February 28, 2012

Blissful Weekends in Maine

Some of our best times in Maine have been packing a picnic lunch and heading up to visit the Western and Eastern Promenades in Portland. It was hard to imagine that this historical beauty was just  minutes away. We would walk along the Prom, feeling the bay breezes and snapping pictures of the massive Victorians, Colonials and Federal homes. We would park ourselves on one of the park benches and just sit and watch the dogs playing, the boats moored out in the bay and people lying in the grass, whiling away a Sunday afternoon. This was pure bliss.  

The Western Promenade is an historic promenade, made up of 18.5 acres in Portland, Maine's West End neighborhood. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes a number of historic properties. It is bounded by the Western Promenade and Bramhall, Brackett, Emery, and Danforth Streets. It includes a number of homes dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Eastern Promenade (Eastern Prom) is an historic promenade which is composed of 68.2 acres in Portland. The construction of the Promenade began in 1836 and was completed in 1934. The 1.5 miles park was designed by the Olmstead Brothers design firm and experienced its greatest expansion from the 1880s to the 1910s. The Promenade rings around the Munjoy Hill neighborhood and occupies the farthest eastern portion of Portland's peninsula. The Promenade is home to many historical sites, including a mass grave and the mast of a decommissioned US battleship.

In December 1812, following the Battle of Queenston Heights during the War of 1812, the HMS Regulus, a British ship, docked under a truce flag in Portland's harbor en route from Quebec to Boston, Massachusetts due to the presence of fever, malnutrition and dysentery among the American prisoners of war onboard. 29 of the prisoners were taken to the local hospital and a month later 21 of the prisoners had died. The dead soldiers were buried in a mass grave at the foot of Quebec Street on the Eastern Promenade, with a large boulder marking the spot of their grave. In 1887, a bronze plaque was affixed to the stone with the names of the dead soldiers.

These were such lovely Sundays! Once we arrived back at The Maine House, we were ready for a cup of New England Coffee and some of
Estelle's Sweet Potato Cobbler!


1 stick butter
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Melt butter in a 2x12-inch baking dish. Mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk; pour into the center of melted butter. Do not stir.

2 cups cooked but firm, peeled and sliced sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon butter rum flavoring
1/2 cup raisins which have been soaked in spiced rum

Pour this into center of melted butter and batter. Do NOT stir. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until light brown!

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