Day off in Rockwood

  
This morning we woke up to a crisis. Somehow, we had run out of coffee and hadn’t notice until we stumbled out of bed, bleary eyed and in desperate need of caffeine.

  
We managed to make our way out the door and drove the three miles to the tar (what the locals called a paved road). There are not many options for dining out in Rockwood, Maine. We don’t even have a stoplight in town. Thankfully, we have Maynard’s, a restaurant and cottage rental in the heart of Rockwood. The only other time we had been to Maynard’s was a Saturday night in the middle of the summer a few years ago. We foolishly thought we could just walk in around six o’clock and order dinner. We were informed upon entering that no one had called ahead that night so they were not opening the restaurant or serving any food. That’s the way it goes in a small town.

  
Fortunately, they were open for breakfast and we were grateful for the hot coffee. The menu was the traditional eggs, sausage, home fries and pancakes that almost every breakfast place has but everything was done perfectly. The staff and other diners were friendly and the view of the water and mountains didn’t hurt a bit.

  
After breakfast, my son discovered the tire swing outside, along with the badminton net, the slide, the swing set, the ball toss game and the tether ball pole. We all had a fun time playing together before we headed down the road.

  
We decided to go into Greenville and ended up at the library and then the park for awhile. It seemed everyone in town was out and about in boats, trucks, atvs and seaplanes.

  
We headed down to Kelly’s Landing and hung out at the beach for awhile, enjoying the magnificent view.

  
It was getting near time for dinner so we decided to head home. We took one last look at Moosehead Lake and piled into the van.

  
On our way back to camp, our 12 week old daughter started crying so we pulled off to the side of the road to see what was the matter. While my wife was taking care of her, my son and I headed out to do some exploring.

  
As luck would have it, we had parked right next to a big wild blueberry patch and we were surrounded by perfectly ripe berries everywhere we looked! I quickly grabbed a bag and we went to work filling it as quickly as we could, snacking on delicious blueberries the entire time.

  
I could hardly wait to get home and make some Blueberry Muffins. When we got home, everybody pitched in and helped to make the muffins. It was so much fun and they turned out amazing! The perfect end to a day off in Rockwood, Maine.

  

Lobster Night

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Fridays are always a busy day on the island because Friday night is lobster night. There is something for everyone to do. My wife makes the trip into town to pick up fresh lobsters while I prepare the side dishes and get the fire ready. The ladies get the dining room ready and make the pies for dessert. Even the kids help shuck the corn and make everybody’s day a little brighter. We have all been doing this for years and it is a welcome routine that comes naturally.

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After the lobsters arrive it is time to build the fire. The wood needs about an hour to burn down into coals. When the coals are ready, it is time to set up the big steamers we use to cook the lobsters. People often ask me how you can tell when the lobsters are finished. They usually take about ten minutes per pound in a steamer so you can count on 20 minutes for 2 pound lobsters, 25 for 2.5 pounds and so on. Time is a good indicator of when to start checking the lobsters but the best way to tell when they are done is to pull on their antenna. If it pops off under the weight of the lobster, you can be confident it is fully cooked and ready to enjoy.

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The traditional lobster dinner is usually accompanied by steamed corn, potatoes, and lots of drawn butter. It is delicious but very rich. I was trying to find a way to cut through all this richness when I discovered watermelon salad. Cubed watermelon tossed with fresh mint, lime juice, red onions and feta cheese is a refreshing side dish that helps balance the entire meal. It was an instant classic and now we always have a big bowl of watermelon salad with every lobster dinner.

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When the lobsters are done, we gather in the kitchen and get to work. Rubber bands get snipped, tails get split and claws and knuckles are put on the platter. When the work is done, everybody finds a place at the table and prepares for the feast. Lobster crackers and picks in hand, everybody digs in and has their fill of Maine’s finest delicacy.

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Just when everybody has had so much lobster, corn, butter and watermelon salad that they feel they can’t eat another bite, it is time for dessert and everyone seems to find their second wind. No lobster dinner would be complete without a dessert of blueberry or rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream. It is the perfect ending to a delicious meal.

Watermelon Feta Salad

Ingredients:

6 Cups Cubed Watermelon

1/2 Cup Sliced Red Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Mint

1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

Directions:

Combine first five ingredient in a large bowl and toss gently. Top with feta cheese and serve immediately.