Saturday, June 30, 2012

L.L. Bean's at 6:00 AM

L.L. Bean Store in Freeport.
Whenever we are in Freeport, Maine, I like to get up early and go down to L.L. Bean's quite early in the morning where I can shop without a crowd (I leave Dan sleeping back in the motel). Bean's is open 365 days 24 hours a day.  It never closes.  The other morning I was there at dawn, and although I didn't do a lot of shopping, I took a number of photos. 
Bean celebrates its Centennial.

The big boot out front.

Cute dog toys.

Blueberry goodies from Maine.

Beautiful bed linen.

Sheets and blankets.

Nice rocker.

I had a great time just looking at all the fun things in LL Bean's, one of my favorite stores.  I got back to the motel in time to join Dan for breakfast. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mussels in Maine

I like scallops, oysters, and clams, but my favorite mollusk is mussels.  The best mussels I ever had were in Brussels, but if I can't go back to Belgium, then the second best is at the Broad Arrow Tavern in Freeport, Maine.where we stop every year on our way north.  The mussels are wood roasted in a broth with garlic and hazelnuts and they are delicious.

Dan had a cup of clam chowder followed with a serving of mussels.
Dan's clam chowder.
I had just the mussels.  So, so good.
Ready to eat.
We saw our first moose of the year here too.
The moose at the Broad Arrow Tavern.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Tomato Palace

The Tomato Palace
A favorite restaurant of ours in Columbia,Maryland,  is the Tomato Palace in the
Town Center by Lake Kittamaqundi.  We ate dinner there on Monday night with my cousins.
The view of the Lake Kittamaqundi from the restaurant.
I had a most delicious meal of broiled scallops with a green salad.  Cindy had a crab cake dinner, but Dan and the rest had Italian dishes.  Dan said his meal was the best Italian food he's had since returning from Italy. 
Broiled scallops still sizzling in the pan.

Joan and I shared a chocolate bread pudding with ice cream for dessert and even then the half serving was too much for one person.

Having dinner at the Tomato Palace has turned into a kind of ritual whenever we visit Columbia, and I can't wait to get back there on our trip home.
View of the lake as we were leaving--nearly dark.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lunch With Bob and Sally

A pretty table.
One of Dan's former grad students, Bob, and his wife Sally live in Columbia, and we had the pleasure of lunching with them while we were there.  Sally prepared a delicious lunch:  cheese cornbread, green salad, crab salad, and blueberry cream  pie.

I was in the kitchen chatting away with Sally while she was making the cornbread, and after she had put the cornbread in the oven she exclaimed, "Oh, I forgot to put the grated cheddar cheese in the cornbread!"
I felt responsible, since I was distracting her with my chatter.  I suggested she put the cheese on top of the partially baked bread.  She did and it turned out beautifully.
Cheese cornbread, hot out of the oven.
The green salad and the crab salad were both light and delicious.
Green salad.

Crab salad.
I was so busy enjoying the dessert, a blueberry cream pie, that I forgot to take a photo.  However.I did get the recipe, and I plan to make one when we get to Marble Mountain.  I will share the recipe and a photo on another post.

Bob and Sally's Danish wood-burning stove.
I did however take a photo of their Danish wood-burning stove.  I would love to have a stove like this in Marble Mountain. 

Thanks Sally for a delightful and delicious lunch.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Have A Coke and A Smile

When I visit my Maryland cousin, I always enjoy the “Coke Room”, where there is an extensive collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia.  It makes me smile, and I hope these photos of part of the collection will make you smile too. 

Now go have a Coke and smile.

Our AAA TripTik

Whenever we travel some distance we have AAA prepare a TripTik for us.  As we travel from Columbia, MD to Newburgh, NY we are counting on this TripTik and our Garmin to keep us on the right track.  We will actually travel more like 1800 miles before we reach our destination, because we sometimes do take some less traveled roads not indicated on the TripTik and that adds extra mileage.  For example, in Pennsylvania we like to go up through Amish Country--Lancaster, Ephrata, Reading Kudztown, and we try to avoid I81 which is a shorter route but which has a lot of truck traffic.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Roasted Okra

Fried okra is a popular Southern dish, and I grew up eating it.  My mother always breaded the okra and then fried it, probably in Crisco.  Now I try to avoid fried foods and go for more healthful recipes. Dan likes stewed okra, but I don't like the slimy texture except in seafood gumbo it's okay.  So when I ran across this recipe for roasted okra I thought I would give it a try.

