Sunday, August 28, 2016

House on a Ledge

There is no denying it: summer is over. Or at least, summer break and school starts again. Sigh. I had a really relaxing summer, free from pressures, outside and self imposed, and I am not really ready for the rigorous schedule of the academic year. Summer feels like softly swinging in a hammock, on my own time and pace, and the school year feels more like a rat race.

I can feel my squirrel genes engage, shuffling pictures of silky soups through my mind, sift through cake recipes,  making me bring home large bags of  beets, and marking the start of pick your own apples in the calendar. It’s all good, but I rather return to the begin of summer again, and go into an endless loop.

Here are some photos from my last summer trip. Since it was so serene in Stonington, I went a second time, this time able to spend a few hours in 44 North Cafe since it was open. But first I visited my new friends in Ellsworth, at Rooster Brothers. They graciously share some brioche with me each time I come.

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Penobscot Bay.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summer Znoodle Salad

These days I would be all about the Olympics, this fascinating mix of a sports event and the Oscars, getting an Oscar for being the very best at something, right then and there, live. The excitement ! The cheering… But unfortunately, I have not seen anything because I no longer have a TV subscription and my digital antenna does not receive the NBC channels. History, without me.

But then, the big wide wild world, does it really all matter, if someone is the fastest runner? Or swimmer? Sure, it is a great accomplishment, and there is a lot of work behind it. I found this aspect always interesting, admirable: the endless training, keeping a balance between training and rest, pushing yourself but not going too far, and in the ends, the nerves, right then, when the performance is required. It is quite a feat.

Well, I managed to grow figs. At home. In the summer. In Maine!  For some, this might also seem like an Olympic feat.

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The summer squash are 3 at any size for $1 at the farmers market. I got the spiralizer out, and, cranking away, made this wonderful fresh and light znoodle salad. The zucchini noodles have a texture much like fat spaghetti (or bucatini, to be correct). A nice bite, but lighter in the summer heat and no cooking required. Mixed with kalamata olives, sheep milk feta,  fresh corn, tomatoes and shallots with plenty of oregano and basil and a vinaigrette of white wine vinegar, oil and salt and pepper.  Yum!

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Friday, August 12, 2016

“One’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.”

The heat has finally broken and there is a bit of rain here and there. This was an unusually long, hot and dry period for Maine, and for once I am relieved there is some rain.

The other day I headed down the coast, for a day of art. Rockland with the Farnsworth Museum and the Wyeth Center are my favorite museums in Maine, mostly because of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings that capture the essence of Maine so timelessly. The day was rounded out with another piece of art: Sushi at Suzuki in Rockland.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Island Time, Part 2

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

We left off with leaving Camden and heading further south. Not too far from Blue Hill, a big bridge that reminds me of the Golden Gate bridge leads to Little Deer Isle.

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From there, a short causeway got me onto Big Deer Isle. At this point all worries, obligations and responsibilities stayed behind on the mainland, and I felt the relief of island time. It reminds me of Greek islands, a soft warm wind blowing and the world is contained to a small piece of land that only really matters, where people know each other and live at a slower pace.

The winding roads lead through a secluded, private world of lobster fisher families in a beautiful landscape. With Sunday afternoon there was a feeling in the air that reminded me of  the opening scenes of “High Noon”. Empty streets, and people hidden in houses.  Stonington had a similar sleepy feel.

Stonington is a small village with a short stretch of main street. In recent years, it has added a new coffee shop, 44 North Coffee, and a handful of restaurants, Aragosta being the one I had heard of. Aragosta was between lunch and happy hour, but the Inn on the Harbor next door was open as espresso bar. This included access to chaises lounges on a beautiful deck. ….just what I needed after the long drive. Espresso with a view and a chaise.

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The food at Aragosta was phenomenal, btw. Can’t wait to get back.