May has come and gone.

May is now behind us, it was full of birthdays and visits and feelings and food and new adventures and June just crept right up on my ass wham here it is, a balmy 52 degrees here in Brunswick, I’m wearing a sweater and boots.

A quick review of May…I began the month rife with emotional drama, my 45th birthday approaching, there was a family issue that I have to reconcile in my mind, as well as my on-going work/life drama , but it’s all sort of sorted.

I’ve started making desserts for Trattoria Athena, which I think is the best restaurant in town, it’s a tiny Italian place where everything is handmade with local ingredients, it’s the sister to the Enoteca where I often go to happy hour. I walked in to talk about working FOH and walked out with a weekly pastry gig. So far I’ve made the following:



Burnt sugar caramel budino with Nutella caramel, hazelnuts & Maine sea salt (this is my signature)

Chocolate salami with rice krispies, currants, pistachios & coffee beans

Wine poached dates with orange blossom marscapone & sugared almonds

Rhubarb crostata in semolina/jasmine tea crust

Olive oil lemon curd with lavender shortbread & lavender candied lemon peel

Cannoli cream whoopies pies with cocoa, chocolate, & cocoa nibs

Ricotta semi-freddo with sweet toast & amerena cherries

White nectarines in lilac confit, amaretti cookies & limoncello ice cream

I’m pretty excited for what is to come up next…ideas are furiously fluttering! I am thinking of strawberries & elderflowers and Maine blueberries with buckwheat….we shall see what’s to come.

May 15 was Xtian’s B-day- we had an adventure day in Portland went to a whiskey tasting, where we not only got along with others but had a pretty good time, and we bought some very nice gin.

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Great summer cocktail : Gin + pink grapefruit + grapefruit bitters + sparkling water+ splash tonic


We had cocktails with ribs on them for a snack and then visited the Cryptozoology Museum. It was a bit dusty and overstuffed, less informational than I would have like , and it mentioned nothing about Bigfeet’s proclivity towards Smashing Pumpkins, both the band and the activity. Pumpkins make Squatches very very angry, and they can’t help themselves but too smash them to the ground in a million pieces,but we did get a nice Yeti Christmas ornament.

We walked around Portland a lot (um parked like a million blocks from the museum by accident and got lost -ish) . It was a good day, a really good day.

Us & a Squatch

On the way home we stopped in Freeport to visit a chocolate shop and also get some bird food (not at the same place though they were across the street from each other).

We decided to take a road we hadn’t been down before to see where it would take us and it took us to a dead end, one that was home to two of the biggest chickens I’d ever seen, they were like 3 feet tall.

Anyway since I happened to have some millet on me; I thought we should stop and say hello and offer them a snack. So we stopped the car and before I could even reach back to get the millet the red one hopped up on our car !

killer chciken

Then, the black and white one jumped up…

big chicken

They started crowing and pecking at the windshield wipers, and Xtian was getting a little freaked out that they would a) attack us b) break the car

So I got some millet, I got out of the car, I clucked at them and got them far enough away and gave them a treat. Then  I ran back into the car (even though I was secretly hoping one would jump in the back seat and we could take it home, even though I read the city ordinance and we can’t have a rooster.).

It was close they trotted over the other other side of the car and we had to back away pretty slowly so we wouldn’t hit them.

I thought it was one of the best things EVER!

Xtian’s first birthday present to me– I miss that bike  (look how cute he is!!!!)

MY BIRTHDAY was spectacular!

Xtain went back to Philly (that is not why it was spectacular btw) and Jenn & Sue came for the weekend, so it was a house full of ladies.

On Friday- Jenn & I got horrible pedicures did some shopping then had relaxing lunch at home while watching reality TV. ( um, perfectness).

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We had drinks

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Then dinner with Christine at Trattoria Athena– it was super delicious!

We followed my Italian eating formula: 3:2:1:2 (for 3-4 people)  2:1:1:2 for 2 people

Share 1 app per person,  share pasta – (get two 1/2 orders or 1 full  if two people , 2 orders if 3-4 people),  share a single meat/fish and get 2 desserts

Meatballs – so tender, I probably could have eaten them ALL. Also I did eat everything and stopped taking pictures– sorry.

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Fritto misto with artichokes & fiddle heads

Razor clams– which were something I’d never had before and will eat again and again, they were just perfect

Trofie ala Genovese : Trofie is a hand-rolled pasta made from old bread & semolina and the sauce was very slow cooked onions & beef – This was my favorite of the night.

(here’s a recipe in the NYtime archives for sauce ala Genovese, which is totally worth trying)

Farfalle (handmade!) with ramp pesto& asparagus

Lamb chops with gigante beans

Yes, we had dessert – the Budino and the Olive Oil Lemon Curd plus lots of wine & after dinner drinks(thank you Tim)

It was a fantastic dinner and with such great company, its so nice when your girlfriends enjoy each other’s company.  I think now that I am older I have better friends- there’s no more competition or any bullshit- my friends are the people  I trust and the ones I really really like spending time with, which is exactly how it should be.

(Jenn & I stayed up drinking more way too far into the night)

Saturday we woke up super early, and ever so slightly hungover, we went to go get Sue at the airport, went to Farmers Market, then had a nice 4 hour Spa afternoon – mani/facial/massage, it was very nice. We had a crappy lunch at Gritty’s because it was 2:30 and I forgot that Eventide was open -then hit TJ’s before some well deserved rest and dinner of too much Chinese food & huge drinks- we were going to go dancing but we were too old and tired.

Sunday, we needed some exercise so we took our recently glycolicly peeled faces to the beach where we burnt them to a crisp. We took a long walk on Popham beach and had a beachside lunch at Spinney’s (which was not bad)beachladies

We went home, napped, and I made dinner for my ladies:

Crostini- goat’s milk ricotta, wilted ramps, green garlic & french breakfast radishes

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Ribeye steaks, grilled asparagus and a ramp bearnaise

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For dessert we had more of the cake I made for Sue (it was her birthday too) – it was a buttermilk cake filled with blackberry & lemon and covered in penuche frosting.

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We lit a fire in the fire pit and drank more wine and laughed alot… like ALOT.

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Monday was Memorial day- we hit town for the parade, and Xtian came home we had a late lunch BBQ of Hot Dogs, Hamburgers with my “Irish Lady Potato Salad” & Kimchi cole slaw.

Xtian brought me an Italian rum cake w cannoli filling all the way from Philly- It was the same as our wedding cake and my 40th birthday cake.

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We skipped dinner that night, made popcorn and watch American Sniper- which I hated.

It was just war porn, I really thought it would be more about PTSD and what that actually does to a person, I thought it would be insightful, instead it was swaggering macho bullshit.

And that was pretty much the month that was. I finally figured out how to attach my instagram (@aliwaks on intagram) to this page so you can see all the pictures of what I’ve been cooking everyday

Our friends John & Amy are coming to visit tomorrow and I have to figure out how to pick these amazing wild geranium growing on the railroad tracks without getting arrested. They are the most glorious shade of purple and I want them in my house!!!!!

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This is me at 45… not too bad I think.


One thought on “May has come and gone.

  1. Beautiful, Beautiful writing Ali .. as always! So enjoy reading your Blog. What a GREAT Birthday … you do have Lovely Girlfriends!


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