Foraged Summer Feast

mushroom harvestWe’re into August already, but this weekend was the first one that really felt like summer. Our good friends Jill and Joe came up for a visit, and reminded us of the pure joy that can only be found in a full day with absolutely nothing to do.

group
We took a long nature walk, talked about our dreams for the future, and ate really, really good food.
breakfast

During our walk in the woods, they showed us how to look for coral and oyster mushrooms. We harvested them and added them to our CSA chanterelles and black trumpets. We then paired them with our new favorite pasta recipe, good Pecorino Romano, fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil.

Pasta dinner

Oh, and big goblets of Wild Sumac Margaritas!

sumac margarita

This dinner was the perfect nod to summer’s bounty. I insist you find some good mushrooms, good friends, good tequila, and make this immediately before summer starts to disappear.

 

Foraged Summer Feast

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Gratitude Attitude: List 2

This week was a lunar eclipse- I think it was called a blood moon? I don’t really follow astrology, but sometimes I can’t help buying into it just a little. There were warnings that this week might be more chaotic and confusing as a result. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that, but if your week did feel a little of whack (like ours did), chalk it up to mars being in retrograde and make a list of everything that was good, big or small.

Trevor:

  • I’m so grateful that four years ago today I asked Tess to be my girlfriend. It was the capitol of Vietnam’s millennial anniversary. There were millions of people in the streets outside our dorm, fireworks going off all around us. I knew it was the start of something special.

vietnam

  • We’re spending our wedding anniversary weekend up near Mt. Katahdin- I’m so grateful for our buddy Paul’s generosity in letting us stay at his family’s cabin.
  • FALL BREAK. I’m 100% grateful for a long weekend and a break from grading papers and studying.

trevor

Tess:

  • Despite the crazy price (our jaws are still on the floor) I’m extremely grateful to have our Subaru fixed up and safe again. I don’t have to worry about it breaking down on Trevor anymore.
  • I’m really grateful for my team at work- these two guys are extremely supportive, creative, and help me get through the tough stuff.

work

  • I’m grateful to be back at the gym- it’s starting to get really dark when I get home, so the gym will start being my primary workout space again. As much as I’ll miss the outdoors, there’s something about the gym that makes me want to work a little harder. The quote on the wall says “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

gym(I promise not to start taking gym selfies on a regular basis)

What were you grateful for this week?

Catching Peak

ridge

This weekend, Trevor and I were fortunate enough to attend Maine Huts and Trails’ second annual Harvest at the Huts: a five course, sustainable, local meal served at Stratton Brook Hut. It’s a three mile hike up a hill with stunning views of Sugarloaf Mountain and the Bigelow Mountain range.

trailhead

We were utterly blown away.

menu

The guest chef, Jordan Rolleston, outdid himself. Every ingredient was brought up to the hut from a local Maine farm. No course was quite what we expected- the oysters were paired with a blueberry vinegar, the “salad” was made from pickled apples and squash, the rabbit dish was served with pine nut breadcrumbs.

Each course was paired with an exceptional wine. The 30 or so other guests there were warm and rugged (our two favorite qualities.) It was a weekend to remember, and repeat.

menu2

veggies

Our favorite course was the lobster veloute- a rich and creamy soup studded with big chunks of Maine lobster and dotted with chive cream.

soup

Though the rabbit pappardelle and the honey cake dessert were close runners up.

honeycake

Our sommelier was knowledgable, attentive, and friendly. He’d come around with every course and tell us small info-bites about each wine and why it was chosen:  “It’s got a fresh ripe overtone with an undertone of butter,” “The perfect example of what a Sauvignon Blanc should be,” “It has a velvety smooth taste which pairs well with the velvety smooth rabbit.”

Our favorite description was, “If I had to characterize a Syrah, it would be a cowboy wearing a tuxedo!”

wineguy

We paired up with another newly wed couple, Ben and Petra, and deemed ourselves the kids table.

cheers

We slept in bunks that night, waking several times to marvel at the stars. Trevor pointed out the Andromeda galaxy- a cluster of bright infinity.

The next morning we woke to coffee and blueberry pancakes with local syrup- and somehow managed to keep eating. We enjoyed a slow and easy hike back to our cars, stopping at every viewpoint we could find.

mountainboy mountaingirl

Since we were right next to Sugarloaf, and becuase it was the Great Maine Outdoors weekend, we decided to indulge in a lift ride up Sugarloaf mountain on our way home to take in the views one more time.

On our way down the mountain, our lift guide told us, “You guys are lucky- you just caught peak this weekend.”

fire

We are indeed exceptionally lucky. My advice to all Mainers? Take some time this week and go someplace quiet where you can completely revel in this color explosion. There’s something about the energy in the woods this time of year that lets you be your best self- surrounded by nature, free from worry, and filled to the brim with gratitude and love.