When Company Comes

Boy, it’s hard to keep up with blog writing and reading during the summer months when I am in Maine. If you’ve been along with me for a while, you know we do lots of boating, and there’s more that keeps me crazily busy. We have lots of company which means extra meals and some pretty quick turnarounds when it comes to preparing for the next round of guests. I’m not complaining though because we are very lucky to have this special place to share.

So, what do we do when company comes? The first night is simple. We have a lobster dinner which is such an easy one to prepare. The hubby steams or grills the lobster leaving me the simple task of roasting potatoes and corn

blueberry cobblerand making a blueberry cobbler from those yummy wild Maine blueberries. You can be sure no morsel is left.

Perry CreekThe boat makes entertaining simple. We may go to a beautiful cove

lobster rolland have lobster rolls aboard.

IMG_1481One of the nice things about having a power boat is that you can plan an outing and know how long it takes to get to a destination. There are several places that can be reached conveniently for a lunch on the deck.  Luke’s is one of our favorites.

IMG_1484With fresh seafood abundant, most folks go for a delicious haddock sandwich, fish and chips or a clam roll. Oh, and some choose lobster again since there’s no such thing as too much when you are visiting!

wyeth-web-2
Christina Olson painted by Andrew Wyeth

On those occasions when the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are two quite wonderful art museums in nearby Rockland. CMCA has rotating exhibits of contemporary art and the Farnsworth Art Museum has an outstanding permanent collection. In both, all the art is created by artists who have a connection to Maine and that includes such famous names as Winslow Homer, George Bellows, Alex Katz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Nevelson, Andrew Wyeth and many more.

This time of year a favorite place to visit is the Endless Summer dahlia farm where there are 250 varieties of breathtakingly beautiful dahlias.

PA179261 (1).jpgTaking a walk on the dirt road is always a pleasure and a great place to take photos.

Children's ChapelAlong the way a stop at the Children’s Chapel is a delight to the senses. No matter the season, it is a tranquil oasis with  stunning views of Penobscot Bay.

So, do you get a feel for that which keeps me away from the computer for days on end? I so delight in the gift that is the coast of Maine and am always happy to share it with you though there may be gaps between posts.  Speaking of, I better get the beds made before the next friends arrive.

I so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Once Again

dahliasI’m crazy for dahlias, but no matter how hard I try to grow them they never do well.  Dahlias need lots of sun and my yard is shade challenged!

DahliasSo, I get my dahlia fix by making an annual trek to Endless Summer Flower Farm where  at least 250 varieties flourish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They come in all sizes from small 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

to medium

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

to almost as big as your head.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They are so perfectly formed and the texture so waxlike you have to touch the flower to make sure it’s not artificial.

And the colors….well, it seems they are limitless!

dahliasThere’s no walking away without a bouquet of these beauties

tablescape/dahlias & gourdsand no matter where they are used, they are perfect.  

I’m thinking next year I’ll try again to grow my own, this time in pots.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Dahlias and Threads

P9214852Two of my favorite things are dahlias and textiles, especially handwoven ones like this beautiful piece from San Gimignano. I’m attracted to work like this because I’m never going to weave with threads so small and have great appreciation for the time it must take to thread a loom with fiber no thicker than sewing thread. So how do the two combine? On a table where they become inspiration for this night’s dinner gathering.With colors much like the dahlias, the harlequin patterned plates are a natural choice and need no background other than the copper toned chargers. Add rose toned flatware from Target and teal thumbprint stems that were a lucky find at a back road antique shop and the settings are done. Read more

Dahlia Heaven

DahliasWhat better way to begin October than with a visit to Endless Summer Flower Farm in Camden, Maine, where dahlias bloom until frost?

dahliaColor there is not the red, oranges and golds we associate with fall.  No, they are vivid pinks,

 dahliapurples,

dahliaand oh so many other colors, subtle or bright.

dahliaOn some there may be a tiny spider

dahliasor a dragonfly

dahliaor a bee getting as much nectar as possible before the flowers are gone.

dahliadahliasdahliadahliaThere are roughly 250 varieties of dahlias here, all different sizes, colors and textures.

dahliasWhat a treat to be surrounded by such breath taking beauty, some of which gets to go home with me.  These are $$$$ happily left behind!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Wow Us Wednesday

Floral Friday Fotos

Fall Is……

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s official, fall is here. It is changing leaves, cool morning temperatures and so much more.

 Fall is comfort food,

APPLES  apple picking

pumpkinsand pumpkins.

dirt roadFall is walks on the dirt road

selfie,shadowand casting long shadows.

fall sunsetFall is earlier sunsets of deeper, richer hues,

dahliadahliadahliadahlias and dahlias that take my breath away.

blueberry field, fallFall is blueberry fields wearing their fall colors

bootsand new boots to warm the feet.

cloudsFall is breathing cool, crisp air beneath feathery clouds, and with every breath I am reminded how lucky I am.

 So, how about you, what is fall?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

P.S.  I’d love to have you follow on Blog Lovin’ or like Lulu’s Musings on Facebook.  See you there.

.

Dahlia Heaven

dahliasI love dahlias, their texture, their incredible colors.  They are definitely what one daughter would call brave and outspoken.

