Last month my husband and I had a wonderful vacation in coastal Maine, where we lived for 22 years. Yes, we have twenty-two Maine winters under our belts, and a variety of flannel sheets to help keep us warm. Soups, stews, chowders, roasts, pies, popovers, and woodstoves also warmed us in the cold months from November to March.
You may have heard that in coastal Maine there are three seasons - winter, mud and summer. It's true! Once the snows melt, and the mud hardens up, it's warm again. That warmth brings fresh Maine shrimp (much tinier than Louisiana shrimp), fiddleheads, new peas and other early garden crops. A traditional dinner for the 4th of July is boiled new potatoes, steamed baby peas, and salmon steaks. When August arrives, so do fresh blueberries. They're everywhere - muffins, pancakes, pies, cobblers - and are sold by the side of Route 1 up and down the coast (as are shrimp in late March). In September the sun is lower, the leaves strut their stuff, apples take their turn center stage, and hunting seasons begin.
All through the year Maine has a bounty of seafood which is the best! Lobsters, clams, shrimp, haddock, halibut and many other varieties of fish, mussels, urchins and seaweed. Lobsters were $5.99/pound for hard-shells. A very good price and fully enjoyed at two separate dinners.
You can find pictures of all these goodies, and recipes to make them in cookbooks which were generously donated to the John & Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library by Ellen Brawley in memory of her husband, Harry Brawley. Ms. Brawley lives in tiny Hall Quarry, on spectacular Mount Desert Island. It was a pleasure to make the drive up to meet Ellen, peruse Harry's collection of over 1200 titles, and chose which ones to add to the Boyd Library. Before this visit we had only one book related to Maine cooking - the LL Bean Cookbook. Now we have about 60 more titles, focusing on Maine, New England and the Maritime Provinces. It was a great daytrip, and the traffic on Rte 1 wasn't too bad, either!
As we say in Maine, it's a Wicked Good addition!