Unfortunately, the weather last week foiled our plans to travel to North Carolina for Thanksgiving with our families, but with a few last minute adjustments and preparations, we were able to celebrate a wonderful holiday together, successfully filling out an unexpected weekend home.
Since we missed the chance to pre-order our usual Thanksgiving turkey from Whole Foods, Meredith and I read through some holiday issues of Food & Wine, Bon Appétit and Martha Stewart Living, and decided to try our hand at the New England Express punch, roasted acorn squash, carrots and greens with dilly bean vinaigrette, and rich and creamy mashed potatoes.We made our turkey from scratch, and after a brunch with good friends, we spent the day cooking, dancing, drinking, and eating – just the way every Thanksgiving should be spent! We even finished the day off with Meredith’s oh-so-delicious apple crisp, thanks to this recipe from Martha.
On Saturday, we took a day trip to New Hampshire (more to come), where we did some shopping and hiking with Orvis, and on Sunday we braved the rain to make a trip to our local Christmas tree farm to partake in one of my favorite new holiday traditions. After we dried our tree out, we decorated our home for the holidays, aided by some holiday tunes from James Taylor, Ella Fitzgerald, and Elvis Presley. Afterward, we cozied up on the couch under the tree and watched Meredith’s favorite holiday movie – Love Actually.
It’s crazy to think that last week our plans for the holiday and weekend were completely different than how they played out, but after a weekend of laughter, adventure, good food, and good company, it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a few days away from work.
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Last week, the first shipment (of hopefully many many more) from the Scribe Viticultural Society arrived. Scribe was one of our favorite wineries from our recent trip to Sonoma, and although we had other bottles shipped home, the Viticultural Society was the only ‘wine club’ we joined. We loved Scribe for its setting, its story, and of course, its wine, and since it’s impossible to find their wines anywhere near home, we jumped at the opportunity to have six of their pinots, cabernet sauvignons, chardonnays, and limited production bottlings shipped quarterly to our front door. Another perk of the Viticultural Society are the pick-up parties they throw, where members are invited to the winery to enjoy an evening of food, fun, and libation (check out this cool video from a past pick-up party). Meredith has been daydreaming about a return trip out to California for one of these parties, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we share some more Scribe pictures.
Since the weather this week has canceled our travel plans for Thanksgiving, we’re looking forward to popping open our first Scribe bottle tomorrow. Surely it will be a hit.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday with plenty of good food and drink! If you have any suggestions for your own favorite Thanksgiving bottles, we’d love to hear them.
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Orvis & I were left to our own devices this weekend while Michael was in London for a work trip. Despite missing him a great deal, we managed to have quite a fun little weekend. It started off with a cozy Friday night dinner at Petite Jacqueline with my friend, Betsy, followed by a fantastic hike in Robinson Woods the next morning with our pal, Julia. I used Saturday afternoon to get a jump on my holiday shopping, purchasing gifts for family members from three of my favorite stores in the Old Port – Folly 101, 2 Note Perfumery, and Blanche & Mimi. Later that afternoon I put our eucalyptus branches to good work, sprucing up various parts of the house, including the mantel of our newly wallpapered fireplace.
Although I considered not running Sunday’s Turkey Trot when I woke up and saw that it was five degrees with the wind chill, I’m so glad I didn’t listen to myself – it was easily one of the chillier runs I’ve ever experienced, but nothing compares to the high of finishing any type of race. Plus, I used the run as an excuse to indulge in my new favorite winter lunch – tomato cognac soup from Aurora Provisions with bits of toasted bread and globs of pimiento cheese from Scratch Baking Co. So good.
We’re off to pick up Michael from the airport soon – have a wonderful week, friends!
