Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Pie - April Recipe of the Month

Chocolate Ganache with Orange Cream in a Phyllo Nest

There are several variations on this, depending on how much time you have. If time is short and you need a really fast, yummy dessert, this is the best way to make this treat:

  • One pre-made graham cracker pie crust
  • One large box of chocolate pudding mix (you can even use the instant one if you're really pushed for time)
  • One can of whipped cream
Make the pudding and pour into the pre-made shell. If you cooked the pudding, let it cool. If the pudding was instant, just top with whipped cream, good to go. You can also use the mini crusts for individual pies.

My kids loved this. And it's fast. (Although, if you ask them, they never got the whipped cream.)

If you have more time, you can make the above from scratch, including the pudding and the whipped cream. Or, try this next one...Chocolate Ganache with Orange Cream in a Phyllo Nest.


  • One package of phyllo dough (40 sheets of phyllo will make 96 shells)
  • Heavy cream (1/3 cup for the filling; 3/4 cup for the topping)
  • Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (4 oz)
  • Cream cheese (2 oz)
  • Sugar (4 tbsps)
  • Flavored extract (1/2 tsp of your choice...peppermint, raspberry, orange, or an assortment)

A little trial and error gave me this method of making the need to work quickly, so have everything ready to go before you open the packaged phyllo dough sheets. I melted one stick of butter in a small glass bowl. Clean the surface you'll be working on and make sure it's dry. Heat the oven to 400. A 24-slot mini muffin pan works best. Unroll the dough sheets carefully. Peel off 5 sheets to start, cover the remaining stack with the plastic wrap they were rolled in and cover that with damp paper towels. Lay 1 sheet on the work surface and using a pastry brush (flat style, not round), brush the surface of the sheet with butter from the edges in.

buttering the dough

Lay the next sheet on top and repeat until all 5 sheets are buttered. Using kitchen shears cut the dough into 12 squares and press into muffin pan. I flipped them over so the last buttered side was down, they seemed to press in easier that way. Repeat until muffin pan is filled and bake for 5 minutes, turn and bake for another 5 minutes. (Watch the first batch to be sure they don't burn.)

baked phyllo

To make the filling gently heat 1/3 cup of cream and 4 ozs of chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Cool 5 minutes or so until the filling starts to set. Spoon into prepared phyllo shells and let cool.

To make the topping beat the cream cheese and 2 tbsps of the sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat remaining 3/4 cup of cream, 2 tbsps of sugar and 1/2 tsp of your choice of extract together in a medium bowl (Yes, my recipes generally call for using every bowl you have!) until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture 1/2 at a time.

Top the chocolate-filled shells with the cream cheese topping.

Additional touches...shaved chocolate, sprigs of mint, petite raspberries, candied orange peel.

I need to make 200 of these for next Friday night's Flavors of Freeport so I'll be fillin' and freezin' all weekend.

Just a note...this is the first time I worked with phyllo dough and I had no idea what I was doing. I looked at the stack of 20 sheets and said, 'Well, what the heck do I do now?' Believe me, the box was no help at all as the directions assume you're making 'something' not just baking shells. So, my take on 5 sheets to make the shells? That's what I did, you can do differently!

I am no longer 'afraid' of phyllo! It was easy to work with albeit it was work. (Unlike the first 'recipe'!)

Again, if you are short on time, you can use pudding as the filling instead of making the ganache.

And here's what they looked like before the crowds arrived Friday night at Flavors of Freeport:

Sometimes you just have to check it out!

We've driven past this sign and this bridge for I don't know how many years. Finally, we pulled off the road to find out just what makes this an 'Historic Bridge.' The bridge crosses the Androscoggin River between Brunswick and Topsham.

The bridge was originally built in the 1800's as a way for workers to get from where they were housed in Topsham to the Cabot Mill in Brunswick. You really need to stop by sometime, walk across the bridge and imagine the trek every morning and night (in the dark) across this bridge in all kinds of weather. Bridge deck slick in the winter from sleet, baking in the summer and yet, at times, a beautiful walk in the fall and spring. Not that you'd be particularly enamored of the view after the long hours working and then the couple mile walk to get back home. But, maybe, your sweetheart would be waiting to walk home with you and you could have a few minutes of time together after a long day.

The bridge was refurbished in 2008, the parking lot was paved and granite seating was placed at both ends of the bridge where you can sit and enjoy the view- downriver to the Cabot Mill (Ft Andross) and upriver to the car bridge. To the left of the mill is the dam. A really good vantage point to view the dam and the river is from Sea Dog Brewery in Topsham and from several restaurants located in the mill. You could walk from the bridge to Sea Dog Brewery along Bridge St to Summer St. (You come out at Border Trust Bank, which is across Main St from the restaurant.)

