On Lake Cobbosseecontee (Maine Recap Part 2)

Driving the one hour from Portland to Monmouth, with visions of Chowder still swimming in my head, was rough. The combination of a hearty meal, the warmth of a summer sun, and the 7+ hours already spent behind the wheel nearly made it necessary to pry my eyelids open with toothpicks to safely navigate yet another stretch of highway. We could not get to the lakehouse quick enough!

What a beautiful place! Set about a mile down an unpaved road and situated directly on Lake Cobbosseecontee, the new-ish cabin offered every amenity one could ask for: wrap-around porch, lake access via a tiny pebble beach for the kids to waddle in and the adults to launch the kayaks. There was also a dock to board the motorboat, cast a fishing line from, or lay on your belly and try to scoop up lil’ fish with a net (our daughter is pictured below doing just that). Built with the very cedar trees cut down to make room for it, the house was very comfortable with abundant open space, lots of natural light, while still maintaining a cozy warmth to it.

Thursday evening offered up a dose of perfection: a few relaxing hours outside, taking in the scenery, soaking up the fresh air, and when the stars nudged their way into position – a genuine campfire. graham crackers, marshmallows, and classic Hershey’s chocolate bars soon made their way from kitchen to firepit and it wasn’t 60 seconds before the first mallow kissed the flame. Our little girl had never eaten a s’more until this evening and she thoroughly enjoyed the new flavors. She fell asleep in my arms by the fire. It was an ideal way to spend our first evening in Maine.

For some unknown reason, I was unable to sleep in Friday morning. Despite the lack of shut-eye the prior day, I awoke on the wrong side of 7am. Without fanfare, I hopped in one of the two kayaks and set out on my inaguaral kayak trip. It was serene. The lake was a sheet of glass dotted with wooded island and with loons perched atop jagged rocks rising up from the water.

In the afternoon we drove ten minutes to Cumston Hall, a storybook castle-like edifice that is home to the Theater at Monmouth and the town’s public library. We were there for the matinee showing of Rumpelstiltskin. The peformance took major liberties with the original text but was still a treat. The kids (8, 6, & 2.5) all loved it and spent the remainder of the weekend quoting their favorite lines – the hands down winner: “Aubergine Yak Hair!”.

That evening we did some food shopping at the local chain supermarket called Hannaford. They have an impressive organic and whole food section, which we were glad to see. However, more than half the fish at the market were labeled “Product of Vietnam” (we are in Maine, right?), so we elected to buy our fish for that evening’s dinner from The Lighthouse Wine & Seafood on Rt 202. A wise choice. The owner was working the counter and also sold us her homemade asiago cheese and garlic bread (baked fresh that morning) in addition to the fresh caught Maine Haddock we came looking to reel in. Here is the fast and easy recipe I used for cooking the fish on the grill:

3 Large Filets of Haddock (or any flaky white fish)
1/4 lb stick of butter
2 medium size tomatoes
2 medium size limes (substitute lemon if you prefer)

Cut butter, lime, and tomato into 1/4 inch slices

Lay three large pieces aluminum foil out on the counter. Place one fish fillet on each. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of fish. Place three slices of each butter, lime, and tomato on the top of each fillet (space it out evenly). Tent the foil at the top and curl up the sides. Make sure it is sealed real well – you want the heat to stay inside, along with the butter sauce that will be created during cooking.

Fire up/ turn on the grill to a medium heat. Place the foil fish packets on the cooking surface, close the lid, and wait about 15-20 minutes. Remove, open up the foil (be mindful of the steam!), and serve with large serving spoon (I do so right out of the foil, spooning the butter sauce as I go).

After dinner, once again came the lakeside adirondack chairs, campfire, S’Mores, beautiful girl asleep in my arms. I could really get used to this life…

The final installment tomorrow…

Out With The Kids

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