Archive for the ‘Maine cuisine’ Category

A few days ago my husband and I were grilling shrimp and scallops and were inspired to make a dipping sauce with the meager contents of our end-of-the-week refrigerator.

So what do you get when you mix avocado, sour cream, dill, lime juice and olive oil? Something quite good, and a very pretty pale green.

But the point of this tale (pun entirely intended) was not to remind my husband of his newest food lust (New Orleanians don’t have scallops–the Gulf’s too warm) but rather to make a point that as writers, we can often do best with what we have in our stockpile of ingredients: our histories, our passions, our voices, our fears, our dreams, our loves.

Too often the trends in popular fiction can get the best of us. We writers scour the blogs and read every tidbit of industry news that might reveal some leveraging hint to the next, or even current, big thing, and we may even feel that fleeting urge to cast our true voices and storylines to the wind in favor of the flavor of the year. We know there’s no use in it–the tail never wags the dog–but still the temptation is there.

Now we all know the adage: write what you know. What about the adage: write with what you have? I’ve read authors of many genres (Chuck Palahniuk, John Irving, Clive Barker, to name a few) whose writing moves me deeply and even sometimes leaves me wanting to try my hand at a similar prose, or themes. But we all come to find what it is that we have in our writer’s toolbox, the voice that is ours, and ours alone. The voice we have, the stories we have.

So write with what you have, write often and rewrite more often than that. And when you want to take a well-deserved break, feel free to send me any and all scallop recipes you have handy. My husband will thank you.

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There’s a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Camden, Maine called Blue Sky Cantina. The owner Ron and his wife Jennifer make authentic Mexican dishes with a regional twist, adding local seafood to some of their dishes, such as fish tacos made with haddock that are out of this world. They own a second restaurant down the road in Rockland called Big Fish Cafe and that menu includes even more seafood-based temptations, such as Scallop-Sweet Potato Chowder and Lobster Nachos. Having written a novel about a Creole woman who opens up an authentic New Orleans cafe on an island in Maine, I appreciated hearing Ron’s story of how he and his wife came to bring authentic Mexican food from the West Coast to Maine.

If you’re ever in Midcoast Maine, stop in and feast.

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In the world of Maine-made sweets, there is quite nothing like a genuine Whoopie Pie. Those sticky chocolate cake sandwiches. That layer of thick frosting. That very first bite and you feel the fudgey concrete form across the roof of your mouth, feel the crumbs wedge between your teeth and gums. Looking down you peel one finger from the mighty discs and see your print is now in chocolate.

So now, without further ado…
Behold, the glorious Whoopie Pie:

This gorgeous specimen came from the Megunticook Market in Camden, Maine, and no, you needn’t adjust your screen–it really is that big. Now I happen to like mine with a porter (you can never have enough chocolate) like the one above from Marshall Wharf Brewing Company in Belfast, but of course, milk goes well too.

Keywords: Whoopie Pies Maine Camden Megunticook Market Marshall Wharf Brewing Company

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Lobster is a luxury. Just because you’re from Maine, doesn’t mean (with some exceptions) that you get some sort of native discount. Lobsters are expensive and, of course, delicious. So in our family, we use EVERY PART.

Or so I thought…

Then last night, I watched as my mom emptied a claw of its juice into the sink. I always drink the salty lobster water from the claws and legs, so Ian and I thought, what finding a use for even the lobster water? And, well, one use came immediately to mind.

The lobster-tini.

So we tried it.

To make one serving:

Place an emptied body shell into a glass. Add one part lobster juice (maybe two tablespoons)

Then add two parts chilled vodka (I prefer a gin martini but vodka was in the house)

Then add the lobster juice.

And shake.

The verdict?

Not bad. Not bad at all. Kind of sweet. A little salty.
Maybe a better garnish might be a precious piece of claw meat?

Any daring takers? Feel free to share, and adjustments are always welcome…

Keywords: Lobster Martini Maine Lobstertini

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