Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017 Lunch - Morse’s Sauerkraut. Dinner – Salad, Corn on the Cobb, and Kittery Oysters

August 31, 2017 Lunch - Morse’s Sauerkraut. Dinner – Salad, Corn on the Cobb, and Kittery Oysters

I had yogurt and blueberries for breakfast.  At 10:00 I was given a tour of the facility that Rick works at across the street by Tom Rodman, the owner.  The facility is a converted luxury cottage with 65,000 sq. feet of buildings and beautiful views of the Atlantic.

When I returned to Cissie’s we drove to Morse’s Sauerkraut for lunch.  Morse’s is amazing.  A European store in the middle of the Maine woods.  We bought Leyden cheese, rabbit pate, Finn Crisp, cracked olives, and Spanish almonds for the airplane trip tomorrow.

Then we were seated in the small dining room. Morse’s has an all German menu.  I ordered a Rueben with corned beef to try the Sauerkraut.  Suzette ordered the bratwurst with Sauerkraut, Cissie ordered a bratwurst with mac and cheese, and Ryan ordered a Reuben with seitan.  I had never heard of seitan.  Here is a definition.

A definition of seitan: Although it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. Also called “wheat meat”, "wheat protein", “wheat gluten” or simply “gluten”, seitan becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute


Seitan is also high in protein, making it a popular protein source for vegetarians and vegans. Asian restaurants often use seitan as a vegetarian mock meat, and seitan is also the base for several commercially available products such as Tofurky deli slices and other vegetarian meat substitutes.

Morse’s also makes it own pickles.  One is fresher cucumber with a salty flavor and the other is a dill pickle that is slightly vinegary.  We ate lots of them.

Cissie did not care for her bratwurst, so was able to try it and it was delicious also.  I was served ½ of a Reuben sandwich that was enormous.  I can not imagine eating a whole sandwich.

Morse’s restaurant does not have a liquor license so serves no beer.  After we left Suzette drove us out to Bailey Island and we went into Ccok’s and had a beer and talked to a lobsterman.

We then drove to Saco, where we stopped at the Hannaford supermarket to shop for dinner.  We bought a spring salad mix with arugula, two ears of fresh corn, a shallot, two tomatoes, a cucumber, and 12 Kittery oysters for $1.25 each.

We went on the Cynthia’s house and I prepared a salad with basil, red onion, cucumber, tomato and the salad blend.  Suzette wrapped the corn in Saran and cooked it in the microwave.  We made a mignonette sauce by finely mincing the shallot, adding lemon juice and white balsamic vinegar and a minced sprig of dill.

Then I opened the dozen oysters.  The Kittery oysters were buttery and briny.  They were cocktail sized, but the mignonette sauce in moderation deflected some of the saltiness.  When too much was used the vinegary shallot flavor was overwhelming.

We chilled and drank the Cotes de Provence Rose’ that Cissie gave us named Aurore.

I am hoping I will sleep through the night if I eat lightly like last night.

Bon Appetit

August 30, 2017 Breakfast – Trailhead Coffee shop. Lunch – Pickled Winkle. Dinner – Francine’s Camden, Maine

August 30, 2017 Breakfast – Trailhead Coffee shop. Lunch – Pickled Winkle. Dinner – Francine’s Camden, Maine

We checked out and drove to downtown Bar Harbor and parked next t Cottage Street and walked a block to the Trailhead Coffee Shop.  We had bought a cup of coffee there three days ago and had noticed that they make a mean bowl of oatmeal with fresh Maine blueberries cooked into the oatmeal.  Today we ordered a bowl each with a locally made dark rich tasting maple syrup.  We poured maple syrup and half and half on the oatmeal and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast until 9:30, when we walked the two blocks to the wharf to take the lobster boat excursion on the LuLu Lobster Boat.  There were about 18 hardy souls who showed up for the 10:00 excursion.  The Tour guide was a young lady who was obviously a local and knew everything about lobstering and explained everything about it during the two hour tour.

The boat went out of the harbor and around an island on which a lighthouse was located where we saw harbor seals and grey seals and a full grown and immature bald eagle.  We then motored back toward the breakwater seawall where the LuLu’s traps are kept.  Three traps were pulled using a hook on a long stick to get the rope holding the trap onto a winch that pulled the trap up to the boat, where the captain, removed the lobsters, re-baited the trap with salted mackerel, and reset the trap on the bottom.  Four or five lobsters were caught and released after showing everyone on the boat the difference between male and female and soft-shell and hardshell lobsters.  We loved the informative

When we returned to the dock we returned to our car and drove up the coast to Gouldsboro to the Bartlett Winery and Distillery.  We discovered Bartlett Distillery last night as I perused the after dinner drink list at Havana Restaurant.  I saw a spirit I had never seen before, Apple Eau d’ Vie.  I asked for a taste and was brought a thimble of Bartlett’s Apple Eau D’ Vie. So today we decided to drive to the Distillery.  When we arrived we were surprised to find that Bartlett was Maine’s first winery and that it had won a slew of awards for its fruit wines and spirits.  We were met by a charming, intelligent lady in the tasting room, who I assume shares the owner/winemaker duties with her husband.  She very expertly led us through a tasting of seven of the drier wines and the three Spirits we wanted to taste.  We bought a lightly oaked blueberry wine, two bottles of apple Eau d’ Vie and a bottle of rum (made by distilling molasses).

It was after 2:00 by the time we finished tasting at Bartlett’s and I had a telephonic conference call I had to make into a hearing in the Lower Rio Grande water adjudication at 3:00 so we asked where to get a good lunch nearby and were directed to the Pickled Winkle at 9 E Schoodic Dr, Birch Harbor, ME 04613, which is essentially a crossroad in a small rural town in the Maine woods next to a small bay.

We ordered three baskets, one of each being deep fried battered haddock bites, steamed clams, and calamari with homemade potato chips.  The haddock and clams were served with tartar sauce and the calamari with aioli.  I drank a pint of apple cider and Suzette drank a red ale selected from the extensive list of on-tap beers listed on a chalkboard.

We sat on the porch and ate while I listened to the hearing.

Suzette then drove the van for two hours south on US 1 to Camden while I made notes and participated in the hearing.

When the hearing ended we were less than ten minutes north of Camden, so we drove to Cissie and Rick’s house.  After arriving, I watched Mad Money and rested and then we took naps until 7:15 when we dressed and went to dinner at Francine’s.  I was not expecting much since on our way to the restaurant, Ryan told us that the building used to be his neighborhood bicycle shop, but when we walked in my eye immediately came to rest on the James Beard nomination certificate as nominee in 2015 and semi-finalist as best in the Northeast in 2016 plus a membership in Chaines de Rotisseries.  The confrerie describes itself as follows: The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™ is the oldest and largest food and wine society in the world. Our society is vintage, but our events are cutting edge! The chapter in the United States is now in its 56th year with about 6,000 gourmands, gourmets, gastronomes, chefs, restaurateurs, hoteliers, oenologists, winery owners, sommeliers, food and wine educators, and others interested in the finest of dining and life experiences and enjoying the
camaraderie of friends at dinners and events. The tradition of the royal guild of goose roasters of 1248 was revived in Paris in 1950, and we now carry on those traditions.

So Chef Brian Hill is a yeoman chef, well recognized for his accumulated skills.  Here is his history, in his words:

“Brian Hill is the owner and chef of the acclaimed Francine Bistro, a bustling culinary hot spot hidden away above the harbor in the small coastal village of Camden, ME. Chef Brian purchased the restaurant in September 2003, and expanded the dining room in 2007 from 25 seats to 44. The bistro features an innovative daily menu consisting of appetizers, salads, and entrees, created almost entirely from local organic, meat, fish, vegetables and cheeses. The breads, desserts, and even the ice cream are all made from scratch.

