White Christmas

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Christmas morning we awoke to “sea smoke.” It’s what happens when the air is much colder than the water below. Stunning. Then the snow started mid morning, just for Katy’s birthday. It was another beautiful, gentle snow, only about two to three inches in total. Enough to make everything beautifully white. Mark and Katy were visiting and Mark made great use of his new fancy camera. All the photos below were taken by either Mark or Katy.

The day after Christmas was gorgeous, sunny and bright. We took a drive off the island to Brunswick for lunch. Sewell Pond on Arrowsic was frozen and several ice fishermen were out there catching fish called black crappy. We ventured out onto the ice for some quick pictures and then made a run for the shore.

On Tuesday, Mark, Katy, and I took a drive up the coast to Rockland. We stopped along the way in Damariscotta to see the Whaleback Shell Midden. Had a nice lunch at the Thomaston Cafe. Stopped at the Owls Head Light. Saw the trap tree in Rockland. And ended the day at the Olson House in Cushing. A wonderful outing.

Cabin Cove Oysters in South Bristol

October 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

We were looking for something special to do last Saturday afternoon: perhaps a scenic drive to a picturesque destination by the sea and some good vittles. We hit the jackpot with a trip to Cabin Cove Oysters in South Bristol. I heard about this new company via the Portland Food Map. Cabin Cove Oysters is the brainchild of business partners Michael McAllister and Juliet Totten. They have a nifty Airstream trailer they’ve converted into the Shuck Truck, from which they serve up fresh oysters at weddings and other special events. After reading about them on a blog or two, I contacted Michael to find out if we could visit. I was sort of thinking they would have a little shop like the Glidden Point Oyster Sea Farm in nearby Edgecomb. Michael responded right away and said we were welcome to visit him on Saturday as he would be in South Bristol working in the garden. Hmmm, garden? I formed a mental picture of a renaissance man simultaneously cultivating fresh vegetables by land and Pemaquid oysters by sea. Intriguing. We arranged to meet him at the town dock on Saturday afternoon.

The drive down route 129 from Damariscotta is beautiful. Although the foliage gurus say we’re “past peak,” there was still plenty of autumn color to admire along the way. Upon arriving in South Bristol, we realized there is, in fact, no shop. Instead, Michael picked us up in a small motor boat and we headed out to his “garden” where the oysters start out as seed oysters, or spat, and grow into delicious Pemaquids. It’s a garden because it’s not really big enough to be an oyster farm like Glidden Point’s operation further up the Damariscotta River. Here’s the garden, a series of floating plastic baskets full of oysters.

Michael was a great guide to oyster cultivation. And, best of all, he very generously let us sample some of the merchandise. Obviously, none of us had ever had fresher oysters. They were absolutely delicious, briny and crisp.

Thanks to Michael for spending part of his Saturday showing us his garden in one of Maine’s lovelier coves and sharing part of the harvest with us. It was a perfect field trip.

If you have a wedding or other special event, think about including the Shuck Truck. Your guests will love it!

Autumn in Maine

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Giant carved pumpkin at festival in Damariscotta

To celebrate the season, we took a drive up the coast to Rockland last Saturday. Our destination was a sushi restaurant, Suzuki, that we’d heard very good things about. We decided to stop in Damariscotta for the pumpkin festival. While we were there, we bellied up to the bar at King Eider’s Pub for some pub pretzels with brie and blue cheese dipping sauce (light fare!) and a dozen Pemaquid oysters, and some local beers of course. We got such a late start that the festival was wrapping up by the time we got there. But we did get to see all the cool giant pumpkins along the Main Street.

Pumpkin as cat head

And then it was on to Rockland, another 45 minutes or so up Route 1. Rockland is a pretty big town with a nice working waterfront and a very good museum. Of course, everything but the restaurants and bars was shut by the time we arrived. So we took a short walk along the harbor before heading into In Good Company for wine and snacks before dinner. This is a very nice little wine bar with very nice food and a good wine list.

Rockland harbor

Outside the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland

But the whole point of our journey was the sushi at Suzuki. It did not disappoint. The highlight was the lobster sashimi and the Spanish mackeral sashimi. Everything was super fresh and beautifully presented. We’ll be heading back again soon I hope.

Lobster sashimi at Suzuki in Rockland

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