Tag Archives: New England

Honoring Family Traditions and Holidays – Scalloped (aka Au Gratin) Potatoes

Once we built the house our immediate family had a tradition of coming up to Maine for Easter and Thanksgiving holidays. As you’ve no doubt discerned, we love to eat foods from many cultures and our festivities weren’t always accompanied by the “turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas” type offerings. In fact we typically would serve lobster and steak for Thanksgiving in Maine. But no matter how we digressed from the all American offerings, I think my family would have boycotted the meals if I didn’t have scalloped potatoes on the menu. Continue reading

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A Mystery, Wicked Good Blueberry Coffee Cake, and a B&B

My favorite book genre are whodunits and I love to cook. Can there be anything better than combining the two? Karen MacInerney writes the Grey Whale Inn series set on Cranberry Island. The protagonist trades in Texas (where Ms MacInerney lives) for a Bed and Breakfast Inn on the Maine coast. It’s a fun read and the recipes are delicious. Wicked Good Blueberry Coffee Cake is my favorite and is found in the book that earned her the Agatha Christie Award – “Murder on the Rocks”. I don’t know if they serve blueberry coffee cake but can attest that no inn has a better view than our own Inn on Ferry Landing. Continue reading

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Birds of Deer Isle and Their Symbolism

What is it about birds that so catch our fancy and delight our imagination? We live on a remote and relatively unpopulated area of Maine’s second largest island. The open space provides a number of wildlife habitats and is perfect for bird watching. We find sightings when we least expect them. If Bob is fortunate, he is able to quickly grab his ever present camera and snap some shots before the bird is out of range. My experience is more passive, watching the birds and feeling my soul soar through the skies with them. Continue reading

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Daily Observations from Paradise

Most of the Northeast is hit with a storm and Deer Isle is no exception. It has been raining all day and Bob tells me that we have several crappy weather days ahead. It has been a perfect day to go through some pieces I’ve written in the past and I found one to post about a day in the Autumn right after a storm. It’s a reminder to me to stop and enjoy the simple things. Continue reading

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The Recession is the Mother of Reinvention

For the next four years after we built our welcoming home in the Sunshine area of Deer Isle, we rented it out to summer vacationers and to a couple for approximately a year. We visited every opportunity we could. It was well worth the long 10 hour drive from New Jersey as we crossed the humpbacked bridge and felt the stress and nervous tension of our everyday lives melt away. Here we breathed deeper, slept better, awakened early with enthusiasm. This became the place we daydreamed about, the one that sustained us. Continue reading

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Cioppino for Two

A Christmas tradition started in New Jersey was to have a huge pot of Cioppino on Christmas eve. Cioppino is a fish and shell-fish stew in a tomato broth. It is said to come from the Italian fishermen in San Francisco. I would serve it before we started in on the other dishes and there would always be a huge pot leftover that we would dip into throughout the next week. Continue reading

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Finishing the House in 2005 (We got by with help from family and friends)

Between October 2004 and June 2005 Brian Burgess and his team worked quickly to finish our house. The myriad of decisions that had to be made prior to completion of the exterior paled compared to the daily discussions we had during those following 8 months. Bob and I were delighted to find that we would not need the marriage counseling that Brian had jokingly said he would not provide. We not only agreed on everything but we were able to include important improvements suggested by our sons and friends.
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Winter Haddock-Corn Chowder

Is there anything more comforting during the winter than a bowl of delicious soup? One of my favorite New England soups is a simple haddock chowder. Continue reading

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Cure for Winter Doldrums – The First Journey to Deer Isle

The winter blues had not quite set in but I was feeling impatient and wanted to visit some of the places we had identified as possibilities. We made an impetuous decision to give ourselves a Christmas present – to take a week of a “just us two” vacation time and travel up to Deer Isle in January 2003. Continue reading

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Synchronicity and Serendipity Lead us to Deer Isle

Encouraged by quotes such as “if you can dream it, you can accomplish it” and “what would you do if you didn’t fear failure”, we decided to start exploring a future of living on the coast. Ok we had the vision but where should we concentrate on manifesting it? How does one determine where to relocate or retire to? The answer is as individual as the person or couple. Having determined our “must have” list, we had to fit it into our plans something mundane but necessary – “what was practical”. Continue reading

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