Brian credits his appreciation for the organic farming industry to his upbringing on his family’s organic Maine vegetable and goat dairy farm. His first professional cooking job, as a bread baker, was with Todd English at the original Olives restaurant in Charlestown, Massachusetts, before moving to the main kitchen for additional training. Brian worked the brick ovens and stoves at Chef English’s ground breaking pizzeria, Figs. In 1994, he moved to Los Angeles and cooked Euro-Californian cuisine at Rockenwagner in Santa Monica. From there, Hill was offered a sous chef position at the Mauna Lani hotel in Hawaii under former Rockenwagner chef, Trey Foshee. After a two and a half year stay in Hawaii, Hill took a position at Susan Spicer’s legendary Bayona in New Orleans. Soon after, Brian felt a longing for New England and eventually returned to Boston. He took a position as chef at two of Todd English’s restaurants. While in Boston, Hill also assisted chef Rene Michelena in opening Centro, a tiny rustic trattoria in Cambridge which drew rave reviews. He cooked barbeque at the Linwood Grill, was chef de cuisine at the elegant French bistro, Aquitane, and pulled a three month stint in Manhattan “indie kitchen” Patio Dining.”

Suzette and I coordinated our ordering.  She ordered a grill Atlantic Halibut in a basil sauce and a lemon thyme Tonic, so I ordered corn chowder with fresh golden chanterelles and six raw Pemaquid oysters and a glass of Gruner Vitliner.

Rick ordered BBQ Pork Ribs, Cissie ordered fried calamari, and Ryan ordered the steak frites; pan roasted hanger steak, with garlicky horseradish potatoes and a cabrales cheese sauce.

My corn chowder was very interesting.  Although there were kernels of corn, much of the corn was creamed and mixed with cream fraiche.  There may have been a little essence of mushroom added giving the soup a woodsy hint.  The fresh chanterelles were cut in strips and were exquisitely fresh.  There was also a small pinch of greenery that I did not catch mixed into the mushroom garnish.  Suzette’s Yarmouth Halibut was interesting also, charred and laid on a green basil  cream sauce and garnished with fresh crab meat.  It had a decidedly different texture than the West Coast Halibut.  This east coast halibut was mushy without any discernible flake, whereas the west coast is a great steak fish with a hugely discernible flake. The basil cream did not have much flavor, rather an odd dish

I enjoyed my oysters perhaps because the dish was creative.  Each oyster was garnished with a dollop of smoked trout mixed with cream cheese.  An interesting combination after so much cocktail and mignonette sauce.

The meal was just okay from my perspective.  I hope to return on a night when the menu includes more exciting dishes.

Having said that the food was light may be the point.  I slept like a baby without waking once until 5:30 in the morning as it became light.

We went home and talked until 10:30.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 29, 2017 Breakfast – Log Cabin Restaurant. Lunch – Atlantic Brewing Company, Dinner – Havana Restaurant, Bar Harbor

August 29, 2017 Breakfast – Log Cabin Restaurant. Lunch – Atlantic Brewing Company,  Dinner – Havana Restaurant, Bar Harbor

We got and got going a little before 9:00.  We walked the ¼ mile to the Log Cabin Restaurant, a real log Cabin that seats hundreds.  Remember one of the main businesses historically in this area is logging.  We both ordered Corned Beef Hash with poached eggs and whole wheat toast.

After breakfast we fetched our bikes and rode them next door to the Bar Harbor Campground and took the shuttle to the Acadia National Park and then a shuttle to the top of the Loop Road on Cadillac Mountain.  When we disembarked from the bus the bus driver said, “ It is downhill from here.”  And it was.  We rode back down the hill in the direction we had come until we intercepted a carriage Road that led us to the route we wanted to take at Duck Brook Road and circled Witch Hole Pond and Breakneck Pond and ended our route at Eagle Lake, which took about 1 ½ hours of moderate biking.

We then took the bike shuttle back to the Village Green and returned our bikes at 11:30.  When we got clear of the bikes Suzette said, “I would like a beer.”

I looked next door at 15 Knox Rd. and saw it was the Atlantic Brewing Company.  We walked the 20 feet to the brewery.  We ordered beers and I ordered a salad with Avocado, cranberries, goat cheese, mixed greens, red onion slivers, and a horseradish Dijon dressing that was so thick it did not flow.  I went downstairs and requested a container of olive oil, which the waitress brought to us as we sat on the roof patio, enjoying the fresh sunny weather.  I added olive oil to the salad and it made the dressing slightly less viscous.

After we finished our salad we walked to the harbor and then on a path that circled the downtown until we came to Grant St.   As we walked up Grant St. we saw an antique store that Suzette wanted to look in.  Soon she came out and got me out of my chair to look at a pin made with the same type of links that are in the hollow silver bracelet from Taxco I bought her several years ago.

We then walked back to the Village Green and took the shuttle back to our motel.  I napped and we both took showered and then drove to the Mount Desert Island Winery.  We bought a tasting and soon discovered that the winery grows none their own fruit.  It buys grape juice in bulk and makes wine from it by fermenting it.  It also has a tendency to over ferment its wines, probably because it buys cheap juice.  The Apple cider sold t the winery was better, made by others   We finally found one item made byte Winery, pickled Fiddlehead Ferns and bought two bottles for 7.95 each.

                                          Sand Beach. Acadia National Park
                                          Suzette at Havana Restaurant, Bar Harbor, Maine

We continued driving around the middle of Mount Desert Island, through East Harbor, to Seal Harbor where Martha Stewart has a home, and took the Acadia Park Loop Road to Sand Beach, and finally, to Bar Harbor, arriving at the Havana Restaurant at 5:30.  There were few customers so we were immediately seated at a table near a window.  Soon our waiter brought us an amuse Bouche.
Wikipedia defines t as follows: “An amuse-bouche (/əˌm(j)uːzˈbuːʃ/, French pronunciation: [aˌmyzˈbuʃ])[1] or amuse-gueule (/əˌm(j)uːzˈɡəːl/, French pronunciation: [aˌmyzˈɡœl]) is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre.[2] Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons but are served gratis and according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of cuisine.”

The amuse Bouche was a cube of avocado on a small wooden spoon accompanied by a pistachio cream and dusted with a sprinkle of black Himalayan salt.

We each ordered appetizers.  Suzette ordered the Spring Rolls, which are fresh oysters and oyster mushrooms rolled in phyllo dough and deep fried, cut in half and served vertically on a small puddle of aioli surrounded by a soy Miso sauce.  The spring rolls were wonderful, especially dipped in the two sauces.  I ordered mussels steamed in a Court bullion of parsley, small slices of Fresno chili, water, and wine.  The mussels were plumb and juicy and raised locally in Frenchman’s Cove on MDI.

We decided to stay with the seafood theme, so we could share a bottle of white wine Suzette ordered the scallops and I ordered the Arctic Char.  The owner/sommelier helped us pick a bottle of Sancerre for $39.00 that was delicious, very dry with good tannins.

When the entrees came we were again impressed.  The scallops were large and bright white on a bed of four or five different types of cherry tomatoes and cornbread croutons drizzled with a chili infused oil.  Suzette and I thought the chili oil overheated the dish and that the scallops were not a successful dish. My entrée was better, a wedge of charcoal grilled char on a bed of mixed quinoas with locally grown yellow squash slices steamed and tossed in butter with streaks of a red bell pepper sauce decorating the plate, simple and delicious

Things really got interesting when we reached dessert.  We both agreed that we wished to split the flourless dark chocolate torte and order a cognac.  I decided on a Courvoisier VSOP, but saw two interesting entries for Bartlett Winery and Distillery’ Apple Eau d’ Vie and Pear Esau d’ Vie.  The Apple was sensational, not too dry and not too sweet, so we ordered a glass of it.  I also ordered a cup of decaffeinated coffee with milk.

We enjoyed the dessert course the most of all the courses.  The chocolate torte was rich and super dense, like the way my chocolate Baked Pudding recipe turns out if I do not add whipped extra egg whites.

It was a really successful meal, perhaps the best of the trip at a restaurant.

