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eG Foodblog: johnnyd - Dining Downeast


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Ah, that's why we can see its woeful eyes so clearly. sad.gif It's almost enough to put me off lobster. Almost, but not quite.

Do not be fooled! I can tell you first-hand that lobsters are nasty, loathsome creatures with no regard for anything. They eat everybody, even young lobsters, and will do battle with anything in their way. Nasty! Nasty! NASTY! :hmmm:

The apparent endearment to these low-lifes is a constant source of amusment in these parts, especially to urchin divers who have to shoo them away while they hunt for urchins, themselves a pest to lobstermen up until about five years ago.

I'm gathering a few pics and facts about our most famous crustacean which I will post in due time. From now on, do not shed a tear over the lobster. Here's a tip: try thinking of those fabulous old sci-fi movies with bizarro spiders and multi-clawed aliens as they bear down on the poor, defenseless, japanese villagers...

... there now, see?! :laugh:

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

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Hey ho Johnnyd! What's the difference in taste between a ti'punch and a caipirinha? Is it really worth it for me to go out and get a bottle of this stuff? Wow they look amazing and I have to make a punch tonight, even if it's just made with rum...

Right back at'cha Lucy!

I'd stick to Rum for punch but the thought is intriguing. I guess I'm stuck on the ritual of a single serving of cachaca with lime and sugar. But if you were to empty a couple bottles of Pinga into a bowl with tropical fruit, I wouldn't walk away! :biggrin:

By the way: from what I remember, a "Caipira" is a poor person so a "Caipirinha" is a cocktail/drink for a poor person. Cachaca [kah-shah-ssa] is also called Pinga. "Caipirinha" -> [kai-pee-reen-yah]

"Cachaca" is also track #4 on the new SouLive CD "Break Out" that was just handed to me here at the radio station. It's pretty good! We are a non-profit, community station that covers a radius of 15 miles around Portland. We broadcast 90% music that doesn't get aired elsewhere, like jazz, blues, reggae, world beat, bluegrass, rai, bossa nova... and a million other under-served genres. The 10% goes to public affairs talk shows and satelite feeds like "Democracy Now" and "Free Speech Radio News".

As we swerve back on topic, I'd like to mention that, no matter where you are, supporting community radio is a very good thing indeed. :smile:

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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JohnnyD, have you ever been to Arrows?

Ogunquit is a bit too far to go for dinner for us. I have heard great things about Arrows and not so great things about Arrows. The fact that it gets the attention of many merits a visit.

I would, however, happily suffer the hour and half drive NORTH to Primo outside Rockland. I hear it's amazing.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Ah, that's why we can see its woeful eyes so clearly. sad.gif It's almost enough to put me off lobster. Almost, but not quite.

Do not be fooled! I can tell you first-hand that lobsters are nasty, loathsome creatures with no regard for anything. They eat everybody, even young lobsters, and will do battle with anything in their way. Nasty! Nasty! NASTY! :hmmm:

The apparent endearment to these low-lifes is a constant source of amusment in these parts, especially to urchin divers who have to shoo them away while they hunt for urchins, themselves a pest to lobstermen up until about five years ago.

I'm gathering a few pics and facts about our most famous crustacean which I will post in due time. From now on, do not shed a tear over the lobster. Here's a tip: try thinking of those fabulous old sci-fi movies with bizarro spiders and multi-clawed aliens as they bear down on the poor, defensless, japanese villagers...

... there now, see?! :laugh:

Well, THAT made it easy! :laugh: Well, it's like our gulls. Lovely fliers, terrible pests. The locals refer to them as "rats with wings".

I heard recently on my public radio station (which I support faithfully, btw) that when a lady lobster goes into heat she has to molt to mate, and she does so in the dominant male lobster's den. She molts, they do the nasty, she stays there the week(?) she needs to for her newer, larger shell to harden. She leaves, the next lady moves in. True, or just a good yarn?

If true, that raises two other questions:

- how the heck does the dominant male find time to go round beating up the other lobsters and maintaining his dominance, and

- what do the males do for protection when they molt?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Ah, that's why we can see its woeful eyes so clearly. sad.gif It's almost enough to put me off lobster. Almost, but not quite.

Do not be fooled! I can tell you first-hand that lobsters are nasty, loathsome creatures with no regard for anything. They eat everybody, even young lobsters, and will do battle with anything in their way. Nasty! Nasty! NASTY! :hmmm:

The apparent endearment to these low-lifes is a constant source of amusment in these parts, especially to urchin divers who have to shoo them away while they hunt for urchins, themselves a pest to lobstermen up until about five years ago.

I'm gathering a few pics and facts about our most famous crustacean which I will post in due time. From now on, do not shed a tear over the lobster. Here's a tip: try thinking of those fabulous old sci-fi movies with bizarro spiders and multi-clawed aliens as they bear down on the poor, defensless, japanese villagers...

... there now, see?! :laugh:

Well, THAT made it easy! :laugh: Well, it's like our gulls. Lovely fliers, terrible pests. The locals refer to them as "rats with wings".

