Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pesto Pasta

It’s back to work for me tomorrow, otherwise there is not much to report. Today, I finished the jar of fresh pesto from Wednesday, and made pasta with swiss chard, kale, edamame and pumpkin seeds. And yes, some limoncello was consumed, too.



Holbrook Sanctuary

This week, heydays of tourism in Maine, I decided to get off the beaten path and venture to places less likely found by tourists, besides those with nice sailboats, hanging out in the beautiful coves around the Castine peninsula. I saw a speck of green on the google map and zoomed in: Holbrook Sanctuary, not even well-known among Mainers.
The Holbrook Sanctuary has not really an ‘address’ I could type into my Garmin Nuvi, so I zoomed into the map, and said “take me to this coordinate directly”. Trustingly I was guided along unknown, unvisited, small country roads along the coast with unexpected, hidden beautiful harbors and coves. This made me stop more than once to take in the very private gems. Holbrook Sanctuary offers ponds, hikes and picnic areas on the ocean. Besides me and a father and son with fish rods, it was a true, quiet sanctuary.
Brooksville Harbor, ME
P1090658  P1090662

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Falling for fall

Slowly, I am getting in the mood for fall, or let’s say I am not totally averse to the idea of the summer ending. The thought of boots, good clothes, apples, pumpkins and back to school with fresh, crisp mornings actually starts to sound appealing. I guess I got my fill of summer. Fortunately, there are at least 6 more weeks of summer left to add more to hiking, swimming, and sitting on the deck, having friends over.

Each meal still includes pesto this week. This time heated up frozen edamame, roasted golden beets, and swiss chard from the garden with spaghetti. So good.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fresh basil and young garlic makes pesto

After much waiting today for the appearance of the little prince I went to the farmers market, and the rained out farmers had new produce in store: basil, and the first garlic of the season. Young garlic turns bad quickly so pesto it was today, a semi-vegan pesto, with a slice of sheep’s milk feta for taste. I made a larger batch, and a dinner of spaghetti, Swiss chard from the garden, fresh garlic, and pesto. Summer cooking at its best.
Semi-vegan pesto:
  • 3 very large handfuls of fresh basil
  • half head of young garlic (or 5-6 garlic cloves), peeled
  • 1 TB low-sodium yellow miso
  • 3 TB pine nuts
  • 2 oz of sheep’s milk feta cheese
  • juice of one lemon
  • water, as needed for consistency
Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Serve with spaghetti and wilted Swisss chard.

Waiting for Le Petit Prince

This morning it is raining and calls for indoor vacation activities, like baking a cake with summer fruit or reading magazines. Among them also, unique this year, watching People magazine’s live feed to the Lido entrance of St. Mary’s Hospital, waiting for the little prince to make his first appearance. Ah, the new age of technology, the whole world can watch live now. The maternal grandparents came and went. It is 5pm local time.

“Where is the little prince?” I ask Chanelle. He wrinkles his nose. He really only cares if he can get a treat out of me.

The garden soaks up the light rain, the lawn needs to be mowed, and it’ll all renew and Maine sets itself up for hikes and bike rides again, ending the quest for anything on, next to or in the water.
Little Prince, where are you?

More MI-5 guys appearing, police men disappearing, it must get close.


Update: and there he was, at 2:18pm EST.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A day on the lake

It was supposed to be a bright blue day, with good temperatures, not too hot, not too humid, and everyone was on the road. Tourists, especially. I headed south on Route 1, towards K’s family camp, and stopped at the Treasure trash barn, one of my favorite ‘antique’ stores. After summers of looking I finally found an old wood door, in the right size and state of aging, perfect as photography background, and a few very old but still usable ball canning jars with glass lids. I stopped at Cellardoor winery to pick up some wine, and off I was for my first solo kayak with K. and her 2 dogs, who came along for the adventure. 




Beer and haircut, please!






Mermaids in Maine

The ‘bad weather’ never came yesterday, a few drops of rain, not even a thunderstorm and certainly no hail, but the whole disaster scenario had me kept at home. I should have known better that only if bad weather moves over NYC and Boston, it is ‘disaster weather for (all of ) New England! Stay save!’ But that does not necessarily mean there is anything happening up here in nowhere land of Maine.

Today the sky is blue, the forecast is sunny and it is time to get back to regular summer vacation routine. This includes finding a nice clear lake and put on the swim fins. I only wish I had these mermaid tail….. (source)


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bye-bye, heat wave. Hello hail.

Today is the last day of the heat wave, and the jet stream is pushing south with cold, arctic air masses. The collision of hot, humid air and arctic cold are are supposed to result in treacherous thunderstorms all over New England with high winds, lightening and hail. So, instead of heading to another lake to swim today, I moved all the plants to a save place, and spend my day watching a Food Photography workshop live on CreativeLive. It is like watching the cooking channel you know how to cook but you still pick up a few things here and there, and it’s all about the repertoire of the little things, isn’t it? Of course, it also made me want to cook again, finally, and photograph it.  ---- If cooking pasta and cooking it up with fresh zucchini, corn, olives, rosemary and fresh mint counts as ‘cooking’.


Andrew Scrivani and Shauna, the Gluten-Free Girl.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Some like it hot

The day started out overcast and much cooler. A relief. Until about 1pm and then it was back to the mid 90s. The stores were chilled but walking to the car bit me with a too warm blanket again. “lake!” everything inn me said. “Lake! time for swimming!”.  In the evening, the sky darkened and a private firework of lightening started. The lamps flickered, and I lit a candle, just to find my way to the dinner table in case the electricity would go out in the middle of cooking. Ah, summer. 



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Boothbay Botanical Gardens

The temperatures are ideal for vacation activities such as swimming, sailing and light walks in the shade surrounded by wonderful aromas of flowers, woods and ferns. --- Boothbay Harbor can provide all three of them, and I opted for the botanical gardens. They must be fairly new since my car navigation systems did not know them and there were also no signs in Boothbay when I headed in the general direction to the Southern tip of the peninsula. Fortunately, I stopped by an information center and found my way just in time before turning right, and arrived at the beautiful place.

It was later in the afternoon, and not many people and relaxed views, walks and smells of flowers.














As every good Maine vacation day it has to end with the following:


The chef takes home the lobster shells for broth..