Warm Potato Salad

Warm Potato Salad dished up and ready to eat

This isn’t your everyday potato salad. In fact, this will probably make you rethink what a potato salad should be. Do yourself a favor, grab some potatoes, and try this now!

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How a Tuna Fish Sandwich Saved Our Relationship

June 15, 2018

The more I get to know Maine the more I want to stay. Last Friday I worked the morning shift at the restaurant, which flew by in a frenzy of salt-roasted potatoes, chopping mirepoix for ragu, and the bustling lunch line. After work, I ran across the street to Rosemont Market and Bakery and grabbed some broccoli, russet potatoes, a loaf of ciabatta, and bought a bottle of sparkling rose from the restaurant. I drove home with my loot, changed into a tank top, grabbed a sweater and my book, and Tony and I drove down to the Jetty.

The weather was in the 70’s and we walked past Huot’s Seafood Restaurant where a steady line of people waited to place their order for fried seafood classics. We walked out onto the jetty a good way and then settled in, Tony to fish and myself to read. He caught two mackerel almost right away and over the course of the evening also brought in two striped bass that were too small to keep. We watched the sunset and then drove home, where Tony cleaned and filleted the fish while I chopped and roasted the broccoli and potatoes, and then we sat down to dinner which was delicious!On a less, grand note we took a day off of work last week to go to the DMV. If you read our Nutshell when we lived in Utah about our car plate predicament, you won’t be surprised when I say that we decided we needed Maine plates and IDs. Partially because whenever I go the wrong way and get honked at I know the Utah plates don’t do me any favors. Partly because I’m the primary driver of the car for work and my ID is Colorado and the car is registered in Utah. Most importantly because the cashiers at Hannafords, the local grocery stores here, have to call a manager over anytime someone with an out of state ID wants to buy alcohol. Then the manager has to get out a little book with pictures of all the different state IDs, find yours, compare, then find Tony’s and compare before we can pay for the booze which is exasperating for everyone.

So, the morning of the DMV dawned and we had all of our documents minus the lease agreement which was our proof of residency. Somehow it had disappeared into the black hole of moving day and I doubt we shall ever see it again. So after a thorough search, we drove to Staples where we spent 15 minutes at the print machines trying to download and print off phone bills and pay stubs. Neither of us had consumed enough coffee for the project this was turning into and we’d skipped breakfast to get out the door so I grabbed a couple Snickers bars on our way out.

The DMV process went smoothly, they snapped an ugly photo of me and I was handed back my punched-through Colorado ID and a piece of paper. We then went to get the required inspection done only to find you have to register the car first, (What?) then get it inspected. So we registered the car which was a whopping $230 on top of $60 license fees, each. Yikes! Fortunately, the inspection was only $12.50 but Mr. grumpy came stomping back out to tell us we didn’t pass and handed us a list of expensive things to fix, none of which has hindered the car from taking us across the country twice.

We went home and ate some real food before finding a new mechanic that was close enough to our house we could bike back home. Lou’s Service Center had great reviews and was only two miles away. So the following Monday Tony took the car in to get an estimate. We went to pick it up later that day and Lou told us “I don’t see anything that concerns me here, I’m passing you for the inspection, bring it back when it has a real problem.” What a guy… His place had a ton of good reviews and will soon be receiving another, but can I just say we’ll be back with any and all car needs for the duration of our time in Maine.So instead of dumping another $500+ into the old Suburban we drove to Home Depot and got a smoker/grill combo! It’s currently sitting, half assembled in the laundry room and is our project for tonight. I’m so stoked to be able to grill again and to smoke everything! We then drove home and made seafood spaghetti with clams and mussels (shellfish are like .20 cents each here!) and I popped that bottle of rose I’d brought home from work and we sat on the couch watching a Marvel movie and I thought, “Is this really my life?!” P.S Father’s day is this Sunday so there are a ton of grills/smokers on sale right now if you’re in the market!

