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October 31, 2008

Maine Events Calendar: November

As we move our way into the holiday season, with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, check out some of the festive and fun holiday happenings around the state.

Continue reading “Maine Events Calendar: November” »

Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms

Day Four of our Lobster Recipe Week. This one's for all you mycophagist locavores out there.

Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms
from Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.

 8 ounces fresh, whole mushrooms
 ½ cup cooked lobster meat, cut up
 ½ cup bread crumbs
 4 Tablespoons finely chopped celery
 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
 ½ teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon pepper
 ? cup parmesan cheese
 3 Tablespoons finely chopped onions
 Sharp cheddar cheese

Clean and dry mushrooms, remove stems. Mix all ingredients together and stuff mushrooms. Place small pieces of sharp cheddar cheese on top of each mushroom. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, uncovered.

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer.

From the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 30, 2008

Maine Lobster Fajitas

Day Three of our Lobster Recipe Week. Something a bit different that's delicious, and easy LobsterUp200 to prepare.


Compliments of Raquel Boehmer

12 each 6" flour tortillas
2 cups cooked lobster meat, cut into medium mince
3 avocados, sliced
1 large red pepper, sliced thinly
2 cans mandarin orange segments, drained
French dressing, as needed

the above ingredients in dishes so guests can choose and fill
tortillas, drizzle with salad dressing and wrap in an envelope shaped
roll around the food.

From the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 29, 2008

Lobster Dessert, Anyone?

Day Two of our Lobster Recipe Week!

You all know how sweet Maine lobster is. Lobster cheesecake just seems the ultimate in indulgence.

Lobster Cheesecake
Eddy Lobster Company

1- 1.5 pound Fresh Lobster
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons flour
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sour cream
½ cup pretzels, crushed
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon fish base or bouillon
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

Cook, pick, and chop your lobster. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream the cheese and mix in eggs one at a time. Blend in next four ingredients. Dredge lobster in flour and blend into mixture. Butter 9-inch springform pan, coat with pretzel crumbs and fill with lobster mixture. Bake on a cookie sheet 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until center is firm; cool with oven door open. Chill in pan; take out of mold and garnish with fresh dill. Serve with crackers.

Serves 8.

From the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

Maine Farmers’ Markets: Fall Listing

We were pleasantly surprised to find that, although we are turning a corner on seasons, some Maine Farmers' Markets are still going strong. Here is a sampling of what is still out there to enjoy. Make your way to one of these markets while you still can!

Continue reading “Maine Farmers’ Markets: Fall Listing” »

October 28, 2008

Lobster Makes a Great Dip

With the current dip in the price of lobster, in some places as low as
$3.00 per pound, it's an opportune time to try out a new lobster recipe. For the next 7 days we'll be featuring some new lobster recipes for our readers, who have asked for suggestions about what to do with them other than a traditional boil.

Continue reading “Lobster Makes a Great Dip” »

October 27, 2008

Omega 3s to Your Health!

Nana just celebrated her 87th birthday in June. She is as sharp as a tack, doesn’t miss a beat, reads avidly, does mind puzzles, and enjoys going out and having a good time. She follows all the sports teams from baseball to hockey to football, reads the daily newspaper, and enjoys talking and debating current events and politics. She is cheerful and fun and one of the most beautiful women I know. And she has always had the most beautiful skin and hair.

Continue reading “Omega 3s to Your Health!” »

October 26, 2008

Garlic: Love it or Hate it!

Garlic. Either you love it or you hate it; I happen to be in the former category for sure. The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, has conducted two separate studies and their advice is "eat your garlic." The Institute has uncovered a molecular mechanism that may be the basis for some of the therapeutic effects long thought to be associated with garlic.

Continue reading “Garlic: Love it or Hate it!” »

October 25, 2008

Maine Lobster in Troubled Waters

In light of the current downturn in Maine’s lobster industry, I spoke with a local fisherman to get his take on the situation. Captain Gary Libby is a groundfisherman who also lobsters out of Port Clyde. His thoughts:

“It’s very alarming that the number one fishing industry in our state has fallen on awful economic times at a time of year when the lobstermen make most of their income.

Continue reading “Maine Lobster in Troubled Waters” »

October 24, 2008

Topless Waitresses at Rockland Lobster Day?

Driving down Main Street in Rockland this
morning, you could see a sign of the times. In a brassy move guaranteed to gather local attention, the menu board outside of the Brass Compass Cafe, open for breakfast and lunch, read “Topless Waitresses.”

In an attempt to warm up the chill in the local economy by drumming up
business with their attention-grabbing sign, The Brass Compass is warming things
up today, in anticipation of tomorrow’s Rockland Lobster Day event.

A brief phone call of inquiry by our Creative Director Jim prompted a walk down the street from our office to see for ourselves just what was going on down there. When asked how long the waitresses would be topless, Lynn laughed, “All day!!”