I heard recently on my public radio station (which I support faithfully, btw) that when a lady lobster goes into heat she has to molt to mate, and she does so in the dominant male lobster's den. She molts, they do the nasty, she stays there the week(?) she needs to for her newer, larger shell to harden. She leaves, the next lady moves in. True, or just a good yarn?

If true, that raises two other questions:

- how the heck does the dominant male find time to go round beating up the other lobsters and maintaining his dominance, and

- what do the males do for protection when they molt?

I actually read about that as well, in The Secret Life of Lobsters: of the many things I've learned about lobsters from that book this was one of the interesting facts from it. As well as the rest of their mating habits.

Great photos! Makes me want to go drive along the beaches here and all the way up through New England - rather than being stuck at work all day

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Johnnyd, I'm really enjoying your blog.  If you have a chance, I'd be interested to know more about the sea urchins and what you do with them.

I need little if any encouragement to talk about urchins, believe me! I will have a little something later on in the blog that addresses the sea urchin and it's presence in the Gulf of Maine. :wink:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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JohnnyD, have you ever been to Arrows?

Ogunquit is a bit too far to go for dinner for us. I have heard great things about Arrows and not so great things about Arrows. The fact that it gets the attention of many merits a visit.

I would, however, happily suffer the hour and half drive NORTH to Primo outside Rockland. I hear it's amazing.

Primo looks interesting as well.

I have only been to Arrows once. My brother was married there 2 Septembers ago. It was a lovely affair. The grounds are beautiful, and the food was great.

Thanks for your blog. Your shots are wonderful.

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gallery_28660_3_152.jpg

Forgot to mention that we hit Two Lights Lobster Shack for a snack.  Our cabin for the month of August is only a half-mile away.

The above is neither our cabin (!) or the Lobster Shack but one of the two lighthouses that sit on the point here.  This particular lighthouse was granted to a private citizen a few years ago by the US Coast Guard and is one of the few privately-owned lighthouses in the world.

gallery_28660_3_13161.jpg

Today's prices and a reflection of the crowd at the Shack.  I covered a visit here back on Memorial Day for the Best Fried Clams thread (pix!)over on the New England board.  Today we poked around the knick-kanckery on the walls and found to my utter surprise an old lobster buoy with my last name on it!  It was a bit spooky.  :unsure:

Ah memories. We were married at Spurwink Church on Cape Elizabeth and had the reception at the Black Point Inn. We had our rehearsal dinner at the Twin Lights Lobster Shack. We took over the whole restaurant and passed out poker chips, red meant 1 lobster and blue got you a double. :rolleyes:

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Ah, that's why we can see its woeful eyes so clearly. sad.gif It's almost enough to put me off lobster. Almost, but not quite.

Do not be fooled! I can tell you first-hand that lobsters are nasty, loathsome creatures with no regard for anything. They eat everybody, even young lobsters, and will do battle with anything in their way. Nasty! Nasty! NASTY! :hmmm:

The apparent endearment to these low-lifes is a constant source of amusment in these parts, especially to urchin divers who have to shoo them away while they hunt for urchins, themselves a pest to lobstermen up until about five years ago.

I'm gathering a few pics and facts about our most famous crustacean which I will post in due time. From now on, do not shed a tear over the lobster. Here's a tip: try thinking of those fabulous old sci-fi movies with bizarro spiders and multi-clawed aliens as they bear down on the poor, defenseless, japanese villagers...

... there now, see?! :laugh:

Yeh, but when you get a big one it is a bit like trying to boil a poodle, no matter how much you say "It has no brain" etc.

Excellent images BTW, is this style of building typical to the east coast?

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is this style of building typical to the east coast?

It is an example of good building from a past era. There is a lot of granite and wood in Maine and a century of brickwork as well. Once again, one uses what is available.

There is also a very healthy renovation movement. Grand homes from the 19th century have come back to life.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Stopped on the bridge over the Fore river a few minutes ago to see what was happening

gallery_16643_3_17079.jpg

The harbor is quite when it's the middle of the work week and cloudy. It is quite muggy however.

Here are a couple shots from the cottage on Sunday, a chance for Ms johnnyd and I to chill out and eat .

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That's from a few days ago. We hit the farmer's market hard. My mom's papaya is nestled in the front basket. I finally finished it the other day. I recommend eating the peppery seeds instead of buying papaya enzyme supplements, by the way. Nothing beats going natural in my book. Note the citrus fruit at the back, that is a lime measuring five inches girth, picked off my mom's tree in Florida.

Our play pen...

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This is Sunday's brunch, scrambled eggs with local tomato and basil, havarti and slab bacon from Pat's Market. As you can see, we needed sustenance for the very serious work at hand... :raz:

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"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Yeh, but when you get a big one it is a bit like trying to boil a poodle, no matter how much you say "It has no brain" etc.