Now, Tony and I have Sundays off together and have been doing our best to make that day one for venturing out and doing something new. So Sunday we slept in a little, made some tuna fish sandwiches, filled our Stanley thermos assortment with water and coffee and drove 2 ½ hours to the White Mountains in New Hampshire! There are so many gorgeous hikes there but we opted for the Three Falls Trail. A three-mile hike up and then you retrace your steps, or you can do a 12-mile loop.

With our late start and me being tired from my busy shift at the restaurant the night before, we opted for the out and back. I’d consider Tony and myself somewhat of veteran hikers and so I wasn’t concerned about getting up a three-mile trail.The first waterfall appeared quickly and it truly was a gorgeous hike up. Lush pine trees and mossy roots, and SO many giant rocks. The first mile had all three of the waterfalls, each grander than the last but for some reason, I got it into my head the last waterfall would be near the end.

By the time we’d lolly-gagged around, taking photos and admiring the falls it was 3:00 pm and I was tired. The elevation gain was more than 1,200 ft per mile. We figured we couldn’t be too far from the tree line and the view was supposed to be amazing so we left the falls behind and kept hiking. Up, up, and up we went. Every switchback produced a steeper incline and it was basically another hour of climbing a giant staircase made of boulders. I’d eaten two eggs and a banana for breakfast and my energy was plummeting. I began to feel very sorry for myself and kept stopping to whine and wheeze every 10 minutes or so.We passed a hiker on the way down and asked how far to the tree line and his response of “Oh you’ve got another hour and a half at least” was the last straw. We sat and broke out the sandwiches and beer we’d packed. And oh my lord I felt life coming back into me. Cheers to Tony and the sandwich for avoiding a meltdown on the mountain that day.We kept on after that and I was a much more pleasant hiking partner to have around for the rest of the way. Tony found a small cave part way up, that after determining had no shining eyes or teeth in the back of it, I crawled into to explore. Which was really just an excuse not to climb for another minute. I came out covered in dirt and we continued on our way, Tony leaping and running up the rocks and me plodding along behind.

Eventually, we came to the last part, which another hiker had accurately described as “You’ll know you’re almost there when it gets really shitty.” He was right and the last part was indeed a beast. But finally we cleared the treeline and the view was completely worth it! Sprawling mountains were all around and giant cairns were everywhere.

We sat for awhile enjoying the view and another beer and then passed off our last beer to a hiker. Apparently, this is a leg of the Appalachian trail and according to him, this was the most difficult part so far. Hats off to him and everyone else hiking the whole thing, you all are amazing. We left the summit around 5:00 pm and made great time back down, running whenever the boulders weren’t too big. We both ate it once but emerged at the parking lot with grins and only minor scrapes to show for it.

We drove the 2 ½ hours back home and got to Pizza Hut to pick up our takeout order 10 minutes before they closed. It took me three days to feel fully recovered from that trip but can I just say, what a great way to spend a weekend. The big adventures always make for the best memories, and if I have two takeaways for you today from that trip they would be:

  1. Bring a sandwich.
  2. The summit is always worth it.

To Be Continued…

June 15, 2018

The more I get to know Maine the more I want to stay. Last Friday I worked the morning shift at the restaurant, which flew by in a frenzy of salt-roasted potatoes, chopping mirepoix for ragu, and the bustling lunch line. After work, I ran across the street to Rosemont Market and Bakery and grabbed some broccoli, russet potatoes, a loaf of ciabatta, and bought a bottle of sparkling rose from the restaurant. I drove home with my loot, changed into a tank top, grabbed a sweater and my book, and Tony and I drove down to the Jetty.

The weather was in the 70’s and we walked past Huot’s Seafood Restaurant where a steady line of people waited to place their order for fried seafood classics. We walked out onto the jetty a good way and then settled in, Tony to fish and myself to read. He caught two mackerel almost right away and over the course of the evening also brought in two striped bass that were too small to keep. We watched the sunset and then drove home, where Tony cleaned and filleted the fish while I chopped and roasted the broccoli and potatoes, and then we sat down to dinner which was delicious!

