Pancakes, pie, crepes, waffles and even beer, Maine sure capitalizes on its blueberries. And with good reason--they know how to use them. It never would have occurred to me to put blueberries in beer, but it seems to work. The flavoring is pretty good and I'm not really a fan on fruity beers. However, when it was served, I could have done without the actual blueberries hanging out on the bottom of my glass. After one of these beers, I was ready to move on to something a little more...traditional. But the next morning, I did have some blueberry pancakes which were wonderful:) I do recommend having the beer--just to try it:)
Lobster rolls are all over the New England coast but Maine is most noted for them. In its best form, the sandwich consists of prime lobster meat and mayonaise on a toasted sesame bun. The cheaper ones use celery for filler. Hey, this is not tuna, it is lobster so no filler please. This was a great one served up at Mariner's in Camden.
Lobster pounds are a Maine Institution where people can go and eat lobster in a casual setting. You buy them by weight and the live beauties are then boiled in sea water in big vats outside, fired by wood. It is quite a scene to behold and almost as good as the lobster itself. I did say almost as the meat is as sweet and succulent as you will ever find.
Every Monday night when you are on Cliff Island, Maine. They have a get together at the Association Hall which is over the Post Office and behind the Tennis Court.
Lots of fun, usually a performing act comes and entertains us. They can be well known, and surprising to be here on this little island.
Sometimes a dance, singers, or musicians, sometimes a comedian, or a lecture, but no matter what it is always great to get out for the night, and see the other islanders (not only at a ferry time).
Maine has lots of blueberries. We found many in the woods, and also found this cute little place on US-1 , on the way north to the Canadian border , about an hour from Calais.
They had THE best blueberrie pie I have ever had! They also had muffins, coffee, souvenirs , preserves, anything you could possibly do with blueberries.
You can find picnic areas along many roads in Maine. Look on your official Maine State road map to find scenic picnic areas indicated by little picnic tables . Many have a place to barbeque, running water or pumpable water, and toilets , but bring your own hand wipes and often toilet paper.
It seemed to me that almost everyone must have their own boat in Maine. Especially during our ferry trip in Casco Bay we saw probably more than a hundred of such quite fancy boats. Our friends explained that there are a couple of luxury resorts on those islands - like Diamond Cove. And the boats probably belong to the guests. Quite a sight, though.
It must be fantastic to have such a boat and sail or drive off the coast through the bays, landing here and there, wherever you please. I found out that sailing cruises are offered (of course). Here's a website: www.sailmaine.org
Have a look at picture 1 for the official Maine car license plate. Nice, isn't it? Especially the lobster ... and vacationland? Yup, right. But what happened to the car license plate on picture 2? Hmm, you wouldn't believe it, but on some islands - like Long Island in Casco Bay, where our friends' other daughter owns a house - the cars don't need a license plate. No insurance, no taxes for cars. And don't ask about the technical condition of the cars ... LOL But we managed. Drove the few hundred meters to the beach and it didn't matter that the power assisted steering didn't work. I cannot exactly recall if the brakes worked properly but the speed never exceeded twice the walking speed ... an unforgettable experience.
We found this rather not very good looking "snack" for lack of better word in just about every convenience store in Maine, and only in Maine. Had to try one at least once! We got a "Wicked Whoopie Peanutbutter Pie" at a small store in Sea Harbor on Mount Desert Island. It was pretty good actually, but I think I prefer blueberrie pie.....
Long ago, before traps were used, lobsters were fished from the shallow waters by spearing or gaffing. Fishermen hunted for lobsters by torch light on calm evenings, spearing them as they crawled around in search of food. During the day they would spread a slick of oil over the surface of the water darkening the water below, and then throw out cod heads for bait. The lobsters would swarm around the bait and the fishermen would spear them.
Because the lobsters were worth more if there were no spear marks in them, the fishermen began using wire cages to trap the animals so they could get a better price. These wire cages were adapted from the Europeans who used them to catch crayfish and Spiny lobsters.
It was in the late 19th century that the fishermen would row out in dories or in sailboats and set their traps. Two men normally manned a boat and fished about 200 traps. They would set out before dawn and come back to the wharf anytime between 10 and noon.
Most lobster traps today are made of metal or a combination of wood and metal and are manufactured in a factory. The original wooden lath trap is said to have originated in Cape Cod in 1810. The traditional wooden lath lobster trap that is still quite common today consists of two main sections, the kitchen and the parlor. A lobster first enters the trap through funnel shaped structures called doors (also called funnels). After successfully entering through one of these doors the lobster enters the kitchen where the bait is tied. When a lobster tries to escape from the kitchen it is led through another door into the parlor. Small vents in the parlor allow undersize lobsters to escape, but larger lobsters are stuck there to await their fate. The “doors” are shaped in such a way that it is easy for the lobsters to get in but difficult for them to get out.
In Portland, Maine in summer Deering Oaks at Park Avenue and Forest Avenue has boats to ride around the pond, tennis, amphitheater for performances. In winter, there is skating on the pond. It has recently been cleaned up and renovated.
Yes, you read well. Do not sleep in a bar in Maine. It is forbidden. How I could know it? Well, it was my second day in the US and was still hit by the jet lag. Just after eating in a resturant I felt asleep despite of the live music but I was not lying....simply sitting on my chair with closed eyes. The first time the waiter saw me with closed eyes, he clapped his hands in order to wake me. I though it was a joke. The second time, he did it again, telling my husband: she was sleeping! The third time I asked him what was the problem so he explained me it is forbidden by Maine's law to sleep in a bar. Could some king VT from Maine explain me the ratio of this rule? To avoid that homeless have refuge everywhere? Could I say that such application was a bit exagerated? I was not alone, my husband were awake and listening to live music, I did not disturb anybody, we paied the bill with a regular tip....what's wrong?
"From Away" is a term used by locals to describe
anyone who is not from Maine. Even if you live in Maine and have done so for years, you are still From Away.
This quote from The Tidewater Motel website sums it up perfectly:
"There are only two places, Here and Away. Away is a big place but, make no mistake about it, Here is Here and Away is the other place. Billions more people live Away than Here, although increasingly, during the summer, it seems otherwise."
On May 10, 2005 Moxie became the official soft drink of the State of Maine.
Moxie was the first mass produced soft drink. Created in 1884 in Lowell, Massachusetts by Dr. Augustin Thompson, Moxie was marketed under the product name Moxie Nerve Food and originally sold as a "cure all" medicine. Later , it was sold in carbonated form and merchandised as an invigorating drink, which claimed to endow the drinker with "spunk."
Moxie is now found mostly in New England and is very popular in Maine.
I don't mind fast drivers on the road with me except in two circumstances:
--- when it is pouring or snowing and the rooster-tail they leave in their wake as they pass me obstructs my view
--- when they are going 5 miles faster than me and right on my back bumper (can't even see their headlights)
Maine drivers manage to do both of these annoyances.
So when you drive through Maine especially on the interstates, expect both of the above situations to occur to you too.
you have been warned!
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