Maine

Why You Should Start Shuckin!

Why You Should Start Shuckin!

This past weekend Camille and I took Wilder with a few guests on a little Maine adventure. Before arriving at our destination, the Damariscotta river, we weaved our Subaru down windy roads, stopping at country markets, springs, and antique barns along the way. 

Braised Hakurei Turnips

Braised Hakurei Turnips

Visit a farmer's market in Maine and you will find one thing in abundance this time of year, greens. With a slow start to spring and the planting season, Maine is not quite pumping out the vegetables, but what is available has a lot of character.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

When the workload is demanding, lunch will at times take a back seat. In a pinch, recipes like this are great to have in your catalog. Once all your vegetables are prepped, a nourishing meal will be on the table in less then 20 minutes. This soups was so good, that both Camille and I drank a quart each in about 10 minutes.

 

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

The more these Polar Vortexes keep sending an arctic chill to Maine, the more I crave soup. During the colder months, I tend to make a lot of soup, usually about 2-3 times a week. Every batch is different, but usually starts with a homemade chicken or beef stock. Veggies from the rot cellar then get chopped and added to the flavorful broth along with various herbs, spices, seaweeds, and often times medicinal mushrooms.

Lacey Potato Cakes

Lacey Potato Cakes

We're big fans of these versatile potato cakes. Crisp them up for Sunday brunch, top with smoked salmon for your next dinner party, or serve along side roasted vegetables. These crisp, gluten free cakes are incredibly easy to make and can be made with a variety of ingredients.  Not a fan of potatoes, use sweet potato or butternut squash instead. 

Garlicky Beans and Kale

Garlicky Beans and Kale

To make it through most days with ease, quick cooking, but nutritious dishes are a must. This is one of those recipes that takes just minutes to prepare and really satisfies the palate. Paired with lots of garlic, and fresh greens, this is a quick cooking recipe that can stand up on its own, or paired with a variety of different proteins. For those folks who enjoy eating meat, try cooking some bacon first, then completing the recipe in the bacon fat, yum!

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

The first frost of season greeted us here last night. Thankfully I paid attention and didn't repeat what I did last year, which ended up a few pipes burst in the greenhouse. As summer starts to wind down, I really begin to enjoy my favorite season of the year. The shift into fall brings changes in the kitchen as well. Simple, light salads are beginning to phase out as long, low slow cooking phases in. 

Strawberries Galore!

Strawberries Galore!

Strawberry season has arrived and we are lucky to have the Sheepscot General store available for Maine's only certified organic pick-your-own berry patch. So, for the 2nd year in a row, the family and I headed a we bit south for some time spent in the fields. After only about 45 minutes of picking, we harvested a modest 30 pounds of deliciously sun ripened strawberries.

Maine's Bounty Chowdah

Maine's Bounty Chowdah

Rich, and creamy, clam chowder is a soup I've enjoyed eating since I was a young boy. The salty and milky flavors perfectly merge in easy to make recipe that can be made with so many different ingredients. My version offers a local twist to classic recipe. After a fun day driving along the beautiful coast of Maine, I got a craving for "Chowda". Since I already had locally sourced haddock, which is a sustainable and quality wild fish found up here on the northern Atlantic, and asparagus in the root cellar, I figured I'd continue with the theme of local and craft a recipe that used only seasonal Maine Ingredients (except for some spices).

Putting up your Harvest: How to Make Pickled Fiddleheads

Putting up your Harvest: How to Make Pickled Fiddleheads

When any of the 4 seasons provide a bounty of food, I make a solid effort to put some up for the remainder of the year. The practice of canning has allowed me to enjoy a variety of foods beyond their "season" and into the warmer, or colder months of the year. Learning how to preserve food through canning methods has quickly become one my most reliable techniques for long term storage and food security.

Roasted Sausage w/ Mustard Vinaigrette

Roasted Sausage w/ Mustard Vinaigrette

One of my favorite qualities of cast iron pans is the ability to cook on the stove top then easily transfer into the oven for the remainder of the cooking time. The recipe below shows how easily one can create a nourishing meal using fresh, seasonal recipes, with ingredients found from local sources. After a few minutes on the burner, the pan is transferred in the oven to slowly cook the potatoes and fresh sausage.