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sap’s Running (so are the turkeys)

In Maine, talking about the weather isn’t just small talk…it’s an art form we hone carefully to keep our spirits up and remind ourselves that we’re not in this alone! For weeks now the temperatures have been wildly vascillating between freezing and inviting. We’ve been rocked by winds that shake the strongest trees and blow the waves way up over the retaining wall…I didn’t have my phone with me the other day to capture a picture but imagine seaweed hanging from a rosebush a football field away from the waters’ edge. The wind is even driving the wild turkeys down to the beach to forage…you might say that we’ve been experiencing an uptick in commuter traffic here on the Bay. 😆

I wasn’t alone on the beach😱

March is more than wind though. March is for boiling maple syrup and Sunday was Maine Maple Sunday. The sugar in maple sap only appears where warm, sunny days and below-freezing nights follow each other for days on end, as they do in Maine’s long, slow spring. We celebrate every year by finding a new sugar shack to visit…this year we were at Simmons and Daughters in Morrill, about thirty minutes from the campground.

Of course there were mason jars of dark and amber syrup too…but the folks gathering together were far more interesting for pictures

It’s tradition to boil hotdogs in the sap, pop maple corn and pour “sugar on snow” for a taffy like confection that we follow with dill pickles…the Simmons family had all of that PLUS maple syrup cotton candy! OMG…we’re going to find a way for you to taste this during one (or more) of the Wednesday Night music jams this summer…it is wicked good! I wished we’d bought more because we devoured the entire bag on the way home only to find out that if you pour vodka and lime over the confection, heaven is born…stir with a pussy willow if you’re lucky!

2 shots of vodka, 1 shot of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, juice of 1/2 lime and top with tonic water

We didn’t plan it that way but Sunday was definitely about sugar! Before we drove to the maple house we stopped by the Only Doughnut in Belfast. It hurts my Yankee spirit to pay $3.50 for a single doughnut but before you judge, try their chocolate sea smoke glazed creation…no really, when you have the opportunity, don’t pass it up because it’s amazing! This fried confection has exactly the right combination of bitter dark chocolate, smoked sea salt and buttery glaze. In an effort to balance the morning, we took our doughnuts and hiked to the waterfall on the Little River Trail in Belfast…it’s an easy way to feel virtuous 🙂

You owe it to your friends to bring these home when you leave our little world!

But Sunday wasn’t just about the sugar…it was about the seafood too. Our lovely friends and beekeepers Sharon and Raymond had us over for the last of the season’s sea scallops. If you are ever lucky enough to buy a bucket of these sweet nuggets, run, don’t walk to get them. They are a treat that doesn’t compare to anything you can buy from a store…they must come straight from the diver and into your frying pan within a few hours to appreciate just how briney and wonderful a scallop cooked in a little bit of butter can be. And if your friends are truly amazing, they’ll match the scallops with 2 pounds of picky toe crab meat broiled into open face sandwiches. It couldn’t be easier or better (and this you can re-create in the summer when you get here). Use the best bread you can find (we have several bakers in the area so that’s easy), smeer the slices with mayonaise, top with crab, add a few slices of good cheese (we like the kind with hot peppers) and broil for a few minutes. Only a cold micro beer can make everything better.

Some people bring flowers when their invited to Sunday lunch…we bring seaweed to compost into the garden

I didn’t plan it this way but clearly our week was about food…maybe next week I’ll pretend that it’s about exercising and losing the winter roll we’ve carefully accumulated! Until then, be well and help the people who surround you…. stay healthy!

3 responses to “sap’s Running (so are the turkeys)”

  1. Wow, we have turkeys inland; but never dreamed they would be strolling along your rocky shores. I found that quite amusing. The food sounds absolutely fabulous and I love the picture of you two love birds at the end. Glad you stayed healthy well; and hope you have a wonderful 2021 season.

  2. Hi Astrig and Steve, first off, I would like to wish you a Belated Happy Birthday Astrig! I hope your day was as amazing as you. I miss your beautiful sanctuary so much and I still have Faith we will be able to get there again someday. Al fights for his life every day so needless to say, it has been a very emotional Roller Coaster. He has been hospitalized on and off for different reasons in the past 2 years. The cancer has been stable recently, but he has been off the medication for a few weeks now because he is having surgery on Tuesday to scrape his jaw for Necrosis that has set in. He hasn’t been able to even open his mouth for a few months to even eat. An IV of heavy antibiotics is being given to him through a port and he has improved tremendously. We are hoping it will continue to get better after the surgery. We found a beautiful newly built campground last year and they have been nothing short of helping us in any way we need. They even came to our home to pick up our camper, bring it to the campground, and fully hooked it up for us. The owner was also battling cancer and opened up a continuous invite to anyone fighting cancer and their families for free camping in their beautiful cabins. It was his way of giving back. Unfortunately, he lost the battle last summer. His 2 daughters are keeping his Legacy alive. We didn’t want any free time in a cabin but after seeing the campground, we fell in love with it and we booked a beautiful seasonal site. ( Nothing compared to your paradise ) but we do like it. We continue to have our site there this year. It is only 50 minutes from our home and close to Al’s doctors and the hospital. It is the perfect place for us to get away when Al feels up to it. He has no strength and unfortunately fighting depression. It’s so hard for me to keep spirits up around here but I do my best and try not to “break down“ too often, and in front of him. We were Blessed with a new Grandson on Thursday so I hope this perks him up a little. There is no cure for his cancer so we pray every 3 months when he has a CT scan that it shows no progression. I just wanted you and Steve to know we miss you and I look forward to seeing your posts, as they make me remember one of my favorite places on earth. Please keep Al in your thoughts and prayers and please give Steve our love. Enjoy your Summer! Much love and warm fuzzies, Carol and Al

    Sent from my iPhone

    Carol Papale Associate Broker/Realtor Bean Group Cell: 207-205-7707 carolpapale@gmail.com carol.papale@beangroup.com Web Site: capmovesme.com


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