To see for yourself, you'll need to be coming south on Rt 1 between Ft Andros and Pleasant St (Brunswick). There is a left turn lane for Rt 24 (onto Cushing St), a pedestrian crosswalk and the tiny parking lot on the right side of Rt 1. If you miss it, you can cross the one lane car bridge and turn right at the end. (Sometime, we have to try that bridge, too.)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Maine State Parks celebrate 75th Anniversary in 2010

Be sure to check out all the great events going on at parks around the state during this special 75th anniversary year.

Coming up in April is the Wolfe Neck Woods Birding Festival on April 25th. Wolfe Neck Woods is a short drive from here. Enjoy the festival and an overnight stay!

Reid State Park, Georgetown, Maine

Continuing the 'vacation in Maine' theme, we hit Popham Beach on Friday and Reid State Park on Sunday. I write about Popham a lot, so just this to say- if you go out on the sand bar near the Morse River, unless it's a really low tide or you want to get wet, there's no way to get back to the main beach except the way you came. THAT was a walk!

We've been timing our trips to the beach for low tide. There's more beach that way! Here we were a couple of hours ahead of low tide, but you can see the more rocky shore along this stretch of Half Mile Beach. Reid State Park is really an excellent place for families as you find more tidal pools and things to discover here.

We pulled in at the trail head for Half Mile Beach (the other access was closed to traffic when we were there). There are snack bars at both parking locations. Restrooms and changing areas are also available here. Both 'sides' of the park have grassy & slightly graveled trails to walk on. But, you know me, I head straight for the water!

piping plovers

And, I wasn't the only one. At the end of the beach, we found this flock of sandpipers. Rock stayed back with Bre while I stood perfectly still until they settled in. They are a riot to watch because they will go right up to the water's edge and when the tide comes in, they race up the beach.

We hiked along the beach to the end, turned and came back. At the end of the beach closest to the parking lot is rocky outcropping you can climb on when it's low tide. (High tide and waves make it pretty slippery and unwalkable, but there is a path around the snack bar that takes you to the other beach.)

Where, apparently, the cast of Survivor was encamped, if the found structures are any indication. Immunity anyone? 'Cuz without it, this is where you get voted off to...

Over the dunes behind this lean-to is a tidal pool that is a great place for kids to swim if you want them to not be in the surf. The water is usually warmer in the tidal pool than in the ocean (where it is never 'warm') but don't plan on 80 degree water in either location!

There are great places to stop along the way and take photos while you're walking around the park. Definitely a whole day excursion. Pack a picnic lunch or just cruise the snack bar for refreshments. Bring a blanket, some beach chairs, toys and an umbrella and you're set for a day at the beach!

And don't forget, you can continue on down the islands to Five Islands Lobster for dinner!

Directions: On Rt 1 heading north from here, cross the Sagadahoc Bridge in Bath and turn right immediately at the end of the bridge. Turn left at the stop sign and continue on 127 until you see the huge American flag painted on the rock wall. Turn right, the road ends at the park. To go to Five Islands Lobster, just stay on 127 until your hat gets wet, then back're there.

A Day in Portland, Maine

Maine narrow gauge railway
Maine Narrow Gauge Railway
Recommencing the vacation in Maine the next day, we headed back to Portland to do some serious wandering around. Yes, parking in Portland is an adventure, but we found a lot right on the wharf on Commercial Street where we could park all day for $8. (And all day meant just that, we could come back at 7 AM the next day to get the car.) A lot of parking areas are unattended, so you need cash to park your car.

We strolled along Commercial St up to the Casco Bay Lines terminal and then back down Commercial on the other side, weaving in and out of the side streets. If you're headed downtown, we've got maps here or you can pop into the Tourist Info at the International Ferry Terminal.

