Monthly Archives: August 2010

When in Main…

Do like the Mainers or is it Maine-ites? Not really sure, so what do you call them??

We had our yearly trip out to Maine this week and it was just lovely. We drove up on Sunday and got in well after dark, wow has it really been a year since we had made that trek?

Source: Google Maps
Source: Google Maps


We stay at the home of Jared’s parents, Margaret and Dad H. One of my favorite parts of the trip is getting to spend time with them. The scenery is also fantastic, their pier has such great photo opps.


We also like to bring veggies from the garden, unfortunately our harvest to date has been sparse so we also brought up what came in our CSA box.

Our Garden

Our trip down on Sunday was fairly uneventful – though we did have a coyote sighting on the Garden State Parkway which was pretty neat. The poor thing was very scraggly and wet, I would have never guessed it was a coyote.

We stopped for dinner at Don Amigos which happens to be in one of our favorite New England cities, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Portsmouth is sickeningly quaint and proved even more so when we stumbled upon the Strawberry Banke Museum. We absolutely loved it.

It’s a compound of old historic homes that have been preserved, they even have the street and lane names. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera so the photos I took were with my phone.

The houses looked like they were in decent condition, one had very nice lattice work on the windows. They also had some really nice gardens too, not sure how historically accurate they were, definitely a wonderful addition.

On Monday since it was a rainy day we took it slowly, lunch was a bean salad that I made in a pinch. We got out at about 3pm and headed to the Harrison Meeting House where Dad H is a docent.

It’s always great to see the historical items that have been preserved. A walk through the cemetery provided us with some insight of the longevity of these hardy New Englanders. We surmised that if you made it past your 20s you had a very good chance of living well into your 80s and 90s. I would venture to guess that about 30% of the people buried in the old section lived well past 70.

After our visit to the meeting house we went to the local Farmer’s Market in Damariscotta. The best part was that the farmer’s market was in the parking lot of the Rising Tide Community Market, the local co-op, so I was able to load up on my normal staples of organic greens, berries and some coconut milk. OK I lied, the best part was seeing  a real vintage MINI! 


And parking right next to it!


On Tuesday we took a ride out to Boothbay on the next peninsula.

The sites were those typical of Maine.

We checked out the used book store in Boothbay Harbor and Jared made a b-line to his favorite apple turnover bakery on the Eastern Seaboard, Baker’s Way – they also serve Vietnamese food – go figure… Eventually we made our way to hike the short Oven’s Mouth trail that is part of the Boothbay Region Land Trust 

The trail we were on was super easy, nice for a short scenic walk.

The trail itself had views of the salt marshes. This is a photo of the dam that can only be seen during low tide.

The evening was topped off with a lovely Indian dinner that Margaret made – must get those recipes!!


Since it was a rainy day we stayed in and watched Doctor Who episodes on our Roku  box. We brought it from home and set it up quite easily.

Then we watched my favorite Indian hottie – Ranbir Kapoor in Bachna ae Haseeno (Lucky Boy) – yippee! The songs were nice and one I particularly liked was Khuda Jaane, the Bhangra beats were pretty good too. Great movie for a rainy day

After that we watched Pyaar Impossible – Love Impossible. That was your typical beauty and the geek movie. It was very cute and a nice finish to our day.


On Thursday we took a ride to Belfast, it’s about 30 – 40 min north of Camden. Belfast is a small town on the water. 

It’s main street is lined with little shops, galleries and eateries. 

We stopped off at the Three Tides Brew Pub for a beer sampler and snacks.

After Belfast we stopped off in Camden for a little while.

Back in Pemaquid we were able to wrangle up one more fun Indian movie – Dostana, with my new favorite Indian hottie John Abraham

On Friday we went for a local hike with Dad H at the Laverna Preserve, it is maintained by the Pemaquid Watershed Association. It was a very nice walk with lovely and interesting sights

 and of course the requisite view of the Maine coast

Afterward we went to the Salt Bay Cafe for a lovely dinner. 