Maine makes illegal the harvesting of lobster over a certain size. I think the prevailing theory is that if it got that big, it's going to be good at expanding the species, so keep it alive. As you have pointed out, they are a pain to cook as well. I don't get excited when I hear of people cooking 3 or 4 pound lobsters. Good luck chewing.

gallery_28660_3_24596.jpg

We will explore this device in the near future. I have also booked a trip out on the bay tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be "a bit snotty" as they say he-ah, so I'm sure it will be interesting.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Maine makes illegal the harvesting of lobster over a certain size.  I think the prevailing theory is that if it got that big, it's going to be good at expanding the species, so keep it alive. 

A bit OT, but there are those who think that, had the same logic been applied to cod catch rules, there might still be a viable Grand Banks cod fishery.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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eGullet member Cachaca Dave tells me that the paperwork and haggling have held up the importation of the stuff.  Some small importers seem to be getting some through, probably at an enormous fee level, which explains why liquor that costs three bucks a bottle in Brasil will cost about fifty here.  :angry:

We were able to buy Pitu Cachaca two years ago at Canal's in NJ. We got a case for our wedding, I think it wasn't so expensive (by American standards), about $10 per bottle I believe. All alcohol is way overpriced in the States.

The in-laws are German so they are good at drinking. Christmas there is a ridiculously fun time. I've always wanted to go to Brasil though.

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Our play pen...

gallery_16643_3_53646.jpg

Against what is your play pen screened? Mosquitoes? Biting flies? Non-biting flies? Flying vindictive lobsters? Or just to keep the jigsaw pieces in the vicinity?

Jigsaw puzzles on the waterfront on a lazy Sunday...oh, the joy of it...

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Against what is your play pen screened? Mosquitoes? Biting flies? Non-biting flies? Flying vindictive lobsters? Or just to keep the jigsaw pieces in the vicinity?

All of the above! :rolleyes:

The mosquito problem is efficiently managed by a small swarm of dragonflies that swoop around at dusk. I never thought I would love any insect this much... I suppose I would regret saying that in 10,000 years as they slowly take over the world... :shock:

Are they edible? :blink:

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Last night it was time to make chowder. The lobster/rockweed stock looks malevolent but after a couple of days the flavor is dead-on.

gallery_28660_3_7631.jpg

I rendered some slab bacon and sauteed two medium onion, heart of a fennel bulb and a bit of local garlic. When it turns glassy, some new potatos are added and they cook until glassy as well.

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The crisp bacon will be used as a garnish.

While that's going on, it's time for an appetizer!

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Yeah, baby! :wink: Ceviche in a shell!

I prefer lime on littlenecks (these are a little smaller, called "countnecks"). It really matches the salt/sweet raw clam perfectly. We also tried a little meyer lemon which was pretty good too.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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gallery_28660_3_10324.jpg

I've added a pound and half of haddock, coarsely sliced into one-inch pieces which is now simmering at low temperature. This chowder will not be "ready" tonight. It needs another day to come together.

I basically use what ever fish comes my way. A fisherman friend dropped by after a trip out with 5 pounds of cod and 5 pounds of pollack. I put the cod in the freezer and whipped up some roasted pollack fillet wrapped in proscuitto then made chowder with the rest.

gallery_28660_3_20700.jpg

I've added milk at this point, and some fresh thyme leaves from the mass of creeping thyme from in front of the camp/cabin/cottage. In a half hour I have a bowl because the smell in the kitchen has been it irresistable, but this will sit overnight and be served later. The haddock flesh, by the way, will disintegrate into tiny bits. I use cusk occasionally, because cusk flesh doesn't fall apart in a chowder (and is half the price).

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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gallery_28660_3_29283.jpg

We have experienced a run of spectacular weather for this blog. Today is much more typical. The fog horns are braying up and down the coast. When you live here a while, you can tell which one is which.

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By the time I go for coffee, it's raining pretty hard.

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Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Its such a pleasure to read this.. You are really providing such a great account, thanks for sharing your experience.. Really looking forward to hearing more about the lobster trap and other fisherman insights..

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Against what is your play pen screened? Mosquitoes? Biting flies? Non-biting flies? Flying vindictive lobsters? Or just to keep the jigsaw pieces in the vicinity?

All of the above! :rolleyes:

The mosquito problem is efficiently managed by a small swarm of dragonflies that swoop around at dusk. I never thought I would love any insect this much... I suppose I would regret saying that in 10,000 years as they slowly take over the world... :shock:

Are they edible? :blink:

My cats think so! :laugh:

When I moved here I started hearing dragonflies referred to as "mosquito hawks". Cool name, eh?

Your blog photos really are lovely, and have the power to make me faint with hunger even on a full stomach. The chowda is inspiring. So is the ceviche. Heck, so is everything else. :wub:

Cusk is new to me. What is it?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Cusk are an unattractive, offshore bottom-dweller that measures from 1,1/2 to 2,1/2 pounds.

They taste like haddock or hake or pollack, your basic white fish. Good for chowder!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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This is a beautiful blog.... thank you for sharing your part of the world with us. Your photos are extremely evocative, one can almost smell that chowder cooking away....

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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