Bon Appetit

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 Brunch – Jennie’s Maine Breakfast. Lunch – Jordan Pond Restaurant. Dinner – 26 oysters and 3 coconut macaroons

August 28, 2017 Brunch – Jennie’s Maine Breakfast.  Lunch – Jordan Pond Restaurant. Dinner –  26 oysters and 3 coconut macaroons

We woke up and at 9:28 we ode the shuttle downtown.  We walked toward the bike shops make a reservation at Jennie’s Maine Breakfast and then went to Acadia Bike to sign our rental agreement.

We then returned to Jennie’s and ate breakfast.  They did not have the corned beef hash we wanted so we ordered a simple breakfast of two eggs, a slice of sausage patty, and oatmeal toast and tomato slices while Suzette got cottage fries.

We then picked up our bikes and shuttled from the Village Green to the Eagle Lake stop in Acadia National Park and then biked along carriage roads about ten miles around Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond to the the Jordan Pond Restaurant.  Riding the hills of Acadia on a strange bike was more difficult than I had imagined if would be.  Hope it is easier tomorrow.

                                                  Eagle Lake
                              The head of a snapping turtle sticking out of water at Eagle Lake

We waited about twenty-five minutes for an outside table.  We were seated at a table near Jordan Pond around 2:30.  When we looked at the menu everything cost more than $10.00, even tea and a popover.  We decided to order Scallops coated with crushed pumpkin and sautéed and  garnished with a squirt of  a blueberry beurre Blanc.  There were five scallops surrounding a pile of red quinoa with a steamed leaf of kale topped with a sprinkle of leek coleslaw.
The coated scallops were delicious rich, creamy beautifully complemented perfectly by the blueberry beurre Blanc .  The freshness of the quinoa and kale was refreshing.  We ordered glasses of Sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley in France.

Sitting in the first row of tables nearest the lake was lovely.  We enjoyed the unobstructed view.  After lunch we took the bus back to the Village Green and got a new bike because mine had a flat tire near Jordan Pond Restaurant.

                                               Jordon Pond from our table at the restaurant
                                          Jordon Pond from our table at the restaurant

When we returned to Bar Harbor we rode to the Peekytoe Provisions store at 244 Main St. where we bought an oyster shucking knife and 26 oysters, 10 Glidden Point, 8 MTI’s and 8 of another kind.  The oysters were $2.00 except for the Glidden Point oysters, which were $2.25 each.  They were all cocktail sized with good conformation.  The store was kind to pack the oysters in ice and give us a container of cocktail sauce and a container of mignonette sauce.  We rode back to the Village Green and took a shuttle bus back to our motel.

We got a towel to shuck them on and opened a bottle of Muscadet we brought in Arundel.  Muscadet is the perfect wine for oysters.  We enjoyed the mignonette sauce with its puréed shallot and especially enjoyed the cocktail sauce flavored with smoke roasted tomatoes and chipotle chili.

I shucked the oysters and we drank Muscadet and ate oysters for our dinner.

We saved about $20.00 on the oysters by buying the and shucking them and were able to drink a bottle of the perfect oyster wine in the bargain.

We watched the Antique Roadshow, and then went to bed.

Bon Appetit

August 27, 2017 Lunch at Bangor American Folk Festival. Dinner – Sweet Pea’s Café

August 27, 2017 Lunch at Bangor American Folk Festival.  Dinner – Sweet Pea’s Café.

We talked to Cissie until after 10:30 while she fed us yogurt with Wild Maine blueberries, tea and coffee, and blueberry muffins and then drove for about an hour to Bangor, Maine, which is located on the Penobscot River river and was a logging town.  Camden, where Cissie and Rick live, is located as the mouth of Penobscot Bay, which is the second largest bay on the east coast after The Chesapeake Bay.  Both towns were important in the timber trade historically.  As we drove into town we drove past the giant Paul Bunyan statute.

The folk festival was located on a waterfront park that stretched for miles along the river.  It reminded me of what Bilbao did, when it remodeled it ancient commercial waterfront into walking paths and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

The festival comprised four stages about ¼ mile apart with musical sets of about an hour with 15 minute intermissions to set up and adjust the sound for the next group. The music ranged across the entire spectrum of American music from Inuit throat singers, to Texas Western swing, to urban hip hop, to L.A. Mexican music like the Los Lobos, to C.J. Chenier’s Louisiana Zydeco/Cajun/pop, to Breton Canadian folk music.

It was 1:30 so we looked for food and soon found a lobster roll truck and a blooming onion stand.  Suzette got a lobster with lettuce and I bought a deep fried onion cut into vertical strips to the base, battered and fried so the strips lay out like the pedals of a flower served on a plate with Ranch Dressing.  After we ate the salad and onion we decided to go to the Dance Pavillon where beer was being served.  We listened to several good bands including a wonderful pianist and oud player and C.J. Chenier, who is Clifton Chenier’s son.  Suzette checked the app on her phone that told us we had walked over 6,000 steps or 2.7 miles, so we had a workout, especially including the dancing to Chenier.

                         C.J.  Chenier playing accordion with his band at Bangor Folk Festival

We left at 6:00 and drove to Bar Harbor, arriving at 7:30.  After checking in at the the Acadia Pines Motel, we drove back to the Sweet Pea’s Café, which had been recommended on the Maine Oyster Tour brochure.  

Sweet Pea’s had a small but sufficient list of entrees and appetizers.  We selected an appetizer of six oysters for $18.00.  Then we ordered dinner.  Suzette ordered a pork belly with an apple and cabbage slaw.  I ordered a grilled salmon served on triangles of sautéed creamy polenta topped with sun dried tomatoes and a pile of steamed vegetables that were then sautéed in butter and olive oil. Sweet Pea’s is Farm to Table restaurant, so all the ingredients are as fresh and local as possible.  There was an eggplant dish and grilled kale on the menu that we did not order because we were satisfied with our orders.

We tried two wines and decided to buy a bottle a very clean metallic tasting Sauvignon Blanc from France’s Loire Valley.

Here is a picture of the wine.

The oysters were very clean tasting and the liquid in the shells was very salty.  I felt like I was giving myself a mild salt water cleansing therapy.

The oysters were served with a mignonette made with red wine vinegar made by the Bar Harbor Winery, which is on the same property as Sweet Pea’s Café.  It was the most delicious red wine vinegar I have tasted in America.

My salmon was over cooked a little, no red, actually whitish pink, like what we used to get at a cafeteria, but still tender and flaky.  The polenta and vegetables were both excellent.  I thought I tasted a slice of Maitake Mushroom, which made me very happy. The polenta was firm wedges that stood up to a slice by a fork but had a slightly crumbly creamy interior, very nice.

Suzette’s pork belly was and appetizer portion about 3 oz., but as tender as any I have ever tasted.  It also crumbled at the touch of a fork and the warm sautéed cabbage and apple slaw was exactly the kind of accompaniment we would have made, so was perfect.

We only drank 2/3 of the wine,. We felt proud of the dining to indulge in a dessert.  I chose chocolate mousse and a Suzette chose Coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate.  Both were excellent, but we saved three of the four macaroons for our bike trip tomorrow.

The bill was surprisingly reasonable, $103.00 before tax and tip.  Honest food at an honest price.

After dinner we drove to Hadley Beach and looked at the Milky Way in the clear dark night sky with only a ¼ sliver of moon, as Anthony at the Acadia Pines Motel had suggested.  It looks like there is an effort to reduce the ambient light on Mount Desert Island or the thick woods simple envelope all light near ground level.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 26, 2017 Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with Lobster. Lunch – Oysters in Newcastle. Dinner – The Waterfront Restaurant

August 26, 2017  Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with Lobster. Lunch – Oysters in Newcastle.  Dinner – The Waterfront Restaurant

I awakened early and blogged.  When suzette awakened she helped me send pictures from our phones to our I Pad and insert them into the blog.

We packed and then made scrambled eggs with two eggs, about 1 T. of minced shallot, 2 T. of Morbier cheese, a handful of fresh spinach leaves, and the tail meat of a lobster.  Needless to say, it was delicious.

