June 21, 2011

A Maine Summer...It's Going To Be A Wild Ride!

The Maine House is preparing the July itinerary for first time visitors to Maine! A whitewater rafting trip has been planned for Nick, Cat and the grandchildren. This will be Nick's first time for this experience which we believe he will find..... one wild ride!! Although his nickname has always been "Nick Danger", this just may provide a challenge for him. Rob and the Divine Miss M will go along even though they have been on prior visits. It is fun, and a thrill, but be forewarned, it can be rather physically challenging. The Penobsoct river is the largest of the three rivers in Maine and it is renowned for whitewater thrills. This river flows almost in the shadow of Mt. Karahdin and is dam-controlled, which allows it to provide high-water rafting from late April through mid-October. The guide can make all the difference in your experience and these kids are adventuresome to say the least. Along the ride, they allow for some smooth floating both inside and outside the raft. Also be aware that the river water is COLD! You can catch sights along the trip of moose sightings, deer, Osprey, various birds and their nesting areas, woodland cabins and wildflowers. There will also be canoeing and kayaking all around you! It is a sight to behold, peaceful, thrilling and exhausting! Most rafting trips will stop along the way to allow you to catch your breath and snack on granola bars and bottled water. Once you head back to their camp, assist in carrying your raft to their storage sight (heavy lifting here), you are treated to lunch of steak, salmon or chicken right off the grill! It's is definitely a day's adventure in Maine!

A Maine House Mosaic

Before they head out to the river, Estelle's is serving up a summer sunshine breakfast of Buttermilk pancakes, with a fresh
Maine wild blueberry compote and real Maine Maple butter!

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 1/3 cups all- purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries

Separate the eggs so that the yolks go into a large bowl and the whites go into the bowl of a stand mixer or a bowl large enough to fit a hand held electric mixer. Add the buttermilk and melted butter to the yolks in the bowl and beat together. In another bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. With a stand mixer or electric mixer, whip the egg whites to hold soft peaks.
Now pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and fold in lightly until just combined. Some lumps are OK. Fold in the egg whites until just combined. It's OK if some of the whites aren't fully incorporated. Rub a non-stick frying pan with a bit of butter and heat over medium-high heat. Add batter to pan to make whatever size pancake you prefer. Pancakes are ready to flip once a few bubbles appear on the surface and and the tops are turning slightly brown. Just before they are ready to flip, sprinkle a few blueberries on top of each pancake. Flip and cook another minute or two.

Blueberry Compote
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 strip lemon peel
1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down heat and simmer very gently until mixture is thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking time. Spoon compote over pancakes while still warm.

Maple Butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup maple syrup

In a small saucepan, melt together butter and maple syrup over low heat until melted. Serve immediately over pancakes.

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