On a less, grand note we took a day off of work last week to go to the DMV. If you read our Nutshell when we lived in Utah about our car plate predicament, you won’t be surprised when I say that we decided we needed Maine plates and IDs. Partially because whenever I go the wrong way and get honked at I know the Utah plates don’t do me any favors. Partly because I’m the primary driver of the car for work and my ID is Colorado and the car is registered in Utah. Most importantly because the cashiers at Hannafords, the local grocery stores here, have to call a manager over anytime someone with an out of state ID wants to buy alcohol. Then the manager has to get out a little book with pictures of all the different state IDs, find yours, compare, then find Tony’s and compare before we can pay for the booze which is exasperating for everyone.

So, the morning of the DMV dawned and we had all of our documents minus the lease agreement which was our proof of residency. Somehow it had disappeared into the black hole of moving day and I doubt we shall ever see it again. So after a thorough search, we drove to Staples where we spent 15 minutes at the print machines trying to download and print off phone bills and pay stubs. Neither of us had consumed enough coffee for the project this was turning into and we’d skipped breakfast to get out the door so I grabbed a couple Snickers bars on our way out.

The DMV process went smoothly, they snapped an ugly photo of me and I was handed back my punched-through Colorado ID and a piece of paper. We then went to get the required inspection done only to find you have to register the car first, (What?) then get it inspected. So we registered the car which was a whopping $230 on top of $60 license fees, each. Yikes! Fortunately, the inspection was only $12.50 but Mr. grumpy came stomping back out to tell us we didn’t pass and handed us a list of expensive things to fix, none of which has hindered the car from taking us across the country twice.

We went home and ate some real food before finding a new mechanic that was close enough to our house we could bike back home. Lou’s Service Center had great reviews and was only two miles away. So the following Monday Tony took the car in to get an estimate. We went to pick it up later that day and Lou told us “I don’t see anything that concerns me here, I’m passing you for the inspection, bring it back when it has a real problem.” What a guy… His place had a ton of good reviews and will soon be receiving another, but can I just say we’ll be back with any and all car needs for the duration of our time in Maine.

So instead of dumping another $500+ into the old Suburban we drove to Home Depot and got a smoker/grill combo! It’s currently sitting, half assembled in the laundry room and is our project for tonight. I’m so stoked to be able to grill again and to smoke everything! We then drove home and made seafood spaghetti with clams and mussels (shellfish are like .20 cents each here!) and I popped that bottle of rose I’d brought home from work and we sat on the couch watching a Marvel movie and I thought, “Is this really my life?!” P.S Father’s day is this Sunday so there are a ton of grills/smokers on sale right now if you’re in the market!

Now, Tony and I have Sundays off together and have been doing our best to make that day one for venturing out and doing something new. So Sunday we slept in a little, made some tuna fish sandwiches, filled our Stanley thermos assortment with water and coffee and drove 2 ½ hours to the White Mountains in New Hampshire! There are so many gorgeous hikes there but we opted for the Three Falls Trail. A three-mile hike up and then you retrace your steps, or you can do a 12-mile loop.

With our late start and me being tired from my busy shift at the restaurant the night before, we opted for the out and back. I’d consider Tony and myself somewhat of veteran hikers and so I wasn’t concerned about getting up a three-mile trail.

The first waterfall appeared quickly and it truly was a gorgeous hike up. Lush pine trees and mossy roots, and SO many giant rocks. The first mile had all three of the waterfalls, each grander than the last but for some reason, I got it into my head the last waterfall would be near the end.

By the time we’d lolly-gagged around, taking photos and admiring the falls it was 3:00 pm and I was tired. The elevation gain was more than 1,200 ft per mile. We figured we couldn’t be too far from the tree line and the view was supposed to be amazing so we left the falls behind and kept hiking. Up, up, and up we went. Every switchback produced a steeper incline and it was basically another hour of climbing a giant staircase made of boulders. I’d eaten two eggs and a banana for breakfast and my energy was plummeting. I began to feel very sorry for myself and kept stopping to whine and wheeze every 10 minutes or so.

