Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Hype....

Living in Maine, we are accustomed to having foul weather: blizzards, snow storms, nor'easters, and yes the occasional tropical storm/hurricane.

(before and after pictures from Sunday afternoon  and Monday afternoon.)

Since last Wednesday, newsmen, weathermen and commentators have been busy clogging the airwaves hypothesizing Irene's path and potential danger. Irene did strike western New England as a tropical storm. There was damage in western New England with flooding and fallen trees.

Here in Ogunquit, we prepared for the worse. Stores, business, and beach  were closed. All lawn furniture and signs were removed. The town looked more like December with warmer weather.

I went for a run on the beach on Sunday morning. There was no rain, and the wind was moderate. The most peculiar thing I noticed is that there were MANY birds on the beach.  Florida natives will tell you that birds are a good sign. If birds flee, that is a good indication that you may get hit by a fierce storm of hurricane. I realized after my run, that this was hurricane hype that the media was feeding us. This post Katrina hype was also selling a lot of ad space on I still prepared for the worse, and battened the hatches!

The good thing about bad weather in Maine, is that it doesn't last too long.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand!

For the past four years every Saturday I have been baking cookies. I have gone through countless church cookbooks, recipes and Internet recipes to find the best cookie.

I have tried them all: Chocolate chip with oatmeal; chocolate chip with peanut butter; chocolate chip with Nutella etc...

Finally I have come up with the best recipe, that my guests at Ogunquit Beach Inn enjoy! It is the right consistency of chewiness and crispness.

3/4 cup of white sugar
1 Cup of brown sugar
2 sticks of butter at room temp ( unsalted is best)
1 heaping tablespoon of vanilla
2 large eggs beaten
3 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend sugars and butter together in a large bowl.
Add vanilla and eggs and mix.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and gradually add to batter.
Place cookie batter in little balls on non-stick cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
Let cool on metal rack and enjoy!

Blogger/Innkeeper Gregorio, enjoys Chocolate chip cookies as part of a balanced diet!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Where the Buoys are!

Buoys, quintessentially Maine. They dot the Maine landscape on  houses, fences, and lobster traps. They are decorative and yet utilitarian. We take them for granted. they are seen, but seldom heard from.....they are just there. These are the buoys of Summer.

Buoys are flotation devices that  lobstermen use to identify location of lobster traps.

According to Maine State Law, Title 12, Section 6434,  It is unlawful for anyone except the licensed owner, or a Marine Patrol Officer to raise, lift, transfer, possess, or in any manner molest any lobster trap, warp, buoy, or lobster car. This includes all gear that has washed ashore and is seemingly abandoned. 

Early lobster buoys were made from empty glass bottles. However,  it became hard to tell which buoys belonged to which lobsterman. The bottle/glass buoys were not sturdy for the rough north Atlantic waters.  During the 1800's lobstermen would carve buoys out of wood logs and painted them to identify the lobster traps. This evolved  into a New England folk art which is still popular today.

Buoys are so popular and beloved in Maine, that people play a game of  buoy baseball on Ogunquit beach. Buoy bats are made from authentic lobster buoys and hardwood handles. These products are produced in the neighboring town of South Berwick, and sold locally and on-line.  No two Buoy Bats are alike because lobster buoys are made for fishing. There are blemishes and unique markings  on these foam buoys, which truly makes this a unique sport product!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ogunquit Lobster Pound, Review

The World is my Lobster
                                           -Henry J. Tillman

When family comes to town, Mike and I usually like to get out of the B&B and enjoy one of the many fine restaurants that Ogunquit has to offer.

One particular restaurant is nestled in tall pines up on US Route One, just north of the village centre, with plenty of parking, is the Ogunquit Lobster Pound. The Ogunquit Lobster Pound serves some of the best lobsters, steamers and seafood along the Maine coast for 80 years.

Owned and operated by the Hancock family for 65 years, the Pound prepares lobster the traditional way: they use use seawater to steam the clams and lobsters. The estuary seawater is pumped directly into the lobster tanks. The salt water in the tanks keeps the lobsters healthy, and in their natural environment.  Patron's pick their lobster from the outside seawater tank, then the live lobster is boiled in the outside vats. Preparers then cut, score and crack the lobsters, which makes it easier for dinning patrons to enjoy ( and less messy).

