Sweet, Sweet Memories

As promised, tonight we’re concluding our Maine recipes (We won’t make you wait anymore Caroline! ūüôā ), and what would a trip to Maine be without the traditional Maine Blueberry Pie. We couldn’t think of a more fitting end to both our trip and our Maine posts.

So without further adieu…We began by making a butter crust. I love to make pie crusts. I have several favorite recipes – the all-shortening crust for my Grandma’s blackberry cobbler and a shortening and butter crust for apple pies; but when it comes to blueberry pie, I like a good, all butter crust.

We started by sifting together the flour and salt and then we cut in the cold butter. I didn’t have my trusty pastry blender on hand at the cabin, so I used two knives to create coarse crumbs. Continue reading

Vacation *Time*

Nearly nine weeks ago I set my watch to Eastern time for our vacation to Maine, and even though we have been back for nearly six weeks now, I have yet to set it back to Central time. I just like that when I look down at my watch I’m reminded of our family trip. I know one day it’s going to end up making me really late for something (like when the time changes this fall), but for now, it makes me smile.

So in honor of the Eastern time zone and family vacations, and because it’s nearing the official end of summer, we’re going to close out our Maine recipes this week. First up, a Classic Lobster Roll.

We prepared this dish from some of the leftover lobster meat we had saved throughout the week. I know you’re thinking, “Leftover lobster? Surely they didn’t leave any uneaten lobster on their plates!” And no, Mike and I certainly didn’t leave any lobster on our plates, but Mr. N and Miss A can’t quite finish a whole two-pound lobster just yet. (Although Mr. N can come close!) So, we chopped up the leftover lobster. Continue reading

Another Maine Course

We’ve already talked about how inexpensive the live lobsters in Down East Maine were, especially when compared to prices in the Midwest. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we made yet another lobster dish on our summer vacation; and since this weekend was the unofficial end of summer, we’re taking another look back at our delicious memories.

Toward the end of our week in Maine we wanted to fix up something a little more elegant for the grown-ups. While the kids really enjoyed all the lobster, they wanted a break. I guess it was too much of a good thing for them, not however for Mike and I who would never tire of lobster. So while the kids dined on some pizza, Mike and I worked on our Lobster Risotto.

I’ve got to give credit where credit is due – this meal was, for the most part, courtesy of my dear hubby. He’s our resident risotto chef. It’s one of his favorite things to make and I’m happy to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. I did, however help with the lobster preparation this particular evening. Until now, Mr. N and Mike had boiled our lobsters, but I was finally ready to give one a shot. I have to say – I understand why Mr. N threw his first one in the pot. While I didn’t throw it, I sure was tempted. It’s a bit intimidating. Continue reading

Clamming Up

By Mike
(Kristy is recovering from sending Miss A to her first day of school. No tears from Miss A…and only a few from mom.)

I’ve never been one to kill my dinner, though as regular blog readers know, I’ve made exceptions when it comes to lobster.¬† However, we also tried two other live shellfish on our trek to Maine last month–steamed mussels (coming soon)¬†and clams.

Live clams are gross.

They have these little finger-shaped things that stick out and sort of flop and¬†leak seawater, and frankly¬†the most accurate and¬†vivid descriptions I can come up with for them aren’t really appropriate for a family blog.¬† What’s cool, though, is that if you tap the tip of these mouths, they¬†come to life!¬† They stiffen up, spit water, and contract a little.¬† Tap them again with just a little¬†bit of pressure¬†and they retract back into the shell.¬† It took a few minutes of playing around with them to figure out exactly how they worked, but once I got the hang of it, it was fun.¬† Mr. N especially got a kick out of it, and liked making them squirt water.¬† The fun outweighs the grossness, and to our friend Kelly over at Inspired Edibles, we hope you have a chance and the fortitude to¬†try cooking live clams¬†on your forthcoming trip to Maine. Continue reading

Grill Some Goodness This Weekend

Now that summer is winding down, we have but a short time to get outside and enjoy the pleasant (albeit buggy) evenings before it begins to get too cold, too dark and filled with homework. So before these golden days are past, we thought we’d share a great grilling recipe from our adventures in the good ol’ state of Maine – Grilled Lobsters with Herbed Butter.

We again adapted this recipe from¬†Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie by Rebecca Charles and Deborah DiClementi. Can you tell that I couldn’t get enough of this book while we were at the cabin? I think it’s actually the first cookbook that I read cover to cover. It’s full of wonderful family stories about summers spent vacationing on the coast of Maine.

Cooking from this book with my family on vacation somehow made me feel part of something bigger – part of a tradition; and traditions from around the world are, after all, what this whole cooking adventure with the kids is all about. I hope that it’s a way for them to experience old traditions, enjoy new traditions and to learn about the many cultures around the world. After all, food is such a large part of many traditions, making cooking a wonderful way to teach them, learn with them and most importantly spend time with them. Continue reading

In Case You Weren’t Sold on the Blueberry Sauce

I had planned to save my favorite Maine recipe for last. You know that old save the best for last thing, but this dish is just too good to hold back, and more importantly it goes perfectly with the blueberry sauce. ¬†I’m calling it a handmade shortbread, which I again adapted from the cabin’s cookbook¬†Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie¬†by Rebecca Charles and Deborah DiClementi.

This recipe comes from the author’s grandmother, so I didn’t change-up the ingredients too much. I mean who am I to mess with a grandma’s recipe. In my experience, they know their stuff. Really the biggest change I made was in the preparation. The book uses a mixer to create the shortbread, but given the ingredients’ similarity to a pie crust and my love for making them…I decided to make this one by hand.

I started by cutting up two sticks of unsalted butter and sifting together the dry ingredients. The key here is to use room temperature butter for the shortbread.  Continue reading