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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's All About ME (continued)

Jake & Louis
When we first started going to Maine, we stayed at the Ullikana Bed and Breakfast.  Since Jake's arrived on the scene, we haven't stayed there, but we've kept in touch with Roy and Helene, the wonderful innkeepers and stop in to see them every year when we're in Bar Harbor.  If you ever want to stay in pretty much the perfect B&B, that's the place to go.  Beautiful setting, old character-filled building, eclectic artwork, incredible food and, best of all, two of the nicest and knowledgeable innkeepers that you could ask for.  They simply do everything right. 

On the Great Heat Trail
We stopped in to see Roy, Helene and (Jake's favorite) Louis, the black lab.  Jake and the dog played together while we caught up with the humans.  Then we headed to meet up with the rest of our group at Sand Beach in Acadia where we ate lunch (we packed sandwiches, etc).  They were filming a yoga video virtually all day there--kind of interesting.

There's a beautiful hike along the cliffs there--the Great Head Trail--that we hiked.  The first time Jake was on that trail, he was 7 months old and rode on my back (sleeping much of the way).  Funny to see him hiking the whole trail himself this time.

Insane kid swimming at
Sand Beach.

After the hike, we just hung out at the beach.  Jake, in his innocence (or ignorance) wanted to go swimming.  Now, the water there never gets much out of the 50's even on the hottest summer day.  It was freakin' cold.  Still, he went in.  Sorry, kid, you're on your own. 

Route 66 in Bar Harbor
Dinner in Bar Harbor was on the low-key side this night.  We went to a place called Route 66.  It's a good change of pace restaurant--not the greatest food or service, but there's a lot on the menu and it's a good place to take kids.  I had a decent burger for a change, MB had the turkey dinner (cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, etc) and Jake, as you might guess, had fried Maine shrimp.  

The next day was a relaxing one.  We hung out at the cottage for most of the day--hiking the shoreline, kayaking and canoeing.  Later, we drove around Blue Hill Peninsula, stopping at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin (they were making kayaks and some sort of little dinghy-type boat--a very cool place to visit) and Stonington. 

Dinner was homemade again, but delicious.  We ate the left-over mussels and the yummy sauce over pasta and the awesome lobster stew I made.  It's based on a recipe from Dishing Up Maine by Brooke Dojny.  It is simple and tastes better than anything you get in most restaurants.  Here's the recipe:

Best Bar Harbor Lobster Stew (makes 4 main-course servings)

3 cooked 1 1/4-pound lobsters
6 tablespoons butter
1-2 shallots, minced (not traditional, but I use)
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons paprika
3 cups whole milk (I used 1% with good results)
2 cups heavy cream
Salt (optional)
Sprinkling of snipped fresh chives (heretical, but nice)

  • Remove meat from lobsters and chop into 1" chunks (save as much juice as possible).  Scoop the green tomalley (or liver) out of the bodies and reserve.  Reserve 2 of the lobster bodies.
  • Melt the butter in a large, heavy soup or stew pot.  Add the tomalley and shallots (if using) and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.  Add the lobster meat and saved juices, sprinkle on the paprika, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the milk and cream, stirring constantly.  Add the reserved lobster bodies, pushing them down so they're submerged in the liquid.  (They will contribute flavor.)  Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours (mine actually sat for about 48 hours).
  • Remove and discard the shells.  Rehear the stew over very low heat, stirring often so it does not curdle.  Add salt, if desired.  Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the chives, if desired, and serve.
Sunrise at the cottage.
One more post to go--another trip to Cafe This Way, another trip up Cadillac Mountain, another lobster dinner and another drive home.

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