If you're not into shopping, what else is there to do in Portland for a day? (The short list)
  • Take the train- Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum is right on Fore St. Train rides are daily during the summer and on weekends late May to early Oct. (Special events are scheduled thruout the year.)
  • Foodie Tour- Maine Foodie Tours offers a culinary walking tour, a just desserts walking tour, a Port City beer tour and they have more ideas in the works. Stop in at 10 Moulton St for tix.
  • Guided walking tour of the Old Port or Portland's Golden Age homes. (July-early Oct)
  • Hop the mail boat for a 3 hour cruise around Casco Bay. (year round)
  • Go lobstering with Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises (Memorial Day-Columbus Day)- book the lobstering package with us as part of your vacation.
  • Bike along the Eastern Prom and the Back Cove.
  • Climb the Portland Observatory for 360 degree views of Portland.
  • Get back in the car and head over to Maine Indoor Karting for some go-cart fun.
  • Head back to Portland for dinner and a Wicked Walking Tour in the dark. (Wed-Sat 8 PM)
Casco Bay seals
Seals and cormorants in Casco Bay
And that list doesn't even begin to touch on the museums around Portland:
  • Portland Museum of Art
  • Children's Museum of Maine
  • Victoria Mansion
  • Longfellow House
  • Maine Historical Society
  • Portland Harbor Museum
Or the music and art galleries.

Or the lighthouses! You could spend the day just visiting all the lighthouses, by land and by sea.
  • Portland Head Light
  • Bug Light
  • Spring Point Ledge Light
  • Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights)
  • Ram Island Light and Halfway Rock Light (by boat only for close views)

Raw Faith
A view to the harbor
You just never know what you'll come across wandering around in Portland...this statue of George Cleeve backed by what appears to be his original ship, but which is actually Raw Faith, a replica of a seventeenth century English galleon. (Update: Raw Faith sunk of the coast of Nantucket Island.)

Take a walk in Portland, there's a lot to be discovered!

Other posts about Portland:

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

Becky's Diner Portland, Maine

Part of our Maine vacation included a day in Portland wandering around in the Old Port, poking our noses in here and there to see what the shops had to offer and trying out different places for lunch. The trip really started on Tuesday when we were on our way back home from leaving the Riv at the garage station. We decided to stop and get lunch at Becky's Diner.

Becky's is right on the Hobson's Wharf on Commercial Street. Last time we were there they were in the middle of an extensive reno which is now complete. My 'taste test' for a diner is the BLT on white toast. It's a tough recipe to mess up but you'd be surprised how often I've been disappointed. Not this time- Becky's nailed the BLT. Perfectly toasted bread, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes and just enough bacon for every bite. Yum!

Becky's is the kind of place you can go to no matter who you are. Everyone was in there from blue-haired grannies to Cole Haan-wearing professionals to guys just off the boats to college kids on break to tourists. You name it, they were represented. It's that kind of place. Everyone is comfortable in a diner.

While we sat there it was like old home week with people from Augusta greeting long-lost friends in Portland, college kids getting together with friends and business people meeting up for lunch.

Once inside, Becky's is very reminiscent of a ferry boat. If you've ever taken the ferry between Burlington and Plattsburgh (or the Casco Bay Ferry) you'll know just what I mean. Other than it wasn't moving, it was just like being on one of those dinner cruises around Lake Champlain or Casco Bay (without the diesel fumes!). In case you didn't enjoy your ferry ride and you're wondering why I'm making this comparison, I actually LIKE the ferry so this felt very homey to me!

After eating, we decided to come back to Portland the next day to explore.

All around, Becky's is a quick place to drop in for a great lunch. (Headed toward the bridge on Commercial St, Becky's is just before you go under the bridge, on the left.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tool Time Tour

View Tool Time Tour in a larger map

If you've been to Freeport, you know there's a lot of shopping going on here. You may also know that your spouse or SO is not necessarily interested in spending a day shopping for frilly, girly stuff. You also know that the longer spouse or SO is amused, the longer you get to shop. (OK, I totally tried to make that gender-neutral but it's impossible. Face it, a lot of guys glaze over when a day of shopping for frilly, girly things is mentioned. Alright, got that out of the way.)

So, now that I've got you thinking how you can keep spouse busy while you shop, look no further, I've put together the 'Tool Time Tour' just for hubs. (Again, making huge assumptions that hubs is interested in tools, but hey, give it a shot!)

The Tool Time Tour will take about 6 hours (longer if he's really into tools). It may cost you as we're going to hit some really high end tool emporiums, as well as ridiculously cheap tool places (good tools, just inexpensively priced). But, look at it as a cheap price to pay to have hubs happy while you're happy, too.

Liberty Tool CompanyOne small corner of the three storey Liberty Tool Company building. Just multiply by 100 to try to get an idea what this place is like!

So, without further ado, the Tool Time Tour:

Starting here at White Cedar Inn, turn right on Route 1 just in front of the house. The following are the highlights of the Tour, the map above will show the route!