We passed a hiker on the way down and asked how far to the tree line and his response of “Oh you’ve got another hour and a half at least” was the last straw. We sat and broke out the sandwiches and beer we’d packed. And oh my lord I felt life coming back into me. Cheers to Tony and the sandwich for avoiding a meltdown on the mountain that day.

We kept on after that and I was a much more pleasant hiking partner to have around for the rest of the way. Tony found a small cave part way up, that after determining had no shining eyes or teeth in the back of it, I crawled into to explore. Which was really just an excuse not to climb for another minute. I came out covered in dirt and we continued on our way, Tony leaping and running up the rocks and me plodding along behind.

Eventually, we came to the last part, which another hiker had accurately described as “You’ll know you’re almost there when it gets really shitty.” He was right and the last part was indeed a beast. But finally we cleared the treeline and the view was completely worth it! Sprawling mountains were all around and giant cairns were everywhere.

We sat for awhile enjoying the view and another beer and then passed off our last beer to a hiker. Apparently, this is a leg of the Appalachian trail and according to him, this was the most difficult part so far. Hats off to him and everyone else hiking the whole thing, you all are amazing. We left the summit around 5:00 pm and made great time back down, running whenever the boulders weren’t too big. We both ate it once but emerged at the parking lot with grins and only minor scrapes to show for it.

We drove the 2 ½ hours back home and got to Pizza Hut to pick up our takeout order 10 minutes before they closed. It took me three days to feel fully recovered from that trip but can I just say, what a great way to spend a weekend. The big adventures always make for the best memories, and if I have two takeaways for you today from that trip they would be:

1) Bring a sandwich.
2) The summit is always worth it.

To Be Continued…

Here For a Year

June 1, 2018

You heard it, some of you suspected it, and it has come to pass… Maine has got ahold of us and we’ve decided to stay for a year. Part of this decision is just because we like it here so darn much, with the ocean, the rocky beaches, the amazing food, and beer, but mostly it’s the people. Maine has an amazing vibe and we decided we want to stay and build some community and recharge our batteries for a little while.

So to catch you up on these last couple weeks…Tony bought a fishing pole and has been strapping his pole and a cooler bag to his backpack which he then gets on his bike and bikes out to the beach while I have the car at work. I have yet to capture a picture of this spectacle but word on the street is a cyclist almost fell off her bike laughing as she went past. After trying some different bait he caught some mackerel, a few of which we cooked and the rest he’s saving to catch some striped bass with! When I’m not working in the evening I’ll go out to the beach with him and bring a book to read, one of my favorite ways to refuel. I’d love if you’d drop any book recommendations in the comments, I’m always looking for a good read!Two weekends ago we also took our Kayak out for a test run on Sebago Lake. There’s nothing about it online but apparently the launch point we went to is part of a two-mile segment of the lake that Portland uses to filter its water from. And although you can launch boats from it there, it is a $2,000 fine for bodily contact with the water. Yikes! We took our chances and paddled around the lake for a while, which was beautiful! But I think next time we’ll be finding a different body of water for our adventures.

The kayak roof rack, we’ve discovered, is rather in the way of our bike racks. So we found an awesome, rear rack for the bikes that not only can hold four bikes total but swings away from the door so you can still access the back hatch. We drove two hours North up the coast of Maine to get the racks from Craigslist and happened upon Red’s Eats, a seafood shack in Bath, ME that is renowned for lines of cars a mile across the bridge. There were only a few people in line so we stopped and got a lobster roll and ate it looking out over the water.While it was a cool experience, the roll was $25 and comprised entirely of Lobster tail meat. I’ve learned the knuckle and claw meat are the most tender and the tail is actually really full of cartilage and tough to chew. I Would highly recommend Bite Into Maine for a lobster truck over Red’s but Red’s is an institution in Maine and they have loads of options aside from the lobster roll that would make it worth a stop if you’re up in that area.

