It’s August and the wild blueberries are in season. Time for us to make our usual 3 1/2 gallons, enough to last us until next year’s crop comes in. A big job, made easier with a food processor. We basically make blueberry jam and can it in quart jars. When we need syrup (for those great pancakes) we just dump the jam into the food processor and add enough orange juice to thin it into the right consistency and whir it just until the lumps of jam are gone.
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We’ve had several requests for this recipe — another of Carolyn’s desserts that work well at breakfast, too. This old-fashioned recipe is easy and delicious. (Pardon the pictures; I’m just getting used to a new lens and use of natural light — and no time for a tripod.)
Grease a 9×13 pyrex baking pan. Heat oven to 375.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 cups small Maine blueberries (frozen is fine — Wyman’s are great)
Blend together the sugar and cornstarch. Pour orange juice into a saucepan large enough to hold the juice and the berries. Add the sugar/cornstarch mixture and whisk over medium heat until the mixture has thickened. Add berries and bring to a boil. Cool. (This mixture may be prepared the day before making the cake.)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Mix these ingredients together in a large bowl
1 cup whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 large eggs
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
Whisk the above wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Gently stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients just until mixed. Spread this batter into the greased pan. Spoon the blueberry mixture evenly over the batter. Bake 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving, but it is best while still warm from the over. Serve with whipped cream (or, if for dessert, vanilla ice cream). Yield: 12-15 portions; recipe may be halved for a 9×9 baking pan.
Of course, the annual Independence Day parade in Georgetown is the highpoint of summer (see photos of the 2010 parade here.) But there are other events on the social calendar. Last weekend was the annual Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department Auction. The auction provides a opportunity to pick up things you didn’t know you needed or wanted (and which you can donate to the auction next year…) But there is always an amazing array of “good stuff,” including paintings by local artists, antique furniture, boats of various sizes and means of locomotion, etc. Here are a couple of shots that give a flavor of the event:
Another Midcoast summer event is the annual “Salad Days,” a fundraiser for the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, in Newcastle — just across the bridge from Wiscasset. Watershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving ceramic artists a place to hone their art, work in association with other potters and — for one talented individual each year — a year of full financial and artistic support at the center. In exchange, this artist creates several hundred individual salad plates which form the basis of the Salad Days event. For a $30 donation, attendees receive a plate of their choice, upon which they can then heap salads prepared by local restaurants, caterers, and the center staff. There is music (a talented bluegrass band played this year), an invitational show and sale of ceramics by artists associated with the center, and tours of the facility. A couple of pictures, taken by iphone and a bit fuzzy:
And you get to use the plate right away!
This is a new dish in Carolyn’s breakfast repetoire, adapted from a recipe we obtained from Harriet and Jim Gott, innkeepers at our favorite bed & breakfast in Kennebunkport, Bufflehead Cove Inn. The egg puffs bake in ramekins and then stand up nicely by themselves on the plate. They can wait a few minutes in a turned-off oven, though they lose some of their height and are at their best fresh from the oven. We serve them with grilled sausage and toast. (The picture is from a recent photo shoot, done in preparation for our new website — currently under construction. More pictures of food, the inn, and the gardens, and more on the new website in later posts.)
Herbed Egg Puffs
5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup plain whole (or low fat) yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 C chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Butter 6 6-ounce ceramic ramekins. Preheat oven to 375.
Mix eggs, mustard, and yogurt until well combined; add remaining ingredients and combine well. Divide egg mixture among the ramekins (which will be about 2/3 full), place on a baking sheet, and bake 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed. If not serving immediately, leave in turned off oven. Cool slightly. Run a knife or small spatula around rim and gently lift onto plate. Serve immediately.
CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
Coveside Bed & Breakfast
We were notified last month that Coveside won tripadvisor’s prestigious Certificate of Excellence for 2012, their highest award. This was based entirely on the opinions of our guests: 63 of the 66 reviewers gave us a rating of “excellent” (the other three rated us “very good”). We’re proud that folks thought enough of our inn to take time to say nice things about us on tripadvisor. It turns out that reviews on sites such as tripadvisor, google, and BedandBreakfast.com are a major source of information for prospective guests, so we appreciate every review. If you’ve stayed at Coveside and would like to write a review, you can do so by clicking on the following links: tripadvisor, BedandBreakfast.com . Thanks!
After a chilly February spent on the Cote d’Azur, we returned to summer weather here in Maine. All this week we have had sunshine and temperatures more common in July than in March. Yesterday broke most Maine records — Portland reached 80 degrees. We had to go kayaking, a first since often we don’t get our boats in the water until late June or July. We drove to the Boothbay peninsula and put our boats in near the Maine Botanical Gardens, near Sawyer’s Island. Smooth water, warm temperatures, and a picnic on a little beach we found on Sawyer’s Island.
We’re in France until March 13, spending a month studying French at L’Institut de Francais in Villefranche, a pretty seaside town just north of Nice (where, incidentally, it has been unusually cold — along with all of Europe), and 10 days in Paris with friends from Maine. So we won’t be doing much Coveside blogging. If you’re interested, you can follow our adventures on our travel blog: http://covesiders.blogspot.com.
Here’s the view from our school:
We’ve closed for the season, and will reopen Memorial Day weekend, 2012. We will be traveling a bit throughout the late fall and winter, but we’ll never go far from our email. Should you wish to contact us, just write at innkeeper@CovesideBandB.com. We’ll also be posting recipes and miscellany throughout the winter, so keep in touch!
Hurricane Irene was hyped as a “killer storm” for the Northeast, but — fortunately for us — it was pretty much of a non-event on the Maine coast. Here at Coveside, we took the boats out of the water, moved pots and outdoor furniture inside, and spent a half-day battening down the hatches. But the storm turned out to be quite mild, less intense than many of our winter Nor’easters. An inch or so of rain fell Saturday night, with a couple of nasty wind gusts, and then strong but not damaging winds most of Sunday. We lost power for about 7 hours. For the hearty souls who decided to ride out the storm at Coveside, we served “hurricane hamburgers” on Sunday night and by the time folks were ready for bed, the power was back on and the generator off. We managed to get the terrace tables and chairs set up in time for a breakfast of plum crumble coffeecake and western omelets. See above. The weather is spectacular and supposed to remain so all week.