  • Shelter Institute/Woodbutcher Tools - Woolwich. Check here for the Shelter blog telling about one day, free classes. (Approx 20 miles north on Rt 1, on right)
  • Liberty Tools- Liberty. Check here for Liberty Tool website. (Approx 22 miles from intersection of Rts 1 & 220 in Waldoboro, turn is 5 miles south of Lie-Nielsen.)
  • Lie-Nielsen Toolworks- Waldoboro. Check here for the Lie-Nielsen website for hours and more info. (Approx 30 miles north of Shelter Institute, on Rt 1, on right.)
  • Davistown Museum- Liberty. The entire downtown of Liberty is one big mecca for tools, tool museums, antiques, t-shirts, art galleries and more. The town itself is worth a 2-hour stop just to look at tools! (Across the street from Liberty Tool Co.)
  • Morse's Sauerkraut- Waldoboro. Holy cow! If your guy can't find something to eat in here well I just don't know. This is guy heaven- pickles, sausage, sauerkraut, bacon, and more. (On the way to Liberty.)
  • Moody's Diner- Waldoboro. Say no more! (Intersection of Rts 1 & 220.)
  • Borealis Bread- Waldoboro. Some of the best bread in Maine + sandwiches. (Intersection of Rts 1 & 220.)
  • Montsweag Roadhouse- Montsweag. A roadhouse-style restaurant that is family-friendly during the day and a is a hopping roadhouse with music at night.
  • Back home again, check out John Libby Houses and Barns (just around the corner)- Freeport. More info at the John Libby blog.

Morse's Sauerkraut

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Maine Vacation

Earlier this week, Tuesday to be exact, we headed out happily singing the 'we're on vacation' song with me doing the 'we're on vacation' dance. (Ask to see that sometime, it's good for a laugh.)

It was pouring rain, but that was ok- we were on vacation! Well, the fun and frivolity lasted until around Biddeford, where the car died. There was a bit a of sputtering so we beat a hasty retreat off the interstate and pulled over into a 'No Parking' zone to see what was up. What was up was that, after a good, solid 15 year (!) run, the Riv bit the dust. Hard.

So, after getting a tow to the garage station and a loaner car from them, we headed home to get a rental car to continue the vacation. A little bit later, we were back on the road headed for the garage station to attend the wake for the Riv. End of vacation.

At this point, we'd already gotten it into our heads that 'we were on vacation!' so, instead of just rehanging the 'vacancy' sign, we decided to be on vacation in Maine.

Tune in tomorrow for where we went and what we did.

(BTW- when you see Rock commiserate with him about the Riv, he's bummed. 12 years with the same car will do that to you.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spamalot comes to MSMT!

As a long ago fan of Monty Python's Flying Circus, I was thrilled to see that Spamalot is on the line up this summer at the Maine State Music Theatre at the Pickard Theatre on the campus of Bowdoin College! The quest is on- I'm going to make sure we get to this one if no others!

Here's the full schedule, but go to the MSMT website for times, prices and to buy your tickets. We're just a quick drive to the college, so pick you favorite show(s) and then call to make your room reservations! Or book your room online.

Always...Patsy Cline: June 9-26
My Fair Lady: June 30-July17
Chicago: July 21- August 7
Spamalot: August 11- August 28

And it will definitely help if, on the morning after I see this musical, you can all join in for a chorus of 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!' Even if the only words you know are the 'ta-dum, ta-dum' part!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ogunquit's Marginal Way, Maine

Marginal Way
Road trip today down to Crate & Barrel in Kittery and then off to Stonewall Kitchens for lunch! I had the chicken salad wrap and Rock had the Italian Panini special. Yum!

Of course, if we're all the way down there, I have to stop in Ogunquit to either walk on the beach or the Marginal Way. Today we drove down to Perkins Cove and walked from there back into town via the Marginal Way.

Wow! What a lot of work has been done there since the last time I walked the path! It's wonderful. It's obvious the town and the Marginal Way supporters have a real love for that area. I really like how almost all of the benches now have a nice 'landing pad' of stone they are sitting on. It's truly beautiful!

When you're headed up this way, or headed back home, be sure to take a detour to walk along this beautiful trail along the coast. (Not suggested July-September. The traffic is wicked bad.) For a similar walk, albeit shorter, you can try the trail for the Giants Stairs on Bailey Island.

We squeaked in under the wire as no dogs are allowed starting April 1. For good reason, too, the trail is just too narrow for people with dogs on leashes to be manoeuvering. For the same reason, it's not the best walk for baby strollers, either. Today there were all sorts of walkers out there...locals, tourists, kids, seniors, the gamut. And, as we find most everywhere, there was a friendly 'hi' from everyone.

