If you’re anything like us, you love Maine in every one of its distinct seasons. Summer is glorious, to be sure, but spring, fall, and winter have their own special kind of magic. Winter in Maine is quiet, with melancholy days where sunlight streaks gray skies with mellow sunshine. Other winter mornings are so bright with sparkling snow and the scent of pine in the crisp, cold air. At night the velvet sky is riddled with stars. All is wild and well, and we feel a strong connection with nature and the mystery of the universe. We take pleasure in being here through the winter months, sharing old-fashioned holiday traditions, snuggling up under quilts by a fire, sledding, and sipping cocoa. Experiencing deeply the wind, snow, and ice makes us appreciate the warm bounty of summer even more. We feel truly blessed to be rooted in this place and the amazing community of people who call it home.
This year, during the “off-season” we’ve been keeping busy! We were so pleased to participate in Pies on Parade, one of the most delicious events of the year. Pies on Parade is a tourism/charity event that is buoyed by a convivial spirit and a whole lot of pie. Local businesses join together to offer a tasting crawl through town, where visitors can sample many kinds of sweet and savory pie. There was a crab quiche, cranberry apple pie, savory galettes, even whoopie pie, which is not technically pie, but is one of Maine’s most treasured sweet treats – it’s two little cakes with a creamy, marshmallow filling, in case you haven’t had the pleasure. Guests walk along the streets of historic Rockland, stopping at many pretty venues, meeting and mingling with locals and other Maine lovers. All proceeds from the event are donated to the Area Interfaith Outreach Pantry and Fuel Assistance Program. It is so important to us to give back to our community and share what we have with our neighbors. In Maine the art of neighboring is not lost, the act of giving is so much a part of who we are.
We are also excited to share with you the details of our favorite little country store, Mussel Ridge Market. They stay open all through the fall and winter keeping our bellies full with homey favorites like meatloaf, chili, and baked stuffed haddock. The store is run by local couple Molly and Jason Hooper, who call Spruce Head home. Jason is a third generation fisherman who ensures there is the freshest, sweetest lobster and the very best, plump scallops we have ever tasted. Heading up the open kitchen is food writer and food truck owner Malcolm Bedell, who likes nothing better than to cook New England classics, epic sandwiches, and crazy good tacos for the folks of the MidCoast. Take a seat at a table, sip a glass of wine, snack on yummy appetizers or pizza and a wedge salad, and wait for friends new and old to walk through the door. It’s a true Maine market with quirky characters and hand-cut fries. Stock up on what you need and discover new favorites. You can find us there enjoying a long lunch and chat at the counter on many, many days.
It’s been a good winter. We’ve been skiing at the Snow Bowl, slurped $1 oysters Sunday nights at Primo, and stayed warm at the outdoor ice bar on the ocean. We feel lucky to be here, right now and all year round. We believe this place is special. We can’t wait to see you all this summer, and are still looking forward to the mud, lengthening days, budding trees, and the green transformation that will occur over the next few weeks and months. Winter is long, but beautiful, just as summer in Maine is fleeting but so very special.