Well, it was time to go, I got a few pictures from the pier at Heron Cove

And finally one of the two of us that we both liked

A trip to Maine is never complete without a trip to the outlets at Freeport or at least the DeLorme map store to see the world’s largest globe!

We got back to Jersey at about 2am, yikes! So a few to-dos for next year’s trip…

  • A trip to Bar Harbor
  • Boothbay Botanical Gardens
  • The Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve
  • A ride into Wiscasset
  • A boat ride into Monhegan

Recipe of the week: Carrot Cake

We had a BBQ last weekend and I made a Carrot Cake for Jared’s birthday. This is a great recipe that was super easy to vegan-ise. It had great feedback and something to add to the list of keepers. Now if only I can find a great vegan tofu cream-cheese frosting…

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown cane sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax* – used as egg replacer
6 tablespoons warm water* – used as egg replacer
1/2 ripe banana – used as egg replacer
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups finely grated carrots
2 cups finely diced pineapple, drained
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds**
1/4 cup walnuts**
3 dates**
1/4 cup golden raisins

* mix flax and water together with a fork or small whisk until it has a raw egg white consistency
** finely chop nuts, seeds & dates

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit, use an oven thermometer to make sure it’s the right temp – I had to set my oven to 370 to get it to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, mix sugar and egg replacers until creamy (works best with an electric mixer) –

add vanilla, then add oil.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together and add carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dates and raisins. I used the mixer to get it all mixed in nicely.

Grease pan if necessary. Smooth batter into pan.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to let the cake adequately cool before frosting.

I made it in a flat sheet so we easily had about 20 servings.


Recipe of the Week – Spicy Black Bean Burgers

These black bean burgers were very yummy. I served them on a sprouted grain bun with mashed avocado sprinkled with course black pepper and lime juice, tomatoes and radicchio from the garden.


Goya Black Beans, 1 can half drained
Onion, 1 small finely chopped
Hot Chili Peppers, 1 pepper finely chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves finely chopped
Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten, .5 cup
Bread Crumbs Panko, .5 cup
Water, .25 cup
Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
Organic Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tbsp
Cumin – ground, 1 tbsp
Chili powder, 1 tsp
Salt, .5 tsp

Drain and rinse half the can of black beans. Put all of the beans in a large bowl and set aside.

Chop the onion, garlic and pepper. Mash the beans and add all of the remaining ingredients. Mix together until the mixture is sticky and burgers can be formed.

Refrigerate for 30 min. Freeze any extra burgers.

Cook in a pan with oil about 8 min per side.

Number of Servings: 6

Lessons Learned

This summer has been a difficult one for the garden. With temperatures in and above the 90s for most of July we are lucky that we did not lose more. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the month of June had the highest recorded ocean and land temps on the planet (or at least since 1880 when they began recording this information).

We lost most of our squashes and cukes, we also lost our peas. The spinach also went very quickly to flower. I think that next year we will plant more peas instead of spinach. I’ve never liked peas but the ones fresh from the garden are very nice.

It was also the first summer I started most seeds from indoors in the early spring. This did not work out as well as I had planned. Of the many many tomato seeds that I sowed only 1 survived and is in the garden. it’s a small plant not sure if we will see any tomatoes before the frost in the fall. Of the many many peppers I sowed only a few have made it to the garden.

Our transplanted beans did OK but the best and most thriving one was from a seed planted at the same time that the seedlings were put in.

Next year I think I will plant directly into the garden and use soda bottles and anything I can get my hands on to keep the frost off of the seedlings.

Everything we planted from seed directly into the garden did much better than the seedlings, the basil, eggplants, greens, peas… unfortunately this meant that a lot of the seeds went in a bit late in the season (mid May) and we may not see the plants bear their maximum yield.

I also want to have pots of veggies over the winter in the spare room. If the eggplants don’t bloom until the fall then I will have to bring them in.

And of course I can’t resist sharing a photo of one of my very favorites – sunflowers!