Our lobster, Sinach, and Morbier cheese scramble
We then said goodbye and motored north to Bath where there was a tourist information office at which we inquired about oysters.  The lady directed us to King Eider Pub located at 2 Elm St
Damariscotta, ME  04543 a block from the river of the same name, which produces oysters of exceptional quality, mainly because of the river’s tidal flows that wash the oysters with alternating flows of salt and fresh water twice a day.

We ordered six select Pemaquid oysters and a beer. They were large four inch oysters that filled one’s hand and they had a really clean delicious flavor.

Six select oysters at King Eider's Pub

A nice four inch "Select" Pemaquid oyster at King Eider's Pub

We inquired about other oyster places and the lady who ran the oyster bar, “There is a place across the river run by a young man, you might try.”  So we drove across the river to Newcastle and found the River Bottom Raw Bar on Main Street, renovated gas station with outdoor seating at picnic tables.  There is also a distribution business that sells the wide variety of oysters to local restaurants.

                                       Our selection of oysters at River Bottom Raw Bar

The map of oyster aquaculture facilities in the Damariscotta River

     The River Bottom Raw Bar in Newcastle, Maine

We tried 4 each of six different oysters from different areas of the Damariscotta River, including: Glidden Point,, Norumbega, Pemaquid, John’s River, Otter Cove, and Weskeag.

Here is a review of the unusual Weskeags
Oct 28, 2010

A nice addition to the Maine oyster scene, Weskeags hail from the Weskeag River in South Thomaston. Grown in staked bags to protect them from the striped bass that fill the river (and can eat oysters up to two inches in size, shell and all), Weskeags have that ultra-briny Maine flavor profile, with a little something unusual behind the salt–a savory miso soup kind of taste, all kelp and smoky dashi. The ones I had in October were a tad thin–not unusual for a Maine oyster in fall–but should be
plumping up nicely from now through January.

We ordered glasses of Muscadet to go with the oysters.  The oysters were $72.00, so about $3.00 an oyster and these oysters were much smaller than the select Pemaquids we had had at King Eider’s Pub, which were selects with huge four inch shells.  The River Bottom oysters were all cocktail or petite.

For a guide to grades and size designations go to

So after our short lesson in Maine oysters we learned several things.  it turned out that the best and best priced oysters (6 for $17.00) were served at the best, most established restaurant, King Eider’s Pub.

The second thing we realized was stated by Suzette, “If we want lots of oysters we need to buy them
in bulk and shuck them ourselves.”

We then drove to Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery in Union. Maine  where we tasted wines made with blueberries and cranberries and fortified wines made with the wines.  But the reason we returned to Sweetgrass was its Back River Gin, which is
ranked among the 50 best in the world, flavored with juniper berries and 5 other local botanicals.
Suzette became enamored with lovely sheep skins made from sheep raised at Sweetgrass’ property, so we bought two bottles of gin and a sheep skin.

Suzette wants to make throw pillows for our remodeled bedroom with the Blue dyed cotton from Mali we bought at the Las Vegas market on one side and lamb’s wool on the other side.  Voila.

It was 3:00 and we wanted to get to Cissie and Rick’s, so we drove the last 40 miles to their house in Camden.  Ryan and Cissie were waiting for us.  We drank a lovely 2016 Cotes de Provence Domaine
de la Fouquette Cuvée de Rose d’ Aurore  rose’ made with 65% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 5% Rolle grapes.  It was lusciously fruity with a hint of the warmth of southern France in the fruit; the best rose’ I have tasted this year.
I was tired so I took an hour nap.
When I awoke Cissie had organized a picnic bag with two cheeses, two cheese spreads, plus a container of fig and olive tapenade. We put the rest of the Rose’ and a bottle of Gruet Sauvage Rose’ we brought from Albuquerque and drove to the city pier where the main marina is located to the landing where the Olad was moored for a sailing excursion.  Cissie told us that the Olad was rented by Walter Cronkite and sailed in the Caribbean years ago.  It is a Fully restored 1927 wooden Yacht that carries 22.  We boarded at 5:30 and I poured the champagne and Cissie plated two plates of food and three types of crackers and we began to nibble and drink and talk to the captain.

The sailing lasted two hours.  There was not much wind today and we barely exceeded 2 knots of speed, but we definitely enjoyed the easy motion on the big boat gliding through the water.  The only wildlife we saw was a seal that popped it head up out of the water.

Ryan and us on the Olad

 Sunset from the Olad

When we returned at 8:00, it was getting dark.  We walked up the Main Street to the Waterfront Restaurant and were shown to a table by the bay.

We had eaten so much that we did not feel hungry, so Suzette ordered a bowl of clam chowder and I ordered an appetizer of steamed clams and we split a Cesar salad.  Cissie only had a wine spritzer and Ryan had a hamburger.

We then went home and went to bed.

Rick was away on call, but we will see him when we return on Wednesday.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August 25, 2017 Suzette’s 60th BD. Lunch – Lobster Pound, Wells, Maine Dinner – Lobster Salad on Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunk, Maine

August 25, 2017 Suzette’s 60th BD. Lunch – Lobster Pound, Wells, Maine
Dinner – Lobster Salad on Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunk, Maine

We started out the morning the same as yesterday, with two eggs over easy on Canadian bacon garnished with slices of Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese watching the market take off to the upside.

Then Suzette and I left to do some antiquing. There are many Antique stores along Route 1, so we looked for several hours.  Suzette found a nice galvanized metal silverware and napkin holder for $15.00 that we bought.  At  around lunch she found a set of 9 spaghetti highball glasses and a pitcher for $40.00 that matched the ones Suzette have started to collect at home.  Suzette was hungry, not having eaten anything for breakfast, so we consulted Trip Advisor on the best place for fried clams in Wells and drove out to the coast at Wells Beach to the Lobster Pound across the street from the beach.

We ordered a pint of fried clams for $19.99, an order of coke slaw, and two Samuel Adams’ Summer Ales, which were wheat beers.  We took a seat at a window with a view of the ocean on one side and several large tanks filled with lobsters on the other side inside the restaurant.  The fried clams were really plump and so fresh that only one or two even smelled clammy.  We dipped them in tartare sauce and catsup, which made a nice combination sauce.

  After lunch we drove back on Route 1 to the Hannaford supermarket at Kennebunk, where we bought some greens for salad and a few other provisions for the house.

We the went to the fish market and bought five 1 ½ pound soft shell lobsters that weighted slightly over 8 pounds for about $73.00.

Cynthia was not home when we arrived so we started a pot of water boiling as boiled two of the single lobsters for ten to fifteen minutes each.  Then when Cynthia returned we asked her how she cooked lobster Abe she said, “Just throw them all into a pot of boiling water and boil them for fifteen minutes.”  I suspect that one boils soft shell lobsters for less because the ones we boiled for a little less than fifteen minutes were solidly cooked as well.

Lobster Salad

I  made the beginning of the sauce by finely mincing ½ of a large shallot and placing the minced shallot in a metal bowl and covering the minced shallot with reconstituted lemon juice and l letting it stand for about ½ hour to soften the shallot.  Then after Cynthia and I picked the meat from the five boiled lobsters, I added about an equal amount of mayonnaise (about ¾ cup) and 1 T. of sour cream and stirred the sauce until it became smooth and creamy.  I put the auction into the fridge to chill and thickens bit.  I was not sure of the flavor and let Cynthia and Suzette taste the sauce and they both liked it.  I knew that it lacked some ingredient, but it took a while for me to recall that thee missing ingredient was tarragon and we lacked that.  I then folded enough sauce into the bowl of picked lobster meat to lightly coat the lobster with sauce.  While I watched the market close, Cynthia made the salad with greens, spinach, a diced tomato, and a diced cucumber.  Everything is so fresh and mature in flavor that salads are wonderful at this time of year. Cynthia dressed the salad with her wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper dressing. We packed the lobster salad and green salad in separate containers and used the new galvanized metal container Suzette had found at an antique store for $15.00 with silverware, cloth napkins, a votive candle and small jar to hold it, matches, and a bottle of Gavi Princessa. We also took a bottle of a Gruet Brut and four of the champagne glasses Suzette was given by her mother that had hollow blown stems that allowed bubbles of champagne to bubble up from the bottom of the stem plus four folding chairs and a small children’s’ folding metal table, a vintage tablecloth, and drove to Goose Rocks Beach.

