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Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Trip to the Farm Stand

The other morning as I was enjoying my coffee (because I do that now), I overheard the discussion at the table next to me.  Three people were sipping and chatting about events of the day: Was JoJo or was JoJo not a little fast with the men on the season premiere of The Bachelorette? (The verdict: "I'm glad she's not my daughter...")  They then moved on to discussing in some detail "that Kardashian that used to be the father".  One member of the group, a man who looked to be in his late 70's, declared that "she's good looking but not my type" summed things up to finish off the coffee klatch.

My eavesdropping, while amusing, provided to be beneficial as well.  One of the chatters mentioned that his next stop was Patten's, where he was planning to pick up  a pie and some berries.  Apparently Patten's was a place I needed to know about because they were all very excited.

I had to ask.

"Excuse me," I said.  "I don't mean to interrupt, but I'm new to the area. What's Patten's?"

Maine, and specifically Kennebunk, is a friendly place.  They were all too happy to tell me all about Patten's.

"It's the best farmstand in The Kennebunks. Make sure to pick up a pie."

So, later in the morning, I zipped over to Patten's.  The berries were beautiful.  They also had lovely plants, and a nice selection of homemade pies, including my fav strawberry rhubarb.

The strawberries were deep red, something you just don't see in supermarket berries.  They actually looked sweet and delicious.  The blueberries were sweet little wild berries, also never seen in the local grocery store.  I was quite excited.

And then there was the pie.  How could I not buy one? I mean, they had strawberry rhubarb.

Needless to say, I will be adding an extra mile or two to my morning walk.  A slice of pie? An extra mile? I'd say it's a fair trade.

Patten's Farm 
79 North Street
Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Friday, June 3, 2016

Stop, Sniff, Sip

Do you know that saying "stop and smell the roses"?  Well today, in a totally uncharacteristic move, I did just that.  Scary, I know.

I was taking my morning walk and there I was, face to face with this huge lilac bush.  Honestly, I could smell the lilacs halfway down the street, and I stopped.  And I smelled the lilac bush.  Okay, so it wasn't a rose bush, but I actually stopped and smelled the lilacs.  Who is this person I've become?

Those of you who know me know that I'm not really a stop and smell the flowers kind of gal.  I always have a plan and most of the time I'm either on my way somewhere on returning from somewhere.  I have places to go and people to see.

In an even more amazing twist, I stopped for a coffee and I actually got it in  a real cup not to-go and I sat down and sipped leisurely. Who am I?  A flower sniffing, coffee sipping version of my former self?

The funny part of all this is that I think this suits me.  The weather is lovely up here in Maine and honestly, there's no reason not to take full advantage.  So I am.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Up until just recently I really knew nothing about fiddleheads.  I'd heard of fiddleheads, but I don't think I'd ever actually seen one, let alone eaten one.  What can I say? I'm from California and live in Pennsylvania. Those are not fiddlehead states.

Now that I'm summering in Maine, fiddleheads have become something that I see (and eat) regularly. I see a lot of them because they are, quite literally, growing everywhere.  On my morning walk, there they are growing in the wild amongst the ferns at the side of the road.  At farmer's markets, there are massive piles of fiddleheads, just waiting to prepared. Clearly, Maine is a fiddlehead state.

For the uninitiated amongst you, fiddleheads are the curled fronds of the ostrich fern plant.  They are bright green in color and taste a little like asparagus, but are sweeter and grassier.  They are in season for just a month or two in April and May, so if you're interested, you'll have to wait until next year.

The best thing about fiddleheads, beside their name (which is so adorable), and their delicious taste, is that they are sinfully easy to prepare.  Truly. Quickly blanch the fiddleheads in boiling water and then sauté them in a little olive oil and garlic and you have a side dish that'll make your tastebuds dance. (I couldn't pass up on the musical pun.  Sorry.)

Recipe:  Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns


3 cups fresh fiddlehead ferns, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook fiddlehead ferns in the boiling water until barely tender, 7 to 10 minutes; drain.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the prepared fiddlehead ferns, garlic, and the salt and pepper. Cook and stir until ferns are tinged lightly brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with lemon juice.