What to cook on the new range, hmmmm . . .

May 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

Robert and his first lobster of the spring.

You knew it wouldn’t take long from the time the delivery guys installed the new range until Robert located some lobsters to steam on his new “power burner”. That beautiful specimen (the crustacean, that is) had just come out of the water and was on its way to the pot.

And, Robert has a new source for lobsters right next door. Our neighbor, Chris, is a commercial lobsterman. So although he can’t supply our lobster needs, he has lots of buddies in the neighborhood who can. We tested this out on Thursday afternoon. We had called another neighbor who thought she could locate us some lobsters on short notice, but couldn’t track anyone down. So Robert called Chris who said “let me make a call” and hung up. Robert’s phone rang in less than 5 minutes, and Chris said that his buddy Jimbo was on his way in to the dock and we could meet him there in 15 minutes to make a pick up. Sounds a little shady, I realize. But it’s all above board. Of course, Robert rushed us all into the car (we were in Bath at this point, 12 miles from the dock) and sped down to Five Islands for the rendezvous with Jimbo. Sure enough, Chris and his girlfriend Nikki were at the dock already, so they could make the introductions. Chris had taken his dinghy out to Jimbo’s boat to grab three lobsters for us and was on his way back in. We met Jimbo and his sternman Henry. Jimbo said we can meet him at the dock whenever he’s coming in and he’ll give us a good deal on his catch. Sweet!

So we took 3 lobsters, all around 1.5 pounds, home for dinner. Robert dispatched them as humanely as he knows how to and steamed them up for a lovely lobster and cream sauce over pasta. There was enough left over for lobster rolls for lunch the next day.

This is the life.

Lobster pasta for dinner.

Lobster leftovers. Not too shabby.

Winter in Five Islands

December 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

View of 35 Lewis Road from our neighbors', the Tharps, house

Katy and I had a great, although way too short, trip to Five Islands. The house was in good shape, with only slight evidence that a mouse had been nosing around in our stuff. We met with Bob on Friday morning and firmed up the plans for the construction, which starts Monday. More on that in the next post.

Five Islands is quiet in December, but not completely dormant, much to my surprise. The few full-time residents in the village have their Christmas lights up and it’s very cheery. During the day, the local lobstermen’s trucks fill the parking lot at the pound, evidence that the hard work of bringing in the catch continues, just further out at sea apparently. On Friday morning, Katy and I saw only two lobstermen out on Five Islands’ little harbor. The main catch is out in the deep ocean this time of year. Heidi, who runs the little gourmet farm stand, was open on Saturday, selling wreaths and other lovely stuff. I think next weekend will be her last until spring. Carroll was at work in his boatyard and there were some construction projects going on around the village. Practically bustling.

View of the Sheepscot River from the Tharps' dock

If there was ever any doubt that Five Islands would be just as beautiful in winter as in summer, let me assure you that it is every bit as stunning (see above). When we woke up on Saturday morning it was snowing. A perfect Maine winter morning (thankfully, the snow didn’t stick since we had to get back to Manchester for our 4:30 flight). Our neighbors, the Tharps (who we have yet to meet), live on the water side of Lewis Road. Since they have decamped for Florida for the winter, we strolled down to the water’s edge to soak up the view. Here’s Katy on their dock (thanks Tharps).

Katy bundled up

We had time for a stroll around Old Schoolhouse Road before cleaning up and heading out. First we stopped at the pound, all shut up tight for the winter.

Five Islands Lobster Co. "Closed"

The view from the dock doesn’t change much. Same old lobster boats.

A lobster boat moored in Five Islands harbor

Same little islands.

Island off coast of Five Islands

Same rocky coast line.

View toward Ledgemere Beach

Same lighthouse.

Lighthouse in Southport

We passed by what used to be a little store selling antiques (I think. We never actually went in before they shut down). I’m thinking this could be an ideal location for Robert’s restaurant. It’s right across from the cemetery and a little down from the Georgetown Community Center, very central.

Old house at the corner of 127 and Old Schoolhouse Road

We met a local dog out in front of the boat yard that’s run by our old friend Carroll (no, he still doesn’t recognize me even though I’ve introduced myself several times and he once witnessed my and Robert’s humiliation as a lobsterman had to tow us back to shore after our maiden Maine voyage on our sailboat, a long story for another day). Anyway, this dog had a jaunty orange bandanna and was keen to accompany us on our walk.

A dog named Grey

A guy working on one of our neighbors’ houses knew the dog, Grey, and assured us that he has a home. We soon realized that all the local hounds were sporting the same bandanna, the better to avoid getting shot by a hunter apparently. Aaaa, the joys, and perils, of country living.

Oh, and we spotted our mailbox. How did we buy a house and not know we have a mailbox and where it’s located? Search me. There it is in the middle of the line up, #35.

Lewis Road mailboxes

On the way up 127, we stopped to snap a picture of the boathouse along the side of the road at the Back River.

Boathouse on 127 in Georgetown

I’ll write a separate post about the work we started on the house. It involved a sledge hammer and flying debris, very exciting.

There were a few dining highlights to mention. We flew into Manchester, NH, on Thursday and drove the 2 hours up to Five Islands. On the way, we stopped in Wells, ME, for a spot of lunch at Billy’s Chowder House. We both agree: 2 thumbs up. I had the Half & Half Platter, that’s half fried clams and half fried oysters along with fries and cole slaw (light!). I started with the house specialty, the clam chowder, of course. It was all delicious. And the view out over the marshes of Wells is fabulous.

On Friday evening, we went up to Bath for dinner at Solo Bistro. This is becoming one of my favorite restaurants in the area. I had the miso marinated black cod and Katy had the lobster risotto. Again, 2 thumbs way up. Especially good was the pumpkin tart with a homemade marshmallow brule. On the way back to Manchester on Saturday, we had time to squeeze in one more tasty meal at Duck Fat in Portland. This place works magic with the panini machine and the french fryer. I had the bacon, tomato, and goat cheese panini and Katy had the turkey, cheese, and cranberry jelly panini. One more time, 2 thumbs up!

Stay tuned for more details on the transformation of 35 Lewis Road. And keep those name suggestions coming!

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