Thursday, July 09, 2015

Devil's Back Trail - Harpswell, Maine

Devil's Back Trail Harpswell Maine
Devil's Back Trailhead Marker
We're always looking for new places to hike in all seasons. We hit the Devil's Back Trail in May while on a loop around Harpswell. I can't say how many times we've driven past here and never noticed it. It's kind of embarrassing! There is the close-to-the-road sign above and there is a nicely sized parking area right across the road. Hard to miss. And yet I have, many times.

The trails meander around through pine woods and along the coast. There are a few spots where the trails cross and definite markers that you've reached the end of the town property. We didn't have time to walk the whole trail, so we'll leave it to you to find the places we missed. Bring along a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the small beaches or large rocks along the coast.

Download a trail map here.

Here are a few photos from our day on the trail:

Devil's Back Trail Harpswell Maine
Along the trail - rope hand holds

Horseshoe crab

Long Cove Orr's Island Harpswell Maine
Lobster boats on Long Cove

'Rocks' on the trail

Lester's Bench Long Cove Orr's Island Maine
Lester's Bench looking out at Long Cove
To get to Devil's Back Trail from White Cedar Inn:

Go north on Rt 1 (in front of the house) to the exit for Cooks Corners - Bailey Island. At the stop light go straight. Stay on Rt 24 across Great Island to Orr's Island. As you come around a long, left curve you'll see the bridge to Orr's Island. The parking area is on the left after a couple of side roads/driveways. There are boulders demarcating the parking from the road. Across the street is the trail.

You could spend a whole day traversing the islands, meandering down side roads to the towns at the end of the peninsulas.

Combine this with a trip the Giant's Stairs,Bowdoin College Coastal Studies Trail and a stop at Land's End for some fudge! And don't miss the many lobster pounds and restaurants along the way.


White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pemaquid Peninsula Day Trip

Pemaquid Point Light
Pemaquid Point Light
The Pemaquid Point loop drive from Newcastle to Bristol to New Harbor to Waldoboro is a truly scenic drive at any time of year. Pemaquid Point Light is open in the summer so you can go right up into the light (weather permitting).

Starting out early in the morning is the best way to take in most of the sights. There will always be something you missed that needs another day to see!

Here are some highlights you can enjoy on your day trip to Pemaquid Peninsula:

Pemaquid Harbor
Pemaquid Harbor

Fort William Henry
Fort William Henry


New Harbor lobster boats
New Harbor lobster boats

lobster roll at Shaw's on the harbor
Lobster roll at Shaw's on the harbor
Artist at work

Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve
Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve

Hauling the lobsters
Atlantic white sided dolphins Muscongus Bay
Dolphins in Muscongus Bay
Franklin Island light
Franklin Island Light from Hardy Boat

puffin with fish
Puffin bringing home the (bacon) fish

puffins Eastern Egg Rock
Puffins
Quiet refuge on Upper Round Pound Rd

Picnic at Muscongus Bay Lobster

Old Rock Schoolhouse
Old Rock Schoolhouse
So, how do you go about following this route and seeing these sites? Route 1 North from White Cedar Inn to Newcastle. Take Rt 129 across the bridge to Damariscotta. (Stop at Reny's - A Maine Adventure) Follow Rt 129 to Rt 130 to Fort William Henry. Leaving the fort, continue to the end of Rt 130 to find Pemaquid Pt lighthouse.  (If it's a hot day, look for the Bristol Swimming Hole for a dip in the cold, moving water.)

From there, head back along Rt 130 to the Pemaquid Loop then to Rt 32 (New Harbor). From May to August you can take Hardy Boat Cruises to Eastern Egg Rock to see the puffins. Stop at Shaw's for lobster roll!

Continue on Rt 32 just past the dock to the Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve. (Parking is along the side of the road.)

Just off Rt 32 is Upper Round Pond Rd, a scenic drive, that will take you to the Old Rock Schoolhouse. Back down Upper Round Pond Rd to Rt 32 again, take a left and head to Muscongus Bay Lobster and Round Pond Lobster Co-op. (Stop in at the Granite Hall Store in Round Pond for ice cream!) The Co-op does steamed lobster. Muscongus Bay Lobster does all kinds of lobster plus fried foods.

Stuffed with lobster, continue on Rt 32 to Waldoboro, then head south on Rt 1 and back to the inn. Still hungry? Pull back off Rt 1 in Newcastle and go to the Newcastle Publick House.

Ask us for map to plan your trip!