When we arrived we carried our stuff onto the beach and Ricardo set up the table and chairs which put our butts on the beach but protected our clothes from the sand.  The low child’s table was at a perfect height about 1 foot above the sand.  We covered the table with the

We set up the table and chairs on the beach around 6:30.  The tide was going out so there was no problem with waves.  It was still full light and the sun was still casting light on the clouds.  I poured the champagne and Ricardo opened the Gavi Princessa, Cynthia served the green salad and we passed the lobster salad around and each person piled lobster on their green salad and we still had lobster salad left that we had to finish after we ate our salads.  We took some pictures and several persons walking past volunteered to take photos of us lounging around our table. We toasted Suzette’s 60th Birthday and thanked Cynthia and Ricardo for their friendship and hospitality to make it possible that we could celebrate Suzette’s 60th BD with them on this lovely beach in Maine.

After the sun set I lit the candle.  Soon several groups came onto the beach and dug fire pits and built fires.  After dinner we walked on the beach to the nearest fire and visited with Tim and Susan from Saratoga Springs, N.Y.  Tim remodels homes and Susan teaches art and they were with their two sons, the youngest of whom was 19.  After we talked for about an hour and warmed ourselves by their fire we packed up and walked past the other three fires and returned to our car, packed up, and returned to Cynthia’s house in Arundel.

We tried to find “The President’s Analyst” on Netflix but it was not available, so we watched a Trevor Noah stand up performance instead and then went to bed after a pleasant day of doing vacation things.

Bon Appetit

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 24, 2017 Four wonderful meals.

August 24, 2017  Four wonderful meals.

First: The food trip started with a couple of simple fried eggs over easy on a round of Canadian bacon on the back patio eating with Jim, a business friend of Ricardo’s from the film business, who dropped by.

Second: Then Suzette and I took Cynthia’s two grand daughters to the flea Market at the end of the street.  We looked at lots of stuff but the only thing I bought was a plate of fish and chips with two pieces of haddock with straw onions instead of fried potatoes or 12.00.  I shared the dish with Suzette and Emma.

Then we drove home at 12:30 and I took a nap until 2:00  when we drove down the coast to Perkins Cove to visit the Ogunquist Contemporary Art Museum and its current exhibit of John Marin watercolors of Maine. The museum was started but a wealthy painter and patron of the arts named Henry Strater, who was friends with Ernest Hemingway in Paris after the First World War.  The museum is beautifully sited on a high cliff above the ocean that is visible through the upper gallery the minute you enter the museum, like Louisiana in Elsinore, Denmark.

There are four smaller galleries attached to the main gallery, one devoted to Henry Strater’s career, one devoted to the artist's of the Ogunquist school that grew out of the ash can school in NYC around 1915, a large gallery with curated exhibits and a smaller gallery devoted to sculpture.  The exhibition in the curated gallery was about two dozen watercolors painted by John Marin of the Maine coast.  The show in the main gallery was a collection of Will Barnet paintings.  Besides the pensive introspective figures in mostly black, there were a number of exuberant colorful pictures of family scenes, such as young children playing at a table.  After viewing the pictures and talking to a curator then walked the sculpture garden surrounding the museum.

Third: from the Museum we drove back into Perkins Cove at 3:45.  Suzette mentioned  that happy hour began at 4:00 with many restaurants serving $1.00 oysters.  We began looking for happy hour signs and soon found one advertising $1.00 oysters so we stopped and walked to La Orilla (the Edge) Restaurant.  We asked for a table with a view and were escorted to the bar area beside and behind the restaurant that had a view of the small sound formed by the Ogunquist River flowing between the village and a barrier island or peninsula dominated by public beaches about 200 yards from the restaurant.

We ordered two dozen oysters and Suzette ordered a mojito.  I tasted a Rose’ Cava and an Albariño but was impressed as I watched the lady bartender mix Suzette’s mojito because when she stripped several stalks of mint with her hand it liberated an aroma of fresh mint that was intoxicatingly fresh.  She then mulled the mint with slices of limeade simple syrup with a mortar and then added a squirt of lime juice, a shot of rum and topped off the drink with ice and club soda.  I was sold and switched from wine to mojito ($6.00 for happy hour).

When the oysters arrived we were pleasantly surprised again.  Although the oysters were shall they were full of flavor.  We asked and were told that they came from New Brunswick.  What was most interesting to me was that the cocktail sauce was served in a small steel ramekin with lemon wedges and a small mound of flakes of freshly grated horseradish on an oyster shell.  We were further surprised by the warm creamy flavor of the cocktail sauce and were informed that the chef adds Smoked Spanish Paprika to his cocktail sauce.  What a pleasant surprise!  We loved our happy hour in Perkins Cove with a view of the beach and ocean with a table full of delicious fresh oysters.

We then rejoined Maine Route 1 and drove back up the coast toward Arundel, but stopped at a cheese and wine store in Wells where we bought three bottles of wine: a French rose’, a bottle of Mohammed Sauvignon Blanc, and a bottle of French Entre deux Mer plus a wedge of Morbier cheese for $42.00.

We returned around 6:00 and showered and got ready for the arrival of Ezra and Courtney and their other two children.

Four:  when they arrived Cynthia began cooking dinner which included reheating the squash, onion, and corn sautéed vegetables, preparing ahead of time a homemade tartare sauce with bits of fresh cucumber and pickle relish, then dipping  pieces of the fresh haddock we bought yesterday first in a mixture of egg and milk and then  into panko and sautéing them in butter, making a large fresh salad of spinach, romaine lettuce, slivered red onion, and diced cucumber, and a beautiful caprese salad prepared ahead, after the children were fed.  Cynthia is a wonderful cook.  She keeps everything organized in her head and develops the meal step by step so that it is all finished at the same time. For this meal she had prepared the tartare sauce and caprese salad ahead, the fresh salad,  and the squash dish was a PPI, so she only had to prepare the sautéed fish, microwave the squash dish and dress the salad to complete the meal.

We opened another bottle of La Playa Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, which was quite good with a slightly tart citrusy flavor, for dinner I opened and poured the Mohua New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and it blew everyone away, just as it had when Janis and Tom brought it with crab cakes on the July 8 meal.  I was glad to find it, especially since it cost $11.99.

A fun day of food.

Yesterday we bought steamer long neck clams and Cynthia steamed them for dinner along with the squash dish.  We had anticipated cooking the haddock but Dick cooked a chicken and string bean dish for dinner that was overly peppery that I was unable to eat.  They also brought diced sugared peaches and strawberries and shortcakes and whipped cream for a delicious strawberry shortcake dessert and several bottles of wine.

We ate shaved roast beef on wheat thins spread with a cream cheese cucumber and dill spread and slices of sweet Bologna on the plane ride from BWI to Portland.

Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 22, 2017 Lunch - Roots Market. Dinner - Johnny’s Restaurant in Ephrata

August 22, 2017 Lunch - Roots Market. Dinner - Johnny’s Restaurant in Ephrata

We drove to Roots Market this morning at around 9:00.  There are large marketplaces that are opened one or two days a week all over the country side in rural Pennsylvania.

There are five large covered buildings at Roots plus barns an open air flea Market and an adjoining auction house.  It is huge and thousands of people attend.  One group that stands out are the Amish, who both sell and buy goods.  We bought shaved beef, jars of horseradish, and sweet Bologna for the trip tomorrow.  We then went to the food stand we like the best and ordered three fried oyster sandwiches and a bottle of water for $15.00.  You get two large fried oysters on a bun or without the bun, if you are Suzette.  I put catsup and tartare sauce on mine.  

