December 9, 2010

An Old Tavern on a Winter Day!

This old house looks so perfect and natural in its surroundings, it’s hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t there. One of  Maine's oldest structures, built in 1750, the former tavern sits in the middle of a venerable village in the first incorporated community northeast of the Piscataqua. So it’s surprising to learn that this building was actually built on the old King’s Highway (Route 1) in Wells, disassembled, stored in a barn, then moved up the road in 1941, only landing at its current location in 1959. A pub on the main route of travel between Portland and Portsmouth, it no doubt witnessed great moments in history — the first soldiers in the Continental army from Maine likely sat in the tavern here, discussing the abuses of the king, before they marched south. Certainly many discussed the case of Mary Nasson, accused of witchcraft, before she was buried in the “Witch’s Grave” adjacent to the building. And Mark Twain probably had a drink or two here, too, as he summered just up the road.

Winter days have arrived in our Maine Village....soooo cold!
Five day forecast for The Maine House......
Partly Cloudy....Cloudy.....Rain / Snow....Rain....Rain / Snow
Hi:28°Lo:9°.... Hi:29°Lo:19°.... Hi:40°Lo:23°.... Hi:39°Lo:31°.... Hi:38°Lo:21°

Soup's on at Estelles!
Estelle's Magnificent Ministrone Soup
3 Tbsp. olive oil 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 (15 oz.) can or fresh green beans
2 onions, chopped 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
2 cups chopped celery 3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
5 carrots, sliced 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 cups chicken broth 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 cups water Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups tomato sauce 1/2 cup seashell pasta
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese for topping

In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside. Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Estelle's Dilly Bread
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 C. (cup) warm water (110 to 115 degrees F.)
1 C. large curd creamed cottage cheese
2 T. (tablespoons) sugar
1 T. instant minced onion
1 T. butter
2 t. (teaspoons) dill seeds
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 egg
2-1/4 to 2-1/2 C. flour

Sprinkle yeast over warm water; stir to dissolve. Heat cottage cheese until lukewarm; combine in mixing bowl with sugar, onion, butter, dill seeds, salt, baking soda, egg and yeast. Add flour, a little at a time, to make a stiff batter. Beat well after each addition. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 50 to 60 minutes. Stir down with 25 vigorous strokes. Turn into well-greased 1-1/2 quart round (8 inches) casserole or 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 bread pan. Cover and let rise in warm place, about 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Brush warm crust with butter and sprinkle with salt.

Sadie's Signature Color!

"When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters."
~B. Cybrill

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