The food at the Ogunquit Lobster Pound is delicious, but its also the dining  experience that truly makes the meal memorable. Clams are placed in nets and dropped into the steam vats. I have always enjoyed steamers, but I am truly impressed with these clams. The steam clams were perfect size, fresh and free of sand. I have personally gone clamming in the Ogunquit river estuary, and it is not easy, so I really do appreciate good steamed clams! Harvesting shellfish is an arduous task. But harvesting shellfish that is free of sand and debris, that is truly a miracle!

The best thing to do at the Ogunquit Lobster Pound is to get some Steamers, to share as an appetizer, then get different meals that you can share....I had a yearning  for fried seafood, so I got the Pound Combo which is basically a two different types of seafood with french fries or onion rings. My platter came with big bellied clams and huge scallops! My sister, got the boiled lobster of course!

The Pound is a large restaurant with lots of character and different types of seating arrangements. You can dine outside amongst the pines or inside. Locals like myself prefer to sit in the lounge side of the restaurant. Its a bit quieter, and there are television screens with sports tuned in......

The Details:
Ogunquit Lobster Pound
504 Main Street
Ogunquit, ME 03907
207 646 2056

Located  .7 miles north  of the village centre ( 1.2 km) on US Route One ( Main Street). There is plenty of parking and reservations are accepted. Menu is varied with array of local fresh seafood, steaks, seasonal vegetables and even a Gluten Free menu!  Full bar. Servers are attentive and knowledgeable , many return year after year. Open every day during the season at 4:30pm.

Many locals, and well heeled tourists choose to sit in the lounge side. There are comfortable booths as wells as "captain's chairs" in the lounge side.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sunrise on Ogunquit Beach, August

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness”


The sun officially rose at 5:43 am this morning. There is something special about the beach in the morning.  The sounds of waves, and  nautical birds  fills the air. The people who are on the beach at sunrise are purists: these are the people who make the effort to greet the sun and start the day, in a quiet manner.

The activities are varied: Fishermen, runners, walkers, yoga enthusiasts and others who  share the three mile long  barrier peninsula. There is a quiet camaraderie; everyone is in their zone, yet there is a gentle acknowledgement of each other. Runners zip through tidal pools as fishermen cast their lines. Beachcombers look for morning treasures as yoga posers meditate to the morning sun.

There is peace and harmony, and yet it is short lived. Many locals and some visitors realize that this indeed, is the best part of the day, and not to be missed.

A dawn chorus of fowl forages the shore, as waves crash bring forth more bounty to feast. The absence of humans allows nature to take its course on the dramatic seacoast.......

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ogunquit through the lens of Photographer Dan Perez

Dan is a frequent visitor to Ogunquit Maine. He enjoys the beach, nightlife and all Ogunquit has to offer. Dan is also an accomplished photographer. The spectrum of Dan's subjects range from: still life imagery, underbelly figurative subjects to burlesque stars from a bygone era.

Much of Dan's photographs captures a story or a moment in every day life. Simple pleasures by the beach or street scenes are some of his themes.
Dan sees things that are "overlooked" by the average "eye".

Darker light and strong textures are a constant theme in Dan's work. Both in his figurative imagery and in his "tourist" scenic imagery.
Dan grew up in the Boston's Italian North End. Dan draws much of his inspiration from his childhood in the North End. In the North End, nautical themes are juxtaposed  to tightly woven streets with characters lurking at every corner. This is also true about Ogunquit!

The tides play an important role in Ogunquit. The dramatic high tide brings in the cool north Atlantic water, and the low tide slips back into the ocean, along with the fog.

Light and texture paint the sky.

Ogunquit Beach Inn at night captured by Dan.

Dan Perez Relaxes in Ogunquit Maine with Burlesque Starlette, April March. Dan current project is documenting, and writing a book about burlesque stars of the 1950's & 1960's Dan's work cab be found on Facebook and