Lynn Archer, Proprietor, says “This community is fueled by a feeling of goodwill right now, coming together over the sharp drop in the local and national economy and the state of the lobster industry. It is so good to see everyone coming together.”

On Saturday, October 25 Rockland’s downtown and area businesses are showing their support for the local lobster industry. Rockland, the Lobster Capital of the World, is coming together with a “Lobster Give-Away and Raffle.” Enter a raffle for FREE at participating downtown Rockland businesses for a chance at winning 10 fresh local lobsters. Many businesses are running their own specials as well in honor of the event.

And that’s not all. Spruce Head Fishermen’s Co-op lobstermen will be at the New England Express convenience store at 191 Park Street in Rockland to sell fresh caught lobsters off their truck at $3.50 per pound.

Heidi Stevens of By George Jewelers has teamed up with Lynne Post of Andrus Flowers to pull this amazing show of support together. A list of participating business can be found in the Free Press.

And The Brass Compass, home of Rockland’s “topless” waitresses, will sell lobster rolls all day Saturday at cost!


The Brass Compass waitresses, from left: Lynn, Taylor, Joyce, and MaryLou.
Overheard in Rockland later this morning, “Will there be a Calendar for 2009?”

In other local economic bail-out attempts, Shepard Motors in Rockland is offering 10 free lobsters with every car sold, Cafe Miranda is striking up a special meal deal, and anyone who purchases jewelry at By George Jewelers on Saturday will receive between one and 10 lobsters as a thank you.

If ever there was a time to support everything local, it’s now.

And if ever there was a time I was especially proud to be a Mainer, it’s now.

Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 23, 2008

Artascope Studios and My Birthday Party Flashback

As my birthday falls the week before Halloween, I have fond memories of every childhood year having a cool theme party hosted by my Mom. One of my favorites was when she sent out invites to all my friends to come dressed as a famous celebrity. I think I was 11 or 12 the year we had Hercule Poirot, Smurfette, Dolly Parton, Katherine Hepburn, Blondie, Marilyn Monroe, and Brooke Shields (me), among about a dozen others, all together in my star-studded livingroom. Everyone signed an autograph book wishing me a Happy Birthday in their character, quoting something their character would've said to me on my special day. And of course, all the celebs posed for photos taken by my paparazzi-playing, shutter-bug mom. There hasn't been so much glam all together in one room since!!

Here's to simpler times, younger days, and the fondest memories. And, as I think it was Marilyn who said it best, "Yours till the lipsticks!"

Came across Artascope Studios blog, whose October 15th Painting Party birthday idea post stirred this creative thought up from the memory bank.

What a great place to get creative again!

Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

Honey love

I know that cold weather is upon us, but I think I need to see a man in Blue Hill about some frozen treats. I drink a lot of tea, so Jim Picariello's idea of taking his leftover tea with honey and freezing it instead of wasting it, is indeed an "awesome" one. He creates the Frosteas and Frostbites, which are not-Popsicles — he is quick to remind you on his Web site that the term is a trademarked one, in a new manufacturing facility he opened this year along the coast.  And despite minimal advertising, he has managed to develop a distribution network from New England to Florida and the Midwest, peddling the gluten-free, low-calorie, no-fat products, which are made in Maine with native honey and maple syrup. 

But it isn't the pops themselves, with their clever names like Cool Your Jets and Honey Love, that excite me. It's his promise that they taste good mixed with gin and vodka. In Picariello's words, "What better way to forget about the economic crisis than to
calm your nerves with a Maine Maple Lemon Frostbite tossed in a glass
of vodka?"

I'll drink to that.

Jessica Strelitz is a contributing writer to Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 22, 2008

Garden Trials and Tribulations

Our spectacular fall weather lured me back into the garden this weekend. It’s well past growing season, although a few stubborn cherry tomatoes were clinging tenaciously to vines that had snaked their way across the ground and up the wire fence. Knowing that all those pale green and yellow tomatoes were never going to reach maturity, I put them out of their misery and jerked them unceremoniously out of the ground. Basil and peppers that had blackened after a few nights of near-frost, met a similar fate. Still robust were parsley, thyme, and Swiss chard, which I picked and brought in to the kitchen. But it won’t be long before everything in the garden will finally give up and lie down for the winter.

Continue reading “Garden Trials and Tribulations” »

October 21, 2008

Barter Creek Clam Chowder

For many years, my sister Gracie and I took great pleasure in digging clams. At low tide, we would gather up the kids, clam hoe, keeler, and head for the clam flats. After Gracie’s husband died, she left the island for good, and I miss her every day.

When Linda returned from her sword fishing life, she took up where Gracie left off as my clamming partner. Every Mother’s Day, Linnie and I gather our clamming gear and go to Barter Creek to dig clams. She does all the digging and I do all the "heavy looking on." (I wonder how long I will get away with that?)