It's a walk I love to take. My mother likes it, too. Which is why I, rotten kid that I am, called her from one of the benches and told her I was at her favorite place in Maine. 'The Marginal Way??? You're not!!!' Yup, Mom, I was. I'll send her the link to this so she can see the pix. Rotten, rotten child.

Ogunquit Beach

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Snakes on a Plain!

It never ceases to amaze me what turns up in the news. And what turns up in some people's backyard!

See the story here.

Or, view the slide show here.

(Links may be removed by the particular news outlet that posted them.)

Spring Tablecloths

The latest installment in 'what does Monica do with her spare time?' We know Rock works on his car, but what does Monica do? (Besides blog that is.)

This past week I finished up the new Spring tablecloths. Later on I'll be working on some pillow shams. As Calvin and Hobbes used to say, 'The days are just packed!' Hope you're doing something fun with your spare time, too!

Rock has a new recipe he tried out this weekend- Irish eggs. It's a yummy riff on scrambled eggs, but made with lots of butter and heavy cream.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Winslow Park, Freeport, Maine

Winslow Park beach.
Keeping up with the beautiful weather here this week, I decided to chuck doing anything indoors (I'll wait for the rain) and Bre and I took another walk. We've been to Winslow Park before, but not with the camera. I was ready this time!

We parked just inside the entry gate (no charge at this time of year!) and meandered off toward the beach. (No dogs allowed on the beach at any time, so we just looked from the boat launch.) This is a small, town beach perfect for just relaxing or letting the kids play.

There is a playground in the center of the park with climbing and swinging apparatus (no dogs here, either). The 'No Dogs' policy seems a bit strict until you think about it from the perspective of the kids- why should they have to watch where they're playing when dogs have the whole rest of the park to play in!

Bre and I wandered off down the 'driveway' where you can take your car to the camping area. There are plenty of ramps and ladders along the path to make your way down to the rocks below. These are perfect spots for kids to explore the tidal areas.

Winslow Park tidal pools.
Pretty quickly we came to the end of the park grounds on the Bay side. (Small signs indicate where the park ends and private property begins.) We were headed back around the camping area loop when I saw several walkers coming down a dirt road. Looking over, I saw another small sign indicating there were trails in that direction, so off we went.

If you do bring a dog, the park is a 'pooper scooper' area, so bring along your own bags or pick some up at the 'pooper scooper' station near the parking lot. Very kindly, residents had placed a trash can outside their barn for collection of the 'doggie treasures.' (If they find this blog, 'Thank you!') At this time of year (March) the park is a 'carry in, carry out' with no regular trash collection.

In season (May-Oct) dogs must be leashed. (Or, if you prefer, people with dogs must be leashed!) It was a bit overwhelmingly doggie when we were there and too many people weren't paying close enough attention to their random dogs, who were just being dogs. Please doggie people, your dog should not approach a strange dog without you making sure it's ok. You wouldn't let your kid run up to a strange dog, please don't let your dog do that, either. (In case you're wondering why I'm on the soapbox, Bre got bitten and I wasn't the least happy with that because the other people only 'noticed' what was going on when Bre defended herself. Then we got 'the look.' And the 'Hmmpf,' as they dragged their dog away.)

Anyhoo...on with the walk. We went the whole length of this seeming 'driveway' and came out to the end of the point. Wow! How I ever missed this before, I don't know! It was stunning. Other than the stretch where we walked on the roadway, all of the trails have benches set fairly close together so you can stop and rest, have your lunch or just stare off at nothing for awhile. (Note below what 'nothing' looks like!) It was really quite quiet and peaceful.

Winslow Park Casco Bay view
The photo above is the end of the point. If you look across to the right, that's Wolfe's Neck on the other side of the Harraseeket River. To the left is the Freeport Town Dock (between the 2 trees on the left). It'll take you about 20 minutes to drive from one park to the other. Longer if you stop at the Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster to get a bite to eat!

The whole loop, with stopping to admire the view, take some pix and do some exploring in the tidal pools took about 2 hours. Bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. If you have a kayak or canoe, better still. You can paddle around for hours! In the late spring and summer, those little islands in the bay are covered with seals and the osprey are winging their way around the whole area.

If you don't know how to kayak, take a Walk On Adventure class at LL Bean. You can also rent kayaks at Rings in South Freeport. They'll help you get the kayaks put in.