I then walked across the road to the open air flea Market with Suzette.  It was hot and I had to stop often but we made it through all the booths.  Suzette found a three compartment bowl carved by Blair that she bought for $3.00 and a large round marble that we will used for bocce to replace our broken target ball.

We the went to the auction with Jean, but there was nothing of interest there, so we drove back to Jean’s house.  I napped while Suzette and Jean swam in Jean’s pool.

At 3:30 we got dressed and drove to Johnny’s Restaurant.  I was not expecting much and I was really impressed.  Suzette, Jean, and I ordered the surf and turf special of a Maryland crab cake with a 4 oz. filet Mignon plus two sides for $31.00.  I chose asparagus and a baked potato as my sides.  Suzette ordered a Rhode Island crab chowder, which is made with a clear broth and steamed green beans for her other side.  Suzette’s green beans were farm fresh and delicious, but her crab chowder was irretrievably black peppery for me.  My asparagus were the thin tough ones I had seen at Roots Market, but tasted good after they were steamed and sautéed in butter.  Bev ordered Chicken Oscar; a sautéed chicken breast garnished with asparagus, crab meat, and hollandaise sauce.  Don ordered a rack of baby back ribs and Bob and Sara both ordered a crab cake.

I ordered two bottles of Sean Minor Sonoma Valley Four Bears Sauvignon Blanc because everyone liked it.

Everything I ate was wonderful.  The steak was cooked to medium rare, the way I requested, the crab cake was ½ lb. and mostly crab meat.  The potato and asparagus were both totally satisfactory.  I loved dinner and count Johnny’s as one of the best restaurants I have eaten at In Lancaster County.  Good quality food prepared adequately is about as good as it gets in this area.

After dinner we ordered desserts and I was served the largest creme brûlée I have ever seen.  We shared a tiramisu, a chocolate and mousse layer cake dipped in chocolate to create a chocolate outer shell and the chocolate cream brûlée.  Dinner lasted about two hours.  We talked for a bit after dinner in the parking lot and then said goodnight around 7:30.

Jean drove us to the liquor store where we bought a bottle of Appleton Jamaica rum for $20.00.  We took it home and drank a couple of shots each of it.  I thought it was just okay, although Suzette liked it, perhaps because it does not have the harshness of V.S. cognac, which is comparable in price.

We must get up at 4:30 so we turned in early.

Bon Appetit

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017 Lunch – grilled Chicken Supremes, boiled Corn on the cob and salad. Dinner – Glazed Ham Loaf, blanched and buttered fresh Lima beans, mashed potatoes, and Caprese salad

August 21, 2017 Lunch – grilled Chicken Supremes, boiled Corn on the cob and salad.  Dinner – Glazed Ham Loaf, blanched and buttered fresh Lima beans, mashed potatoes, and Caprese salad

We woke up and I ate a cup of Greek style blueberry yogurt, then we drove to Jean’s house by way of Bricklesville, where we visited a complex of gift shops and Antique stores.  We swam at Jean’s house and then I fixed a salad with a Sunflower salad mix plus a diced tomato, plus 1/3 of a cucumber peeled, seeded, and diced, and a handful of romaine lettuce.  The mix included roasted edamame and sunflower seeds, grated cheese, and a vinaigrette dressing that I mixed with blue cheese dressing, and olive oil.

Suzette grilled the chicken supremes and Jean and Suzette husked the corn and Jean boiled it for a quick healthy lunch.  I am feeling like the simple food I am eating is leading me onto a healthier diet.

We finished lunch a little before 2:00 and Jean drove us to the
Ephrata Public Library, where they were giving an eclipse watching program that included a short lecture by a NASA scientist and eclipse ISO lens glasses to view the eclipse.  We watched the eclipse.  The sky darkened just a bit because we only got to 80% totality but seeing the partial eclipse was great.

We then dropped off Jean and picked up Bob at the Masonic Home Day Care unit and drove home.  It has been odd having to wait until 6:00 to 7:00 to see the news that usually begins at 5:00 in Albuquerque.

At 6:45 we ate dinner of glazed ham loaf, which is a Lindemuth family favorite with PPI mashed potatoes, fresh Lima beans, homemade apple sauce, and Suzette and I made a fresh caprese salad.  We drank the PPI apple cider with the meal.  Later as the the President spoke, Suzette and I sipped Salignac VS cognac.

                                         Mashed potatoes and glazed ham loaf

Later I ate a sliver of lemon pound cake.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 20, 2017 Brunch – bean salad and tomato omelet. Hershey Vineyard

August 20, 2017 Brunch – bean salad and tomato omelet. Hershey Vineyard

I watched the Sunday morning news programs and the Suzette made an omelet filled with some of the black bean, Vidalia onion, red bell pepper, and lots of corn she had sautéed in olive oil and after it cooled  added 1 T. of Apple cider vinegar.

Jean arrived a bit after noon and we made three ham sandwiches on 12 grain bread, cut up chunks of sharp cheddar cheese, sliced peaches, filled a container with bean salad, and packed an ice chest with those items plus a bag of sliced Lebanon Bologna.

We drove to Hershey Vineyard for the music on the patio.  Suzette, Mrs. Lindemuth and I walked to the tasting room and tasted six or seven wines.  We agreed that the slightly sweet Pinot Grigio tasted the best, so we bought a chilled bottle and took it back to our table.  I had tasted the honey crisp apple cider when we arrived and it was the best drink I tasted at the Vineyard.  The Vineyard also brewed beer, but I did not try it.

I bought a glass of cider and poured glasses of Pinot Grigio and we ate a lovely light lunch in the shade of the overhang on the patio while we listened to a man and a woman play and sing music.

When we finished the bottle of Pinot Grigio I bought a pitcher of apple cider, but we only drank half of it, so we poured the rest into the empty wine bottle and took it home.

                            From left to right Bod, Jean, asuzette and Sarah Lindemuth and me

We did not fix dinner so I ate the uneaten third sandwich with slice of Bologna and a cup of tea at 9:30.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, August 19, 2017

August 19, 2017 Breakfast – a Reconstructed Egg Sandwich. Lunch – Yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait and Gyros on pita bread sandwich, Dinner – Pork and Sauerkraut with whipped potatoes and home made apple sauce

August 19, 2017 Breakfast – a Reconstructed Egg Sandwich. Lunch – Yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait and Gyros on pita bread sandwich,
Dinner – Pork and Sauerkraut with whipped potatoes and home made apple sauce

We slept in a bit this morning.  I watched Manchester United beat Swansea handily.  Suzette made breakfast.  She made what I call a reconstructed Egg Sandwich.  What she did was make a flat pan of eggs and then lay crisp fried bacon and a slice of cheese and a slice of tomato on it and fold the edge of the egg over to sandwich the ingredients between the two layers of egg.

At 9:40 we left for Mt. Gretna, which is about a half hour car drive from Elizabethtown.  We arrived and were directed on a circuitous drive to arrive at a parking field, from which we were golf carted to the entrance.  The Mt. Gretna Arts Fair is an annual event held on the grounds of the Mt. Gretna Chautauqua camp. There were hundreds of booths this year and more on the outside of the park.  We walked around for about an hour and saw about 2/3 of the booths until I got hungry and tired.  We made our way to the food court and saw lovely large glasses filled with fruit, yogurt, and granola.  I bought one and shared it.  We viewed the rest of the booths and then walked to the arts and crafts area outside the park.  We immediately saw a food truck with crab cake sandwiches and gyros.  I bought one of each.  Suzette ate the crab cake and said it was rather bready.  I took a gyros that was delicious and ate all the pita to keep up my energy level.  After walking the six aisles of crafts area outside the park we headed back to the car.  Suzette told me that we had walked 2.5 miles.