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pond Island Light

Pond Island Light
Pond Island Light

Pond Island Light
Pond Island Light

Pond Island Light
Pond Island Light
Pond Island Light is on a small bit of rock in the Kennebec River. It is easily visible from Fort Popham, Popham Beach and Fort Baldwin.

You can also take a lighthouse cruise out of the Maine Maritime Museum for a closer look at the lighthouses along the river and out to Seguin Light.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Franklin Island Lighthouse

Franklin Island Lighthouse
Franklin Island Lighthouse
Located in the Muscongus Bay, the Franklin Island Lighthouse is easily visible from the deck of the Hardy Boat Cruise's trip to Eastern Egg Rock to see the puffins. The island is part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Access to the island is difficult.  Some islands are closed to foot traffic from April through August to allow seabirds to nest.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Lobster Risotto

Lobster risotto
A couple of weeks ago we went to the Maine Fishermen's Forum in Rockland. This year's special presentation was a panel of four chefs using local Maine seafood to prepare yummy meals. The meals were then raffled off (we each won one of these!) and it was so good we decided to make it at home.

This recipe was presented by Lynn Archer from Archer's in Rockland.

Ingredients: serves 4-6 (possibly only 2 if you really like it)

2 lbs fresh Maine lobster (cooked and shelled)
1/2 stick butter
4 c cooked risotto (use whatever recipe you like but leave out the onions)
1 c shaved Parmesan
3 c half n half
2 c fresh spinach
1/2 c parsley
salt & pepper

Method:

Prepare the risotto the day before if you can. Melt 1/2 stick of butter (or olive oil, if you prefer) in a large, flat bottomed skillet. Add the already cooked risotto and stir over medium heat. Add half n half and parmesan, stirring continuously. When cheese is melted and risotto is warm, add lobster, parsley and salt & pepper to taste. Stir to warm lobster, then remove from heat.

Plate on bed of spinach.

It's easier for me to get lobster here than it may be for you where you are. This recipe also works well with scallops or shrimp.

Just stepping up on a little soapbox for a minute. Most (85+%) of our seafood in the US comes from other countries. Some of those countries do not follow best practices for harvesting and shipping their products or caring for the waters from which they are harvested. Please ask for seafood as locally harvested as is possible. Don't be shy about asking where the seafood in the display case was obtained (country of origin). And don't be shy about asking for your grocery store to buy local when they can.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chocolate Pudding

chocolate pudding puff pastry hearts
Chocolate pudding with puff pastry hearts

It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to have chocolate pudding or puff pastry hearts! This is a simple recipe that takes a little longer than instant pudding, but not much. It does require a little patience as you have to watch and stir so the pudding doesn't burn.

Ingredients:

Puff pastry (one sheet makes about 12 -16 hearts, depending on the size you cut them)
beaten egg for pastry wash
1 pint heavy cream (or 2 cups of any % of milk you like)
3 tbsp cornstarch
5 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
4 oz semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
 

If you're organized you can start with the puff pastry hearts and then do the pudding while they're baking. If you're easily distracted, don't do them simultaneously. ;-)

Puff pastry hearts:

Take puff pastry out of freezer about an hour before you need it. Unwrap and let sit on counter to thaw out a bit. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the thawed pastry out and cut the hearts (or any shape) with a cookie cutter or knife. Place on parchment paper, brush with beaten egg and put in freezer for 5 minutes. Bake 10 -12 minutes until puffed and golden. Let cool. (Once cooled I popped them in a freezer bag to store until morning. They don't last long so don't make them days in advance.)

Pudding:

In a medium, flat-bottomed saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk/cream. Once the lumps are worked out you can pour faster. Over medium heat cook milk, stirring with a whisk to keep milk from burning on bottom. In 10 minutes or so the milk will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add chocolate, keep stirring until pudding *suddenly* thickens up. (Seriously, it goes from liquid to pudding pretty quickly.) Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

Pour quickly into a single bowl (if you can eat it all before anyone else gets home) or 4-6 pudding bowls (if you're planning to share). 

If you don't like the pudding 'skin' that may form when you don't eat it right away (standing in front of the stove), press plastic wrap right down on the surface of the pudding. Put in fridge to cool.

We added a bit of whipped cream (gilding the lily) and some raspberries for color.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032




Tuesday, February 03, 2015

February snow

Some quick pix from snow cleanup today...

White Cedar Inn snow
Snowy rooster tail.


White Cedar Inn snow
The snowman cometh.


White Cedar Inn snow
After the snow.





White Cedar Inn snow
Sunspot.
White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032