Tomato Dressing

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This isn’t the most beautiful plating either.

I wanted a good counterpoint the subtle creaminess of the crab, and the taste I was looking for was the salad dressing I’ve found at old-time Spanish places in NYC, sweet, sour with a tiny bit of spice, almost like “French” dressing, this is a my riff on a sort of Catalan Dressing. If you skipped the creamy crab and just served this salad with cooked Fresh Crab or Grilled Shrimp as part of the Salad I think it would be kind of amazing you could also add some Avocado or Hearts of Palm, just saying…

Dressing

  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 Tabelspoon Chopped  Fresh Tarragon
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Smashed & Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Mild Vegetable Oil , Canola or Grapeseed
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Whisk  together the first 6 ingredients
  2. Slowly whisk in Oils to Emulsified
  3. Season Salt & Pepper to taste

Alternatively put everything but Salt & Pepper in a Jar with a lid, Shake really hard for a few minutes then season with S&P

As far as lettuce goes you want crisp and hardy. Romaine, Iceberg, Little Gem, Escarole- Stay away from Mesclun Mix and Arugula, they will wilt. I am NOT  a fan of any Mesclun Mix not straight from a farm I find it tasteless tough and dull and avoid it like the plague. Its one of the reasons I rarely order salad in restaurants…unless I know it’s not that fake fancy mix of dead baby lettuce.

I used

  • Small head of Iceberg from my Farm Share, cut in quarters
  • Thinly Slice White Onion (you could use Red if you prefer)
  • Shaved Summer Squash
  • Shaved Carrots
  • Shaved Beets
  • Thinly Sliced Cucumbers
  • nasturtiums from my Garden
  • Borage Flowers also from my Garden

One thought on “Rainy Days and Mondays Won’t Get Me Down

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