Category Archives: maine
I’m a day late, but I did make these on time. I’d never made popovers before though I’d had them at a very special place, many times.
One of my favorite spots on this Earth is Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Stone meets sea in this magical place. For many summers, we spent a week there, mostly hiking with an annual sea kayaking tour, and lots of lobster dinners. Another tradition was a post-hike snack on the lawn at the Jordan Pond House. I always ordered tea and piping hot popovers with strawberry jam, and Howard had ice cream and lemonade.
I enjoyed the golden brown airy bread balls. Though they sell special popover pans in the gift shop, it was never inclined to try making them at home. I saved the treat for our summer excursions to Acadia.
I was amazed at the simplicity. Just a few ingredients combined in the blender, and the hot oven does most of the work. Since these are best served fresh out of the oven, I made just a third of the recipe (one egg’s worth). It had never occurred to me to start the day with these delights, but they were in the Morning Pastries section of the Baking with Julia book, so I made them for breakfast.
I don’t know whether it was my oven or my baking cups, but two of my popovers came out lopsided and the other had a valley in the center. The deformities didn’t impact the texture or taste. They were delicious spread with jam. I have to admit that I ate them all myself, and loved every bite. Next time I’m serving breakfast to overnight guests, I’m going to make these. The guests will be impressed, yet it will be oh, so easy!
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie / Baking with Julia is hosted by Paula at Vintage Kitchen Notes and Amy at Bake with Amy where you can find the popover recipe. You can also find other takes on the popovers at the LYL post at Tuesdays with Dorie. Try them yourself. This recipe is quite a revelation.
Sunday was Maple Sunday in Maine. This event is held on the fourth Sunday of March every year. Many sugarhouses across the state are open for visitors.
We stopped by Balsam Ridge Christmas Tree Farm, which is only a few miles from out Maine cottage, in Raymond. In the winter, they have Christmas trees. In the spring, they make maple syrup from their sugarbush. It’s a small operation, but it’s very high tech. We watched a demonstration of the evaporator but they stopped collecting sap last week, so it was just pretend. The owner explained about the various steps and technology he uses.
With the climate change we’ve been experiencing, the sap runs earlier, and before the trees bud (which happens earlier and earlier), the taps get turned off. The introduction of technology helps maple syrup producers get the most out of their maples. From the vacuum system which allows more sap to be collected than gravity alone allows, to the reverse osmosis to reduce the water content of the sap before it gets boiled, to the evaporator that boils the syrup until the density is correct.
We enjoyed the samples of maple cotton candy, maple cream, maple butter, and, best of all, maple syrup over vanilla ice cream. We brought home a half gallon of maple syrup and couple pieces of maple fudge.
I like maple flavor, however, I don’t actually like syrup on my pancakes (I’m a jam girl). Howard does, but I do need to come up with some new ideas for using our treasure trove of maple syrup.