We bought a teaup from an oriental potter named Cho, a picture made by a lady raises her own alpacas  and makes felt from their fur, and interesting coasters made with canvas wrapped in fabric that is then painted and coated with polyurethane.

We left Mt. Gretna around 2:00 and drove to Quentin and had a drink at the Quentin Inn and did some antiquing and the drove back to E town.

After resting we went with Mr. and Mrs. Lindemuth first to the farmers’ market where we bought white corn and then to the supermarket to shop for ingredients for our picnic lunch tomorrow.  We bought Fresh mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes and Vidalia onions for a caprese salad, plus bananas, asparagus, black beans for a bean salad and a head of Romaine lettuce for suzette to use to make ham wraps.

When we returned home around 6:00 Mrs. Lindemuth prepared whipped potatoes to go with the already cooked pork and Sauerkraut and homemade apple sauce and steamed the asparagus.  We opened the bottle of 2016 Carayon Rose’ we brought from N.M. (Trader Joe’s $5.99) and enjoyed a wonderful Pennsylvania Deutsch dinner.

I learned two things from this dinner.  The quality of the Sauerkraut makes a big difference and the addition on apple sauce is essential to balance vinegary saltiness of the pork and sauerkraut.

Mrs. Lindemuth told us that the Sauerkraut we ate this evening was hand made by a person.  Not by a large company.

Bon Appetit

August 18, 2017 Dallas to Elizabethtown, PA. Brunch – Lax, shallot, cream cheese, and Purslane Omelet. Dinner – Dickies BBQ

August 18, 2017 Dallas to Elizabethtown, PA. Brunch – Lax, shallot, cream cheese, and Purslane Omelet.  Dinner – Dickies BBQ

I slept in this morning until 9:00 when Suzette woke me.  We packed and then made an omelet with diced Lax, sautéed shallot, about 2 oz. of cream cheese, and a healthy handful of purslane ( Verde lagos) at around 9:45.  I enjoyed how I felt until our early dinner on the flight to Philadelphia from the cleansing Super food effect of the purslane.

I bought a plate of BBQ (12 oz. of smoked Beef brisket and 6 oz. of smoked kielbasa sausage) plus a small container of baked beans and a medium container of coke slaw at the Dickies’ BBQ stand in Love Field before our plane left at 12:45 with lots of fresh onion and a small pile of jalapeño pickled pickles and a dinner roll.

After we were served beers on the plane, we ate the BBQ at about 2:30.

It was so filling we did not have any appetite for dinner.

When we arrived at the Philadelphia airport we took the train from the airport to the 30th St. station, which is the main Amtrak station in Phillie where we boarded the Keystone Express train to Elizabethtown, which is Suzette’s hometown.

When we arrived we were met by her father and mother at the train station and driven to their house.

When we arrived at her folks’ house I immediately saw a beautiful bowl of peaches and asked if we could slice several up for a light dessert.  Here is a picture of the peaches.

I also drank two cups of Earl Grey tea and watched Rachel Maddow discuss the departure of Steve Brannon as the President’s Chief Strategist, while Suzette talked to her parents and called her sister, Jean, on the phone to discuss the next few day’s plans.

It looks like the globalists are gaining control of the WH from the nationalists, whatever that means.

After I ate several slices of fresh succulent peach, drank tea, and washed my face I began to feel normal again.

Bon Appetit

Friday, August 18, 2017

August 17, 2017 Albuquerque to Dallas Lunch – Eatzi’s Dinner – Grilled Marinated Striped Bass, Hatch Chile Squash Casserole, and blanched string beans tossed with caramelized shallots

August 17, 2017 Albuquerque to Dallas Lunch – Eatzi’s  Dinner – Grilled Marinated Striped Bass, Hatch Chile Squash Casserole, and blanched string beans tossed with caramelized shallots

I ate a bowl full of blueberries (to finish the container) with granola, yogurt and milk.

Then we took a cab to the airport and boarded a 10:45 flight to Dallas.

When we arrived at Dallas Love Field, Billy picked us up and drove us directly to Eatzi’s on Lovers Lane near Inwood where we purchased ½ of a rotisserie chicken and a hand tossed Cesar Salad.

He then drove us to his house, where we ate roasted chicken and salad for our lunch at around 2:00.  We then put the bottle of Gruet Blanc de Blanc 2012 vintage champagne we had brought into the fridge to chill.

We then drove to the Meadows Museum on the SMU campus.  Y Meadows’ collection centers on Spanish art.  It is encyclopedic, with great emphasis on portraiture.  There are many great works of art in the collection including portraits of Charles II and his wife by Velasquez, a room full of Goyas,
an El Greco of Saint Francis praying n the Wilderness, and some great and charming Murillos.  There a few out liers such as a fabulous Giacometti sculpture.

We finished our tour at around 4:30 and dropped Suzette off at the Antique Mall near Billy’s hose and Billy and I returned to his house and each took naps until 6:00.

When I awoke at 6:00 Elaine and Suzette had arrived and Billy had begun marinating three striped
bass filets in lemon juice and olive oil.


Elaine snapped a bag of string beans and caramelized shallots in a skillet.  Then she blanched the string beans in a pot of boiling water, drained the water from the beans,  and tossed the blanched string beans in the caramelized shallots.

Billy removed the bass filets from the marinade and dried them with paper towels.  He then grilled the thick filets for 12 to 15 minutes on their propane grill until the filets were a bit charred on their thinner edges.

The last piece of the dinner was a Hatch chili squash casserole that Billy and a Elaine had made last night with mild Fresh roasted Hatch green chili.  Eatzi’s advertised several Hatch green chili dishes as if the arrival of the New Mexico green chili crop was the second coming.   It is a featured ingredient in the foodie world in Dallas in season, which is now.

Here is the recipe.

Billy got out four Baccarat white wine glasses he had gotten from Mother and we washed and dried them.  Then we chilled the Gruet in the freezer for the last five minutes of cooking time of the bassand the PPI casserole was heated in the microwave and I poured glasses of champagne and we served ourselves buffet style from the counter top between the kitchen and the dining area.

Everything was delicious.  I particularly liked the Hatch squash casserole because Billy’s use of mild chili receded as simply another ingredient in the creamy casserole.  In other words he did not push the chili flavor as is often done in New Mexico.

The striped bass was beautiful; flaky with a hint of lemon from the marinade’s about 1 hour contact.

I loved the green beans also.  They were perfectly blanched; tender but crisp and complemented by the buttery bits of caramelized shallot.

The thing that amazed me was the never ending stream of tiny bubbles floating to the surface of the champagne.  I did a video of a few seconds, but it went on as long as there was champagne in the glass.  The 2012 vintage Gruet Blanc de Blanc seems to conform that lots of tiny bubbles are a part of what makes fine champagne fine.  The other part is that evanescent flavor that tastes almost like an absence of flavor; the most delicate white wine flavor you can imagine.

Therefore, the name Blanc de Blanc;  the whitest of the white.  Laurent is carrying on the Gilbert family skill of making Blanc de Blanc champagne masterfully.

After dinner Elaine cut cubes of the sweetest watermelon I have tasted in years.  It seems we are at the peak of maturity of many food crops.  What a treat it will be to travel through America at this time of the year to sample the different foods at the peak of their flavors.  I can hardly wait until we go to Pennsylvania tomorrow.

As Rachel Maddox says, “Stay tuned to this Station.”

Later I drank a couple of shots of Bauer's Obstler, an Austrian apple and pear Brandy and talked to Billy.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 16, 2017 Lunch –Azuma. Dinner – Sautéed Red Trout and Medley of Shrimp, Squash, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, shallot, onion, and Verde Lagos

August 16, 2017 Lunch –Azuma.  Dinner – Sautéed Red Trout and Medley of Shrimp, Squash, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, shallot, onion, and Verde Lagos

Today was busy, eventful, and fun.

I started by riding to Rio Bravo and back, but forgot to eat before I rode so I became a little over tired which meant my muscles hurt a bit more than usual.  When I returned home I ate a large bowl full of blueberries, yogurt, granola, and milk.

