I can’t believe we’re nearly half way through July up here! I know I’ve been a bit behind in posting, but the true start of summer took me by surprise- a lot has been happening around here! The very least is that I made perhaps my most Maine-iest breakfast yet, homemade maple glazed donuts, brook trout a guest caught that morning, and bacon from a local farm. All mornings should start like this!Now for the big stuff, we got a new crew member here in the kitchen- Steve! Steve joined me in the kitchen in the middle of June, and we’re quite happy to have him around here. He brings in our food from town on Tuesdays and then cooks through Friday breakfast, when I come in and cook through the weekend to Tuesday breakfast, and then we switch again. We’ve gotten into our groove here, and he’s brought some of his specialties to the kitchen- key lime pie, an heirloom Sicilian tomato sauce recipe, and a carrot cake that always gets gobbled up before I return from my days off. Soon after Steve started, I took a week long Italian vacation with my family to Umbria! It was great to catch-up and best of all, share meals with them. We cooked few dinners in while we were there. I fell in love with those cranberry speckled borlotti beans above (can one fall in love with a bean?) at the market, and brought them home to flush out a dinner of leftover eggplant parmasean. My Mom made pasta carbonara that would give most Italians a run for their euro, and one night we shared a simple dinner of a frittata made with sauteed zucchini and squash blossoms. It was hard to leave, but easy to return back into the swing of things here in the Maine- I missed my woodlands home! Now that I’ve been back I’ve been trying to get into the swing of things, and haven’t been sitting down much to type up my adventures. The most exciting thing happening here right now is that our garden, thanks to the hard work of our naturalist Lani and the rest of the crew, is taking off! I harvested several pounds of salad greens the other day, and there are plenty more on the way. I snipped some fresh dill and highlighted it in a dish of roasted eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and garlic scapes. In the coming weeks we’ll have more; peas, our own zucchini, and swiss chard- to name a few. I can’t wait. We’ll supplement our bounty with organic produce from Jason at Green Ledges Farm, who has a farmstand in Greenville. Finally, my brother and one of his best friends, Matt, came up to visit me all the way from Pittsburgh! To celebrate their visit, I put some of the skills I learned in Italy to good use and made homemade pasta with sausage and lentils, served along side a fresh garden salad, and focaccia with artichokes and ricotta cheese. I took them up Indian Mountain one day, and the next over to Gorman Chairback to show them where I used work and hop in some kayaks. It was a great visit, that went by far too quickly. I sent a loaf of bread home with them to take a piece of Maine back to my parents. They had a few pieces for toast the next morning, and it helped both of us bridge the gap between Pittsburgh and here. Oh, and while all that was happening, Little Lyford was on TV! There will be a special on native brook trout habitat coming up on Bill Green’s Maine sometime soon, but a sneak peak was aired on the evening news a few weeks ago. If you’d like to see what we’re up to in the kitchen around here, you can check it out here!
Much, much more to come!