Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cruising the Farmer's Markets

As I mentioned in "About Cook's Cache" food shopping, especially for fresh ingredients, while cruising in Maine can be challenging. Good grocery stores within easy walking distance of harbors are few and far between; and stores which used to be at least marginal now dedicate most of their shelf space to beer, wine and snack food to be purchased at high prices by the passengers the windjammer crews bring ashore.

The emergence of farmer's markets have brought all sorts of wonderful food within easy walking distance of our anchored or moored boat, particularly in Hancock and Knox counties. This year, we first replenished our galley at the Northeast Farmer's Market.  A friend got there early and brought me a huge bag of field greens and another of arugula as well as beets, spring onions and scallions.  Ed grilled the spring onions and we shared them with our friends that evening. When we arrived in Northeast about eleven o'clock, I went to the market to see what was left.  I got some chicken, beef and goat cheese from Sunset Acres Farm and Dairy.  Though the Chicago Tribune article praising their Sea Smoke cheese was prominently displayed, none was left. I purchased some Gaurdian goat cheese which was excellent. I also purchased a box of raspberries from one of the few remaining vendors.

Our real "stock up day" came the following week at the Stonington Farmer's Market.  It opens at ten but lines for various vendors form well before then. We stood in line at the Hackmatack Farm stand where we purchased excellent field greens, very fresh and with some bite similar to the ones (same vendor?) from Northeast Harbor, tiny zucchini and wild Maine blueberries.  Since we came well stocked with maple syrup and Arrowhead Mills Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix (just add water and oil) we not only had blueberries for dessert but on pancakes for several breakfasts. 

While standing in line we inquired about the various bread vendors and were directed to Tinder Hearth where we purchased some excellent sourdough white bread and some sourdough spelt bread. We ate the white bread first and, as the baker promised it would, the spelt bread lasted well for several days as we travelled down the coast.

For eggs, chicken and beef we returned to Sunset Acres Farm and Dairy.  When I inquired about the Sea Smoke goat cheese I had missed at Northeast, the farmer quickly grabbed the last piece of this cheese from a display and handed it to me.  It was indeed delicious. We remembered the great fish truck from last year and returned to get crabmeat (from The Lobster Shack, Stonington, Maine), and local swordfish and tuna.  The vendor told us the crab was very fresh would last for several days; she was correct. Since I had brought miso and wasabi from home we were able to use two of our favorite recipes for the fish:

Tuna Steaks with Wasabi Butter and Salmon with Red Miso Sauce

Our bags full, we walked the mile back to Billings Marine where we had left Condor for our hour and one half round trip excursion to the market.

Reviewed 9/20/2017

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