DahliasSo, what took me so long to go to Endless Summer Flower Farm in Camden, Maine, which I have heard about for several years but never visited.

dahliasWhen I tell you this place takes your breath away, I’m not exaggerating.  Spread among two planting areas are more dahlias than you could believe possible.  And to think, I have trouble getting any to grow in my overly shaded garden.

dahliasThis is Phil, who with his wife, is responsible for this incredible place which has more than 4,000 plants representing 208 species of dahlia.  Who knew there were that many different  ones?  Asked how he got into growing these beauties, he said it started 17 years ago with his daughter’s wedding.  She wanted dahlias, and he thought why not grow them for her.

dahliasLooking at them, you notice they are not just different colors.

dahliasThey have different bloom shapes and sizes

dahliasand many have their own distinctive petal.

dahliasPhil tells me this beauty, Cafe au Lait, is the most popular color, especially for weddings.

dahliasHow do you tell one variety from another?  Look closely and you’ll see that every plant is identified.  I’m beginning to think this dahlia farm is a lot of work.  That is not a wrong assumption.  After the first frost, all the tubers, keep in mind 4,000 plus plants, are dug up and stored until spring planting season when the whole process begins again. During the winter,  the tubers are separated and started in a dirt filled styrofoam cup to give the plant a healthy start.

dahliasIf you are in an area suitable for growing dahlias, you can order tubers from Endless Summer Flower Farm online or, if you are like me and don’t do so well growing your own, you can just stop by the cart and pick your own bouquet.  Hopefully, there will be some left!

dahliasRemember, as the sign says, dahlias are addictive!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind 

Joining

Seasonal Sundays

What To Do Weekends

Make The Scene Monday

Tuesdays With A Twist

Taking It All In

Sometimes we are in such a hurry we fail to pay attention to all that is around us.  Realizing that we never know what tomorrow brings, I want to take it all in, hold on to it and appreciate the wonder that is everywhere.

foggy morningSometimes it’s stopping  on a foggy morning to appreciate the window boxes planted on an old barn.  There are no houses around, and I can’t help but wonder who makes the effort.

dahliaThis time of year dahlias are in full glory, and I want to acknowledge each waxy petal.

butterflyI pay special attention to the butterfly that is soon to head south, perhaps making its final journey.

Perry CreekI don’t want to miss the magic of a full moon shining on the water

gardenor the fading summer beauty of a neighbor’s garden.

fall leavesI salute the first red leaves on the tree outside the door knowing they are symbols of the season just around the corner.

Yes, I want to take it all in because who knows what tomorrow brings.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Sharing with

A Favorite Thing

Dahlias and Gourds

I love dahlias, the last flowers blooming in the garden.  I love gourds, their wonderful colors and textures.  Do the two go together?  Well, for me they do!

Of course, the dahlias had to be in my much used green bottles which just happen to blend nicely with the gourds.

With those things in place, it was a no brainer to use these wonderful dishes that look so much like the season and complement perfectly the table runner.  I have to share with you the dishes were a birthday gift from a very special friend who saw them at Marshall’s and thought I had to have them.  Do you think she knows me well?  How lucky am I to have both her as a friend and something new and beautiful for the table!  

My first thought was to have the plates sit on the table’s wood surface, but there was too little contrast.  The fluted orange placemats solved that problem.

Picking up the black in the leaf design are  these oblong plates from Ikea which are used to separate the mug that will hold lobster stew from the plate.  As much as I like to fold napkins, this time I defer to  black napkin rings for a little bit of shine.

With everything in place, the dahlias and gourds are right at home together.  Now, I’m off to make the lobster stew which I will share tomorrow.  Won’t you join me?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Sharing with

Let’s Dish

Tablescape Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things

Pink Saturday

Last of the Dahlias

Having dahlias bloom through late fall is such a treat.  I love their leathery texture, their vibrant colors, their strength.  The recent early snow and a couple of frosty mornings, however, have been a little hard on them and now all that is left is their bent stalks.

 I did manage to rescue a few as it was snowing to use on one more table.

Combined with mini pumpkins and gourds they were a just right fall centerpiece.

Recently, the black square Ikea plates have been the perfect complement to other dishes or the food being served.  This time around they are on copper toned chargers bought years ago in San Miguel, Mexico.  Somehow the chargers had gotten lost in the cupboard, and I am so glad to have found them.  They won’t go hiding again!

Tonight’s dinner is an incredible Cojita-Crusted Halibut with Tomatillo Sauce from Seasonal Southwest Cooking, my new favorite cookbook.  Almost every recipe has one or more spicy peppers in it, most of which are available in the produce section.  Some of the called for cheeses may not be so readily available, but you can creatively substitute.

Tomatillo Salsa

2 jalapeños seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 c. finely chopped red onion

8 tomatillos, husked and diced

1 c. diced bell pepper, any color

1/4 c. chopped cilantro

2 T. fresh lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let stand at least 1 hour and not more than 3 hours before serving.

To prepare halibut (8 4-6 oz. fillets), set up 3 separate shallow bowls or pans.  In the first, place the flour; in the second, combine 2 large eggs with 2 T. water; in the third, combine 1 1/2 c. bread crumbs with 3/4 c. grated Cotija cheese (Parmesan will work) and 2 t. lemon zest.  Dredge the halibut fillets in flour, then dip in egg mixture, dredge in bread crumb mixture.  Pat gently to press mixture into the fillet.

Preheat oven to 400.  Heat 3 T. olive oil in ovenproof nonstick pan on medium high heat.  Cook the fillets until golden brown, then place in the oven to roast until the centers are pearly white and opaque, about 3-5 minutes.

Serve with the salsa either beneath or on top of the fillet.

In our house, a sure sign of a successful dish is moaning.  This was a moaner for sure!  It was delicious with potatoes mashed with cheddar cheese and roasted poblano chiles.

Sharing at On the Menu MondayTablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday

i love your thoughts, so jump right in and share yours