September 19, 2011

Autumn in Freeport!

The day had been planned. "Let's ride up to Freeport on Saturday and spend a carefree afternoon of shopping, have lunch, browse through the bookstores and see where the day takes us!"

Taken last September on a rainy day on the porch of LL Bean

The above picture was one I had taken last year when Dr. Bo and Miss Barbie were visiting The Maine House and we braved a rainy day and toured the Freeport shops. It was far from this day weather wise. The sun was shining, it was a perfect 66 degrees, the street vendors were out with the delicious smells of Lobster, chicken, sausage, potato twirls and fresh lemonade filling the village! It just happened to be the  Annual "Fall in the Village" Art Festival in which tents were set up to feature the work of local artists from coastal Maine and New England.

The expansive wooded front entry to LL Bean was the arena for local bands to sing their hearts out as visitors and families sat and listened to some rather good music. Young families were strolling their babies, little children tumbled about the grounds, and the dogs...oh those sweet pooches...everywhere I tell you. I cannot say this enough....Mainers love their dogs! So I think you get the picture! It was a beautiful autumn day in the village and people were out exploring, shopping, eating and living the good life. Darling and I had a successful shopping trip as we were shopping for Noah's ninth birthday coming up in October. This is one of my most pleasurable things to do as a grandparent....shopping for those precious children! Birthdays are a time to spoil those babies rotten! Darling said, "You spent how much?????" Hey, it only comes around once a year right? We then were starving so we took the path down the hill to one of our favorite dining spots in Freeport, The Corsican Restaurant. This is a tiny, white framed little two story structure, like an old farmhouse, which is family owned and operated. The food is scrumptious! Then we decided upon a Ben and Jerry's ice cream cone so we sat for awhile, listening to the bands and enjoying all the different breeds of dogs.....Labs, Greyhouds, Golden Retrievers, Corgi's, Dashunds, Bassets, Newfoundlands....I can't even remember them all. It was sure a perfect weekend day.

We did not purchase any art, but I did see one print I loved!

We had stopped by Jordan's farm in Cape Elizabeth to purchase some of the best Maine sweet corn for grilling out on the deck. This farm had been featured on one of the Cooking Channel shows, Hook, Line and Dinner.
It is unbelieveably good!

So, Estelle's had preplanned our Saturday night dinner menu of our
 Beer in the Rear Chicken
 (so fun to do anytime of year, especially on our beach vacations),
grilled fresh sweet corn and some
 fab Pumpkin Bread Pudding!
It's the good life! Sort of....still miss the children.....

Estelle's Beer In the Rear Chicken
1 whole chicken roaster (about 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup  Montreal Chicken Seasoning
1 can (12 ounces) beer (Budweiser preferred)

 Preheat gas grill to medium heat (325°F to 350°F). Remove giblets from chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry. Rub chicken with oil. Rub cavity with 1 tablespoon of the Chicken Seasoning. Sprinkle remaining Chicken Seasoning evenly over surface of chicken.
Remove about 2 ounces beer and poke 2 holes in top of can. Hold chicken upright (legs pointing down) and insert opened beer can into cavity. Stand chicken in upright position in center of grill. Position legs to best support chicken (similar to a tripod). Close lid.  Grill 55 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from can before serving


1 loaf rich egg bread, such as Challah or Brioche equal to about 1 lb., cut into large, 1-inch cubes 
15-oz. can of  pumpkin purée
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
2-1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Buttered Rum Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 Tbsp. dark rum

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk milk, pumpkin purée, both sugars, vanilla, eggs, spices, and salt. Add the bread cubes and mix together. Fold in the golden raisins and chopped pecans. Pour ingredients into a large rectangular baking pan. Let stand for 10 — 30 minutes to let the bread soak. Place pan in oven and bake until toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 50 minutes. Good bread pudding is moist, so don't overcook.

To prepare the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the brown sugar and heavy cream. Let the mixture just come to a boil. Let cool for a minute, then add the rum. The rum sauce can be made up to two days ahead of time. Reheat until just warm.

When ready to serve, cut the bread pudding into squares and place onto dessert plates or into small dessert bowls. Drizzle generously, the hot buttered rum sauce over the top.

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