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One of the coolest parts about Maine is how varied the terrain can be within such a small distance. Meredith and I live on the coast, but less than an hour away is the picturesque Lakes Region, and just a little bit further, the spectacular White Mountains. Nestled in between the two is Sabattus Mountain, a short easy hike just outside of Lovell, Maine, with some of the most breathtaking views of the White Mountains and the Kezar Lake region. A few weeks ago, Meredith and I took Orvis for a day hike up the mountain, and although the trail itself is quite enjoyable, with some sections of colorful deciduous growth and others of needle-laden coniferous forest, the view from the top was simply amazing. The three of us spent a good deal of time enjoying the view before our hike back down, and still made it home in the early afternoon.
Lovell, Maine 04051
Last weekend was definitely a busy one for us. On Friday night, we attended Might & Main’s Fall Classic cocktail party. The team at Might & Main does a lot of great branding work around town, especially in the food industry, and really know how to throw a fun get together!
Saturday morning we did some trail maintenance work for Portland Trails, a volunteer opportunity through our local composting service, Garbage to Garden. Michael was no stranger to trail work, but judging by my sore shoulders, I definitely have a newfound appreciation for the amount of effort it takes to care for the 60+ miles of trails in the Portland Trails network. Later that afternoon, we ventured up to Wiscasset to have dinner with my parents and let Orvis run on the farm with his pal, Mason. It’s always enjoyable to see the farm change with the seasons, and wonderful to have Orvis really stretch his legs. Michael even brought a couple of Heady Toppers to share with my stepfather, from his mid-week roadtrip to Vermont, which I’m sure was a highlight of both of their evenings.
We had the perfect start to Sunday morning at Piccolo for brunch with friends. We filled ourselves with all kinds of delicious Italian-inspired items from the menu and finished the meal off with some incredible zeppoli and a decadent baked stuffed pear from Ilma’s kitchen. Last night, we finally had a moment to relax and made ourselves a tasty steak salad and this apple oat crisp, which I’ve already caught Michael eyeing a few times this morning.
For anyone interested in volunteering with Portland Trails, click here for more information.
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Each year that we’ve lived in Maine, we’ve been fortunate to find that as fall fades to winter, there always seems be one last burst of warmer weather. We’ve come to savor these Indian Summers, and late last week turned into one of my favorites yet. In the few brief days of sun and unusual warmth, we crammed in as much time outside as possible. We enjoyed brunch in town, spent time in the yard with Orvis, grilled out, enjoyed meals on the patio, and went on numerous neighborhood walks to Orvis’s favorite secret beach. Even after the warm spell snapped, we kept the awesome weekend going with our favorite local dog-friendly race, the Bayside Trail 5k. This year, we were joined by a number of friends that bravely faced the cold wind, and afterwards, treated ourselves to some of the delicious treats served up by the Urban Sugar food truck (hopefully we’ll be returning for Map & Menu in the very near future). Now, as the colder weather begins to become standard, we’re turning our eyes toward planning winter adventures and looking forward to all of the fun yet another season will bring.
Side note: While reading about Indian Summers, I saw a reference to its British equivalent – All-Hallows Summer – which seemed fitting given that the warm air blew in this year on Halloween.
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In an attempt to take advantage of the beautiful, but all too-short, fall season in Maine, we decided to take a day off from work and try a new hike with Orvis. After giving it some thought, we chose Tumbledown Mountain via the dog-friendly (and less strenuous) Brook Trail. The drive up to Franklin County during the foliage-filled first week of October was gorgeous. We drove through new towns we’d never visited and enjoyed some of the prettiest vistas of colorful, rolling mountains.
Visiting the trail on a Monday, we ended up having the whole hike to ourselves, and Orvis was as happy as could be as he ran free ahead of us. Though we didn’t stay too long at the top because of the chilly temperatures & high wind, Orvis didn’t seem to mind the cold a bit and ended up taking a dip in the picturesque Tumbledown Pond. We continued to laugh at our semi-spastic hiking partner the whole way down the mountain as we vowed to return in the warmer months of the summer when we, too, might actually want to go for a swim in the pond.
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