When we have as many as we think we need (or Linda’s back is about to give in) we start for home, stopping at the town landing to give the clams a good rinse. When we arrive at Linda’s house, we prepare the best clam chowder ever! (It is always the best chowder ever!!!).

Continue reading “Barter Creek Clam Chowder” »

October 20, 2008

Maine Ghost Hunters

Ok, so where was this blog when I was a kid and so interested in otherworldly stuff like this? Well, back then I didn’t have a computer, no one even knew what a blog was, and I guess I was too busy exploring the neighborhood and trying to find my own spiritual connections by visiting the local graveyards, doing grave rubbings, and studying up on local lore. This site is awesome, especially as All Hallows’ Eve lurks just around the corner. This is the coolest thing since "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"!
Happy Halloween, Boys and Ghouls….

Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

The Old Family Relish Tray

No governor has declared it but I am here to tell you that October and November are our de facto National Food History Months.
Thanksgiving looms largely for food writers, poor crazed souls who have already been through turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, creamed onions, pumpkin pie, etc. in previous years and now–not again!–need a hook for the annual holiday story. And Thanksgiving with all its historic overtones, at least in New England, evokes the “what is the history of mashed potatoes anyway”

All of us who work at examining our past food habits are deluged with phone calls and emails and interview requests. The most intriguing question I’ve had so far this season had to do with the relish tray on the holiday table: the oval glass or perhaps metal serving dish in which celery, olives, and pickles are presented. Does anyone eat them? Who knows, but the dish spells festival” when set down next to the cranberry sauce.

A quick check into history showed that there was a patent for a new style relish tray in the 1880s, and I surmise that celery, formerly an expensive item presented on fashionable tables in special glass celery vases or glasses (patent date of ca: 1840) designed to make the leafy stalks tower over the diners, had come down in price and stature and could now appear horizontally
on holiday tables, together with the increasingly available olives being produced in the U.S. (California, of course) just after the turn of the twentieth century.

I own my grandmother’s pink Depression glass relish tray. It has three sections, and the locavore that I am, I put dilly beans in one, homegrown carrots in another, and bread and butter pickles in the third. I also own my mother’s heavy, undivided, clear glass relish tray that I recall seeing full of green, pimento stuffed olives. I loved olives as a child, still do, and used to suck the pimento out to eat separately from the green olive.

I still put a relish tray on holiday or special occasion tables, though I observe it is increasingly a ceremonial move, and I see little attrition in the pickle selection.

Sandy Oliver, Food Historian, Author, MF&L columnist: The Way Things Were

October 19, 2008

Maine’s Best Art Exhibit: Fall Foliage

Look out your window today. If your view is not what you’d classify as "stunning", then I pity you. Because I’d call this morning gorgeous. It’s a clear day, the sun is rising through the effusion of breathtaking colors all around me, and I have to count myself among the blessed to be living here. No matter which window I choose to look out of my home right this moment, the beauty of autumn is boldly daring me to take lingering looks. The colors of the leaves on the trees and those decorating the ground are a vision of indescribable color palettes.


If you need a reminder of one of the many reasons we live on the coast of Maine, stand outside for a few minutes today. You can’t help but feel the biased awe of living among unrivaled superiority of place.

Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 17, 2008

Spurned: Food Once Loved but Loved No More…

Jim Bazin: This is a tough one for me, and I’m coming up blank. I will say, however, that I never did like nor will never even try to like brussel sprouts.

Continue reading “Spurned: Food Once Loved but Loved No More…” »

October 16, 2008

Maine Goat: The New Other Red Meat?

In the New York Times food section, famed California rancher Bill Niman is touted as "breaking away from the herd" to raise goat meat for chefs who are discovering the merits of this sweet-tasting, low fat meat. But Maine gets its due as well as a leader in this fledgling industry. Thyme for Goat in Dresden, a collaborative of four Midcoast family farms, says there is good customer demand for their products that they sell at farmers’ markets and online.

In case you’re a bit squeamish about having goat meat on your dinner plate, think of it as "chevon," a more palatable, Frenchy kind of word that might get you to try the most commonly consumed meat in the world.

Merrill Williams is the publisher of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 15, 2008

Commune Tested, City Approved

While perusing the goings-on of our fellow bloggers in the Food World, I came across someone else who, like me, laments the passing of summer berries. I was so pleased to see there is hope in the form of nearly-as-good-fully-ripened-juicy-Maine-frozen-remains.

Commune Tested, City Approveds post "Bye-Bye Berries" by Avery Yale Kamila was a nice reminder that we still have Maine summer in our hearts (and apparently, it can be bought in our grocer’s freezer section). Thanks to Moon Hill Farm  for keeping me berry happy.

Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.