Honestly, I've stopped counting. The summer is winding down, which is astonishing. This has somehow been the longest shortest year ever. Since August 1st, I've been up in Maine, spending time both at a cabin on a lake in Casco, Maine, and at my family's house in Portland (after negative pre- and post-flight covid tests). So what has this meant for food and cooking? I started with an online shop that my sister picked up curbside for me in Portland, and when we drove out to the lake from the airport, we packed that up along with some odds and ends. Near the cabin, there's an amazing organic farm which I knew I'd visit, and there was a lot of sharing with whatever my parents had in stock. I ended up cooking a ton for my parents, taking advantage of all of the abundant produce (corn, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, more corn, more tomatoes) and the grill (which they don't use as much when I'm not around), and of course, eating lobster several times. One huge sleeper hit that I made for my family (including young nephews) was barbecue pulled chicken (served with tomatoes and corn, naturally, but without smoked paprika this time). I make this recipe a lot at home, and you can use any barbecue sauce you want or make your own. At home, I've used Trader Joe's Kansas City BBQ Sauce, but here I used Stubb's Sticky Sweet BBQ Sauce. Equally delicious.
I've never stayed up in Maine this long in the 20+ years my family has lived here. Ever. And for the majority of the time here I didn't have a car, so I basically stayed put for a few weeks and used what I had/what was brought to me or shared with me. It didn't suck. When I relocated from the cabin to Portland, they were pretty much in charge of purchasing, but I did a lot of the cooking. Once again, tons of fresh summer produce was our guiding principle. Pasta with fresh tomatoes, lobster, and a dollop of ricotta, grilled rib eye steaks with roasted potatoes, grilled salmon tuna nicoise salad, and grilled pizza (plain and white pizza with zucchini). I also ate out for the first time since the pandemic started -- at Chaval -- which was a real treat, and got take out along the way. Dumplings and more from Bao Bao and fried chicken, slaw and biscuits from Figgy's.
That said, I miss being in more control of my food shopping/cooking/intake (I miss you, Trader Joe's!), and it's starting to get colder, making me think more about my Instant Pot than the grill. I'll be here for a bit longer and plan to get the most out of the last of summer until I return to NYC.