I then transferred most of the $197,000 to pay off my line of credit which made me debt free.

I got a call from Rahim to join him, his mother (Mary) and Dad (Nizar) for lunch at Azuma at 12:30.  We both arrived at the same time and took a booth in the sushi side of the restaurant.  Mary ordered teppan fried rice with filet mignon, Nizar ordered teppan fried rice with shrimp, and Rahim and I ordered Chirashi Donburi with my twelve favorite pieces of raw seafood and octopus.  A new person made it and put a pile of seaweed salad on it.  I ate half and avoided the seaweed salad to make sure that I would take that home in a box for Suzette.

We celebrated the sale of the land in California.  Nizar and I have been partners in that deal for the last twelve years and have never had a distribution and had to put money in to carry the investment.  The great news that gave us cause to celebrate was that we got all of our investment back and a small profit, we were happy.  The second reason for getting together soon became apparent, which was to

determine the distribution for Amin, our Canadian partner in the deal, who is Mary’s brother.  They had his phone number and connected us by phone and soon we agreed that I would distribute his share less a potential tax withholding of 30%, so after lunch we went to Wells Fargo bank, where I obtained a counter check and wrote the check for his share and handed it to Rahim for delivery to Amin.  We were all happy at lunch and Nizar said we should do another deal together, which made me happy that they were satisfied with me as a partner.

After lunch I went home and finished editing an Errata pleading for the LRG water case while iI nibbled on the other half of my sashimi lunch until Suzette came home at 4:00.  She had not eaten lunch, so she finished the sushi rice and seaweed salad and a couple of pieces of fish I had left for her.

We then cleared all the items left in the right hand bay in the garage sufficiently to drive Suzette’s car into the garage.  This was the first time in quite a while that both cars were in the garage and the driveway empty (the truck broke down in Los Lunas and the Prius is loaned to Willy and parked in the underground parking lot at his apartments.

I sent the pleading to my client for final review at 6:00 and joined Suzette in the kitchen.  We are leaving town in the morning so have cleaned out most of the old food from the refrigerator.  We decided to use what was left, which was the PPI shrimp, squash and tomato dish and sauté it with about seven or eight mushrooms, four tomatoes and a shallot.  The Verde Lagos in our driveway is blooming and is beautiful, so Suzette wanted to add some of it.  So while I sliced and diced the mushrooms, shallot, three cloves of garlic, and tomatoes, she went to our driveway and picked a small basket full of Verde Lagos.

We sautéed the ingredients and while they were cooking separated the leaves of Verde Lagos from their stems and then added the PPI shrimp dish and Verde Lagos to heat.  While that was cooking

Suzette dusted the two ¼ lb. pieces of Red Trout I had bought at Lowe’s (at an outrageous price of $12.99/lb.) in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper and then sautéed in a cast iron skillet in heated butter and olive oil.

I went to the basement and got a bottle of Nessi Albariño, but when I opened it, it had turned to sherry.  So, I finally decided on a bottle if 2016 Carayon La Rose’ (Trader Joe’s $4.99 that balances tannins and fruit and is rather dry that garners a rating of 81. My favorite under $5.00 rose’ this year.).  I chilled the wine in the freezer for a few minutes and then poured glasses of it for dinner and we each added ice to chill it to about 50 degrees.


The meal was a complete success.  We both loved the combination of vegetables and tender shrimp and sautéed red trout.  I was still sore so I went of the low carb diet an twisted a piece of French baguette to dip into the sauce.

We liked the wine and since we were leaving, we finished it. I toasted another two slices of baguette and smeared them with butter and slices of Brie cheese.

At 8:30 we texted and called Aaron , who came over to pick up a check for the loan I agreed to make to our new wine importing company.

So I figure I was totally debt free for one day.

I then did the final edit on the errata pleading and filed it at 9:30 and went to bed.  Suzette joined me at 10:00.

She had a huge day also, mostly spent questioning State officials about the State’s long term care funding policies at a State meeting.

Bob Appetit

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15, 2017 Lunch – Lax Salad. Dinner – PPI Pork and Sauerkraut

August 15, 2017 Lunch – Lax Salad. Dinner – PPI
Pork and Sauerkraut

The usual breakfast, granola, milk, blueberries p, and yogurt.

I ate an early lunch of Bibb lettuce, 3 oz. of Gravad Lax, capers, tomatoes, a diced dill pickle, celery and dressed with IKEA Lax sauce and olive oil.

Then a two hour mediation and then home where I distributed some member’s share of the sale of the land in California.

I worked until 7:30 on VinDacia.  Suzette heated the PPI Pork and Sauerkraut and we drank a can of Marble Double White with dinner.

I ate mine with two slices of polenta.  Suzette did not add any polenta to her bowl of pork and sauerkraut.

After dinner we ate some peanuts.

At 9:30 we got into bed.

Bon Appetit

August 14, 2017 Lunch – Amerasia. Dinner- New Recipe – Steamed and Sautéed Pattypan Squash and Grilled Lamb Chops with Steamed Asparagus

August 14, 2017 Lunch – Amerasia. Dinner- New Recipe – Steamed and Sautéed Pattypan Squash and Grilled Lamb Chops with Steamed Asparagus

I ate ½ of an onion bagel smeared with goat cheese and garnished with slices of onion for breakfast.

Then we rode to Campbell Rd. and back.

I went to the bank at 1:00 and then the one block to Amerasia for a quick Dim Sum meal of Steamed Buns filled with BBQ Pork and bean paste (Cha Siu Bao) made with fluffy yeasted Chinese Milk Bread and a small bowl filled with wedges of deep fried tofu filled wood ear and shiitake mushroom that have been rehydrated and cooked in a salty broth.

Hyangmi, who bought the restaurant from Mickey years ago and moved it to its new location at 800 3rd St. NW has known me since she began serving me dim sum at Amerasia thirty years ago, so she usually offers me a little something extra, which I notice that she does to almost everyone.  Today’s treat was a fried dumpling coated with sesame seeds and filled with a red plum bean paste.  The Cha Siu Bao  are my favorite.  I try to sit near the kitchen so I am the first to be served or order them rather than wait for the cart to reach me, so they are really warm.

After lunch I went home and worked until 6:30.

When I made it to the kitchen Suzette had already been to the garden and picked two pattypan squash and a handful of basil leaves.  She then cooked one of the squashes in the microwave for 7 minutes and then diced the pattypan squash and  ½ of an onion.  Then she sautéed the onion with a couple of minced cloves of garlic and the diced cubes of pattypan with butter and olive oil in a large skillet.  After a few minutes she added the chopped basil leaves and finished the dish with a large T. of honey.

She salted and peppered and grilled six lamb chops and grilled them for about fifteen minutes and brought them in and covered them with foil while she de-stemmed the tough ends off and steamed asparagus for about six minutes.

I went to the basement and fetched a bottle of 2013 Famille Perrin Reserve Red from Cotes Du Rhone, a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah grapes.  I prefer a red French Cotes Du Rhone or Spanish Rioja red with grilled lamb.

Willy arrived around 6:15 and we ate around 6:45.

This is the best squash dish I have eaten in a very long time, tender squash lightly sautéed with onion, garlic and basil leaves and a touch of honey.

After dinner Willy took a walk to the river and we went out into the front yard to see the most radiant sunset I have seen in years; a golden sky filled with clouds and streaks of gold.

I was still hungry so I toasted a piece of seven grain bread and smeared it with Skippy Smooth peanut butter and honey.

We then packed the wine carrying case with eight bottles of wine for the trip (3 champagnes, 2 reds, and 3 whites) and my surf shoes that I will wear to the beach and bike riding in Maine.  I then went to the bedroom and packed my suitcase with a few basics.

Willy said goodbye around 8:30 and we were in bed by 9:30.  We were both a bit sore from riding and a full day of work. Suzette went to sleep and I read Hidden Figures, this month’s book club selection until 11:00.

Bon Appetit