The winter weather has been spectacular. After a substantial post-Christmas snowstorm, the temperatures have remained cold and the skies sunny — perfect for outdoor pursuits. Carolyn and I snowshoed from Route 127 to Robinhood Cove, through the Schoener Preserve, one of the many largely undiscovered preserves open to the public in Georgetown, to the western shore of the cove.
Local Scene & News - Coveside Blog
For years we had a photo album showing the changes we made at Coveside from 1998, when we bought the property, to the present. The pictures were always falling out, fading, etc. So we had the photos scanned and put together a bound photo book that gives a nice summary of before and after. It will be available to peruse when you are here; but you can see it on your computer immediately if you click on this link. The book was made on Snapfish, HP’s photo site. If you don’t already have a Snapfish account, you’ll be asked to provide an email address and password to create one (a bother, but it is a great site for sharing photos, making books, cards, etc.) The book takes a while to load.
The Portland Museum of Art has been working several years on restoring Winslow Homer’s studio on Prout’s Neck, south of Portland. The work concluded early this autumn, and visitor’s can now tour the house and grounds through a escorted minibus tour that leaves several times a day in Spring and Fall from the museum. The museum is celebrating the opening of the studio with Weatherbeaten, a major exhibition of Homer’s works that we discussed in a previous blog post. The location of the studio is spectacular.
We survived Hurricane Sandy without even so much as a power outage. Lots of wind and rain, but more like a moderate Nor’easter than the punishing storm that hit further south. Sandy did make for some spectacular surf at Reid State Park, however. Here are some shots Tom took this afternoon.
We don’t normally get white caps on Gotts Cove, but the winds today have been incredible. But the brunt of Sandy has apparently passed to our south. We’re getting strong winds, but we still have power at 10:30 pm, when we’re headed for bed. We seem to have survived at least the first part of Sandy intact.
Tom & Carolyn spent the weekend in Norwich, Vermont, at the King Arthur bake center and school. Tom took a class called “Baguettes Six Ways” taught by Jeffrey Hammelman, chief baker at King Arthur. Carolyn took a class on “Artisan Breakfast Breads” taught by Ciril Hitz, author of several books on breads and pastries. Who knows how this will change breakfasts next summer! Some pictures of the classes:
The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest was held last week, complete with the improbable “Pumpkin Regatta” where contestants race their boats of hollowed-out pumpkins across the Damariscotta River. Unsurprisingly, many don’t make it to the finish line!
We missed the festivities, but made it a week later for some of those fabulous Damariscotta oysters at the comfy King Eider’s Pub and to check out the entries in last week’s pumpkin decorating competition. Some of these beasts approach 500 pounds, so their decoration requires both artistic skill and a strong back! Here are some of our favorites (click on thumbnail to enlarge):
The Portland Museum of Art has mounted a comprehensive new exhibit of the later works of Winslow Homer, timed to coincide with the opening of Homer’s restored studio on Prout’s Neck, south of Portland. The 38 major oils, watercolors, and etchings, many of which are dramatic views of the sea from Prout’s Neck, are on loan from museums across the country. The exhibit runs until December 30. The studio can be visited by guided tour and access is by bus from the museum; reservations must be made in advance. We have scheduled a visit to the studio later in the month and will report on it in a subsequent post.
Two more examples of paintings in the exhibit (click on thumbnail to enlarge):
Carolyn tried a new fall muffin recipe this morning and it was a hit. Here’s the reccipe:
Grease 12 muffin tins. Preheat oven to 375.
Mix together following dry ingredients in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups chopped dates or dried cranberries
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped in large pieces
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
In separate bowl, whisk together the following wet ingredients:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
Gently blend wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Do not overmix! It’s okay if a bit of flour remains unmixed. Fill muffin tins. Sprinkle tops with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and toothpick pushed into center of muffin comes out clean. Let rest in pan 5 minutes before removing to rack.
There’s a new oyster bar in Portland, started in the last couple of months by the folks who now run Hugo’s Restaurant — an area temple of high cuisine. It’s called the Eventide Oyster Company, and there are wonderful things on the menu, like a new take on lobster rolls, a fried oyster bun, etc. But the real thing here is the oysters on the half shell — 6 or 8 varieties from the chilly Maine waters (emphasizing our favorites from Damariscotta), and an equal number “from away” — some as far away as Kumatomo oysters from Washington State. The center of interest when you enter is a huge stone sink filled with ice and oysters. Picnic tables and bar stools. This isn’t a formal place. But the oysters are fabulous, as are the other entries we tried. Highly recommended.
Here’s a link to the menu (click again on the link):