Earlier this week there was some seriously weird bike juju going on. I biked into Biddeford (four miles away) and realized I’d popped my back tire. So I walked the bike all the way back home, found the piece of glass that had done the dirty deed, and drove to the bike shop to pick up a new tire and an extra inner tube.I then drove to work and Tony took his bike out to fish on a beach that was four miles away. He texted me as I was leaving work at 10:00 pm saying he’d just gotten home. He popped an inner tube as he was leaving the house, changed it, got all the way to the beach, caught some fish and then the other tires tube blew, leaving him to walk, you guessed it, four miles back home toting the fish and all his gear. So our bikes are now sitting with their back tires removed thinking about what they’ve done.

Hopefully, our bad bike juju has gone on its merry way, Wish me luck, I think I’ll go make a Gin and Tonic and change a bike tire. I’ll let you know how it goes 😉

To Be Continued…

June 1, 2018

You heard it, some of you suspected it, and it has come to pass… Maine has got ahold of us and we’ve decided to stay for a year. Part of this decision is just because we like it here so darn much, with the ocean, the rocky beaches, the amazing food, and beer, but mostly it’s the people. Maine has an amazing vibe and we decided we want to stay and build some community and recharge our batteries for a little while.

So to catch you up on these last couple weeks…

Tony bought a fishing pole and has been strapping his pole and a cooler bag to his backpack which he then gets on his bike and bikes out to the beach while I have the car at work. I have yet to capture a picture of this spectacle but word on the street is a cyclist almost fell off her bike laughing as she went past. After trying some different bait he caught some mackerel, a few of which we cooked and the rest he’s saving to catch some striped bass with! When I’m not working in the evening I’ll go out to the beach with him and bring a book to read, one of my favorite ways to refuel. I’d love if you’d drop any book recommendations in the comments, I’m always looking for a good read!

Two weekends ago we also took our Kayak out for a test run on Sebago Lake. There’s nothing about it online but apparently the launch point we went to is part of a two-mile segment of the lake that Portland uses to filter its water from. And although you can launch boats from it there, it is a $2,000 fine for bodily contact with the water. Yikes! We took our chances and paddled around the lake for a while, which was beautiful! But I think next time we’ll be finding a different body of water for our adventures.

The kayak roof rack, we’ve discovered, is rather in the way of our bike racks. So we found an awesome, rear rack for the bikes that not only can hold four bikes total but swings away from the door so you can still access the back hatch. We drove two hours North up the coast of Maine to get the racks from Craigslist and happened upon Red’s Eats, a seafood shack in Bath, ME that is renowned for lines of cars a mile across the bridge. There were only a few people in line so we stopped and got a lobster roll and ate it looking out over the water.

While it was a cool experience, the roll was $25 and comprised entirely of Lobster tail meat. I’ve learned the knuckle and claw meat are the most tender and the tail is actually really full of cartilage and tough to chew. I Would highly recommend Bite Into Maine for a lobster truck over Red’s but Red’s is an institution in Maine and they have loads of options aside from the lobster roll that would make it worth a stop if you’re up in that area.

Earlier this week there was some seriously weird bike juju going on. I biked into Biddeford (four miles away) and realized I’d popped my back tire. So I walked the bike all the way back home, found the piece of glass that had done the dirty deed, and drove to the bike shop to pick up a new tire and an extra inner tube.

I then drove to work and Tony took his bike out to fish on a beach that was four miles away. He texted me as I was leaving work at 10:00 pm saying he’d just gotten home. He popped an inner tube as he was leaving the house, changed it, got all the way to the beach, caught some fish and then the other tires tube blew, leaving him to walk, you guessed it, four miles back home toting the fish and all his gear. So our bikes are now sitting with their back tires removed thinking about what they’ve done.

Hopefully, our bad bike juju has gone on its merry way, Wish me luck, I think I’ll go make a Gin and Tonic and change a bike tire. I’ll let you know how it goes 😉

To Be Continued…