We're thinking this spring-like weather isn't going to really last, but until winter comes back, I'll leave you with this final picture. Imagine yourself relaxing here, looking out across the river to the bay, listening to the sounds of the water lapping on the rocks, the cry of the sea ducks just offshore and then pick up the phone and give us a call!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Casco Castle, South Freeport, Maine

Casco Castle
Yesterday I drove to the end of Wolfe Neck Rd just to see where it went. Where it goes is to the Stone House, a conference center belonging to USM (University of Southern Maine). While I was turning around, I looked across the inlet and there was the Casco Castle. I'm not exactly sure if I'd ever seen it before, but now that I had, I was on the lookout for the best vantage points from which to see it from land. The best vantage point would be from a kayak!

The castle is located on private property now, but there are great places around the bay from which to catch a glimpse of it. While looking for some more information I came across this fantastic blog that has hundreds of old postcards and photos of the castle, the grounds, the buffalo, downtown Freeport and much more. Definitely give this blog a look if you're interested in Freeport and South Freeport as they used to be!

Another spot for more information about this amusement park from the heyday of the trolley car and train vacation is the Freeport Hisorical Society's page about the castle.

If you're not ready to hit the water to see the castle tower, I found another great spot at the end of Staples Point Rd in Winslow Park. From the very end of the park (follow the road that runs along the left side of the house that is in the middle of the park) you can see across to the Stone House and back to the Town Dock. Continuing the sweep to the left, you'll see the castle tower across the Harraseeket River. (You can see the top of the tower just to the left of center, rising above the tree line.)

Across the Harraseeket
This is a walk worth taking just for the scenery and serenity. At the very end of the point, there are benches to sit on and contemplate the bay. Today there were a lot of waterfowl around every corner. I also saw one downy woodpecker and 2 heron-like birds that I couldn't get close enough to id. Not to mention, but I will, the crows!

BTW, we have a small collection of 4 postcards in the Casco Bay Room. One postcard in the collection is of the Casco Castle and another one shows a view from the tower.

Winter photo of the castle with the new telephoto lens.

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

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Freeport Maine Chamber of Commerce

The Freeport Chamber is moving right along in garnering new members. We had the Coffee Connections here this morning and 2 new businesses signed up during the meet and greet.

Above is a sampling of what was on the menu today. (Also see the chia head post.)

Not being able to commit to early morning meetings (the guests like the breakfast part of their stay too much for me go off!) I probably won't make it to the other Coffee Connections meetings which are every 2 weeks on Thursday morning from 8-10 AM at a variety of locations. Somewhere along the way, tho, I did sign up to work the greeting table at the Chamber After Hours events.

If you live in Freeport (Maine) or the surrounding towns, check out the Freeport Chamber website for more info on where the meetings are and come out and get acquainted.

Chia Head Fruit Platter

Who knew you could make a 'chia head' fruit platter?! I'm not one to brag (OK, yes I am) but this was the cutest thing ever. Rock, ya gotta love him, goes along with my hair-brained ideas and sometimes they really work out well. I put the fruit on the skewers last night and asked him to stick them into the half cantaloupe this morning. When I went into the kitchen he said, 'Ta da! Chia head!' and it certainly was.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Motorcycling in Maine

Antique motorcycles at Owl's Head.
Seeing these motorcycles at the Owl's Head Transportation Museum made me think of Spring. Not to mention seeing 2 motorcyclists out last week just before it snowed here. It's getting to be that time of year again, when the bikes are washed and polished and made road-ready again in anticipation of Maine's not-too-short motorcycle season. After all, there is that guy I see on I 95 every winter who doesn't seem to be deterred by anything but ice.

The state of Maine publishes a neat Motorcycle rides map. It includes a map of the state with scenic routes marked out and different events taking place along the routes throughout the bike riding season. There are lists of historic sites, museums, lodging, dining and more. Unlike a typical road map, this one has photos of cyclists at different venues along the way, motorcycle safety tips, the phone number for weather conditions (5-1-1, in case you were reading this along the road), and the locations of many hospitals along the way (and the hope you don't need any of them!) You can pick up a map at most tourist info centers in Maine.

We're at the confluence of 3 of the routes:

  • Portland to Sanford (228 miles)
  • Brunswick to Rockland (219 miles)
  • Kittery to Falmouth (70 miles)
Any one, or all, of those routes could easily start or end in Freeport. Hope to see you soon! (In case you're wondering, we did have a motorcycle when we got here 6 years ago. For the 'rest of the story' click here.)