Cooking Class - All About Crepes

Recently when the managers at the Pumpkin Patch Resort asked Randy to do a cooking class, he put on a class about crepes. 
At the start of the class he made some whole wheat crepes, so everyone could try something different from the more common white flour crepes. One of the guys in the back of the class leaned over to his neighbor and whispered "aren't we going to get anything on these crepes?" Boy, was he in for a surprise! Randy next demonstrated creating Breakfast Crepes filled with sausage and eggs and topped with hollandaise sauce, followed by (my favorite) crepes with Nutella and bananas. Next were crepes filled with fresh berries and topped with whipped cream, then savory crepes with smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. To finish Randy made Crepes Suzette in a luscious flaming sauce. The class went very well and they have asked him to do another class in July. As his helper, of course, I get to try everything, so I can't wait to help with that one!

Two years ago: Bakersfield
Four years ago: Bad Grocery Store in Alaska

A Whoopie Pie Festival

Here's something you don't find in a lot of places - a Whoopie Pie Festival. Whoopie Pies are very popular in Maine. Maine already had a State Dessert (blueberry pie), so the state legislaters designated Whoppie Pies as the State Treat. I like a state that knows the importance of sweets! You can buy Whoopie Pies almost everywhere that baked goods are sold, and they are pretty much always made on the premises.
The 5th Annual Whoopie Pie Festival is held in Dover-Foxcroft, where $5 gets you entrance into the tasting area and 5 tasting tokens. Pick the type of Whoopie Pie you want to sample and exchange a token for a piece. My knowledge of Whoopie Pies was confined to chocolate with white frosting filling, but here there are many types, including peanut butter. My favorite was the Molasses with Maple Syrup filling. 
Outside of the tasting area is a normal street fair. Well, pretty normal. The mascot is a Whoopie Pie, which is not normal, no matter how you look at it.
There are a few other differences in this fair. Along with the usual fair treats there are deep fried Whoopie Pies. And a troop of dancers were clogging to what sounded like Cajun Zydeco music, in front of the town Fire Station. And one booth was selling rifles and offering rifles as a raffle prize. The only other time I've seen rifles at a fair was in Casey County Apple Festival, in Kentucky.
The Piscataquis river divides the towns of Dover and Foxcroft, and the spillway is impressive. I love how the water surface is perfectly smooth and still, before the churning fall to the lower section of the river.

Bean Pot Bean Dinner

After the beans sat in the pit for 24 hours, the next step is to shovel the coals off the top of the pots.
Once the pots are uncovered, they have to be lifted out of the pit. Since they are very hot and very heavy, the best way to move them is with a hook and a pole.
They served the beans with cole slaw, rolls and hot dogs and Randy's Texas cake. The beans didn't photograph well, but they were very tasty!
The hot dogs they served are called "red snappers" because of their red-colored natural casings. Back in the midwest, bright pink hot dogs are cheap junk, so we weren't sure about eating these. But in Maine these are the hot dog of choice so we decided to trust our fellow RVers and give them a try. We discovered that these are an entirely different dog than the cheap ones of our past - these are good!

Life in Maine

Shorty still likes to take a running leap on top of Missy, and naturally, as a cat, Missy doesn't appreciate it. But sometimes they forget to aggravate each other.
Our weather is still questionable. Compared to the midwest, Maine has a short growing season and this year summer is late getting here. But a lot of the native flowers are out, like the beautiful Lupine that grows wild almost everywhere. In Nova Scotia I only saw the purple variety, but here we've found several colors.
In the resort one of the guys built a fire in a pit out back this afternoon. He kept it going several hours until it was full of hot coals.
Then he put in a couple of cast iron pots full of yellow-eye beans and covered them with more coals. Tomorrow there will be baked beans, old-style.

As for me, I am continuing my apparent goal of suicide one piece at a time. This time I shut the front door on my finger. My middle finger on the other hand still hurts every morning, from when I used it to break my fall last year. I don't know if I will lose the nail from this year's goof - I guess time will tell.

Local Critters

We haven't seen any bear or moose yet but we are finding some smaller local critters. This beautiful moth was hanging around outside the office. I learned his annteae are called "bipectinate", but I just call them really pretty.
And out by the flowers today I found a snapping turtle. Love his little dragon-like tail!
I couldn't get over how fat his front legs look.
Three years ago: How not to eat lobster
Two years ago: Beautiful California

Another day....

8:30 am at our campsite. Looks like we won't see sunshine today, either.

The weather

We are back to overcast, wet days. The weather used to be something to joke about but it's gone beyond that. This is depressing.

New England Church Bean Supper

We discovered that bean suppers are standard church fund-raisers here. The meals are hearty and the price is easy - usually around $10. The one we went to May 30th served three kinds of beans - small pea beans, spicy beans (more BBQ than spicy) and my favorite, yellow eye beans. Never had these before, but they are good!
We've been to a couple of different ones now and the although beans are a common factor, the side dishes vary from location to location. The church we went to on Friday has been having bean suppers for years, and the side dishes are now standard. They include "Julia Child's" coleslaw, spinach salad, broccoli salad, orange salad, red potato & egg salad, mac and cheese, and something called American Chop Suey. That dish looked a lot like goulash to us. We thought that was someone's personal recipe but everyone at our table said it was a common dish, and were amazed we never heard of it.

Three years ago: Hiking around Nova Scotia

Finally, some good lobster!

Still looking for a great deal on fresh lobster. The price has droped to about $8 a pound here, and in towns near the ocean it's less.  Stonington, about 70 miles away, has a Lobster Co-op where several fishermen bring their catch in daily to be sold. Now the price is just under $6 a pound, so last week we made a road trip there. This was a combination trip - a chance to enjoy a sunny day (it's sunnier by the coast than inland), see some of the area, and come home with live lobster. 

I am still surprised by how rural Maine is. If you are not on I-95, you are on a two-lane road which goes right through the center of small towns, plus mile after mile of forest. It's good to see small-town businesses making a go of it. In big cities the massive chain stores have taken over, but in Maine the small businesses still have a chance. 

When we got to Stonington we went to The Fisherman's Friend for lunch. The fried sampler platter was OK but the BLT with crab was better. And they serve clam strips differently here - it's called whole belly because they leave the innards on. I am not sure I'm going to get used to that...
Stonington is an attractive fishing village and they do a lively tourist business. The really picturesque part of the town is along the waterfront, where low tide reveals the building supports of rock or piers. A surprising number of buildings in Maine are completely sided in wood shake shingles. That was a fad in the Midwest a long time ago but high insurance premiums put an end to it there. In Maine the fashion is still going strong. And Mansard roofs, too, are found everywhere. 
The harbor, and much of the town, is built on huge granite rocks. Big, solid rocks that cannot be moved. Where ever these rocks are, building has to be done around them.

When we were ready to head back we went to the co-op to get the lobsters. They load them up right on the dock. There is an open hole behind Randy, where they throw back what's not wanted. I thought it looked like an accident waiting to happen, but maybe everyone here is less clumsy than me. If I had been here long, I know I would have stepped into that hole.

We brought home 12 lobsters and split them up between us and two other couples in the resort. These guys were not happy to be in the sink,
but they didn't have to put up with it for long!