Friday night before we left on our trip we were grilling chicken, and I roasted the okra as a side dish. This recipe is from the News and Observer.

Roasted Okra
One pound of okra
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Coat okra with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Wash and pat dry the okra. Sprinkle the olive oil, salt and pepper on the okra and mix it up. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes on a cookie sheet. I line my baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. You can add cherry tomatoes to the pan for extra flavor
Spread on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Roasted okra.

These were a bit disappointing.  They really didn't taste like fried okra.  And they were not crisp as I was expecting.  Dan liked this better than Patrick and I did. I think if I roast okra again I will cut it up the way my Mom did when she fried it.  That might make it crisper.  Or maybe I'll just stick with breading and frying it. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Northward, Ho!

Raleigh to Columbia, MD.
The cooler is packed.
Car packed and ready to head north.

"Hey, I'm going too.  And I ride inside!"

With the temperatures soaring into the 90s, it's good to be heading north to cooler climes.  We usually depart on a Sunday and make our way up I85 to Richmond, and then over to Hwy 301 via Bowling Green, VA and on to Columbia, MD. This way we skirt around Washington, DC and avoid the traffic of the Beltway.  Sure there are numerous traffic lights this way, but it's a much less stressful drive.

We cross over the Potomac on the Governor Harry Nice Memorial Bridge from Virginia into Maryland.  The Bridge is a 1.7-mile, two-lane truss bridge.

The Harry Nice Memorial Bridge.

 Check out this video so you can ride with "us" across the Bridge. 

I have cousins in Columbia, and we usually stop for a visit with them, and one of Dan's former graduate students and his wife live in Columbia, and we connect with them.  So this is a good stop on the first leg of our journey north.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quick and Easy Peach Cobbler

Fresh peaches from the Farmers Market.

Dan was at the Farmers Market the other day and brought home some lovely fresh peaches.  Now that peach season is upon us, I decided it was time to make a peach cobbler.  I have a simple recipe that I use for all kinds of fruit cobblers.  Here's the recipe.

Quick and Easy Peach Cobbler

2 ½ cups sliced fresh peaches
1/3 to ½ cup of sugar (depending upon desired sweetness) I use 1/3 cup.
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Bring the peaches, sugar, and nutmeg to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Cool.
Cook peaches, sugar, and nutmeg.

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
 ½ cup butter melted and cooled
Mix these ingredients well.  Pour into a 2 quart baking dish.  Spoon peaches over batter evenly.  Do NOT stir.

Peach mixture on top of batter in oven ready to bake.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven  for 45 minutes or until done.

Easy and quick peach cobbler.
 Serve warm or at room temperature.  This is especially good topped with vanilla ice cream.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Groupon Coupon for NoFo at the Pig

Friend Mary Todd ( just back from her Florida trip),  Dan and I had dinner last night at NoFo at the Pig.  Although I had eaten lunch there recently, (June 5th Post), I was ready for another good meal.  And we had a Groupon Coupon  that we needed to use since it expires before we return from Nova Scotia.  
Our Groupon coupon.

I had their special soup, roasted tomatoes with smoked Gouda, and a salad.  Dan had the soup and catfish, and he declared his meal the best fish meal he's had in Raleigh (excluding ones at home).  Mary liked her shrimp burger.
My house salad with balsamic dressing.

Mary's shrimp burger (without the bun).

Mary and I had tea but no dessert.  I chose a lemon grass-ginger tea that was in the cutest little tea bag I've ever seen.  And the tea was delicious.  Dan opted for the passion fruit sorbet garnished with blue berries. 
Cute little tea bag.
Lemon grass with ginger tea.

Dan's passion fruit sorbet.

Another good meal at the NoFo.