It is peak season for local produce in Maine! Join me at the farm market and then in the kitchen to cook some fresh meals full of summer’s bounty!

Summer’s Bounty

August is my favorite month of the year!

Not only is it my birthday month (and Maddie’s and Cisco’s too!), but it is also peak season for fresh local produce.

Juicy tomatoes. Sweet corn. Versatile summer squashes. Broccoli. Peppers. Kale. Chard. Baby cauliflower. Fresh herbs. New potatoes. And so much more!

I just can’t get enough!

As many of you know, my daughter Zoë was here for a visit. She worked several summers at a farmstand in Maryland and then after college as a cheese monger at a specialty small-batch cheese store in Connecticut. Her experiences have definitely inspired our whole family to embrace the local and slow food way of eating.

So when we get together, particularly in the summer, there are a lot of fresh seasonal dishes being cooked up in our kitchen!

Join me at some of my favorite places to get local produce — from a large single-farm market, to a tiny roadside stand, to a market selling fruits, vegetables, cheese, meats, bread, flowers, and other home made treats from multiple vendors.

Then meet me in the kitchen where we will whip up some fresh meals made with summer’s bounty!

Farm Markets and Stands

We are fortunate to live where there are many small farms producing an abundance of beautiful produce this time of year.

My go-to place is Beth’s Farm Market.

I will never forget my first visit — following the signs off of Rte. 1 and meandering for what seemed like many miles (but is really less than 4) along narrow winding country roads. My daughter Leah and I thought about turning back, but then we rounded a final bend to find a large market bedecked with the largest and most beautiful hanging baskets of flowers I had ever seen. And inside bin after bin of gorgeous produce, all grown right across the road. I have been a loyal customer ever since!

There are other, smaller, markets I frequent, including two just up the road from us.

And then there is the multi-vendor farmers market in town, which sells seafood, meats, smoothies, flowers, cheeses, breads, and the best wood-fired pizza, in addition to the usual fresh produce. It has the bonus of a spectacular ocean view!

I have talked before about how often when I go to get fresh produce, I don’t have a specific shopping list. I see what is available and what looks best, then plan my meals around that.

This week, with my daughter and son-in-law visiting, though, we did plan out our meals based on what we knew was in season and hoped was available.

Now, let’s get cooking!


Monday’s dinner was Burnt Broccoli Farro With Smashed Olives from Food52. This is a favorite recipe that both Zoë and I have made multiple times.

The broccoli and red onions were from Beth’s.

The farro was locally grown and milled from Maine Grains. You can read about my visit to this small but mighty Maine business in my post Visit Maine | My Scrapbook From a Summer Week With Family.

Farro is an ancient grain full of protein, fiber, and nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and certain B vitamins. It is a nutritious substitute for rice or even pasta. Beware, though, farro is not gluten free!

The olives and feta cheese were not local.

I know that burnt broccoli might not sound very tasty, but believe me, its charred flavor in combination with the nutty farro, vinegary pickled red onion, earthy olives, and salty feta is out of this world!

Have you ever pickled red onions? It is quick and easy, and they add wonderful tang and crunch to all kinds of dishes.

Here’s how: Thinly slice your red onion and put it in a sieve. Pour boiling water over the onion to take out some of the strong flavor. While the onion is still warm, combine it with 1/4 C vinegar (apple, white, or rice), or in this case lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Let sit for 30 or more minutes. The onions are ready when they turn a lovely pink color! They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy them in potato salad, on a sandwich, burger, or veggie tacos. Add to a salad or buddah bowl!


Farro with blistered tomatoes and pesto

Dinner on Tuesday was a dish I made (and shared with you) when my family visited in July: Farro With Blistered Tomatoes, Pesto, and Spinach from NYT Cooking.

I know, farro two nights in a row, but it is so yummy!

The kale, basil, and onions were all local. (We substituted kale for spinach.)

Sadly, our rainy foggy weather in July was not good for the tomatoes, so I was unable to find cherry/grape tomatoes at the farm market. They and the mozzarella were from our local grocery store.

Do you make your own pesto? It is so easy! Here is a good basic recipe, again from NYT Cooking.


We had plans for tonight’s dinner that didn’t quite work out.

That can happen when you are cooking with fresh seasonal produce.

On Sunday night we had the most fabulous local corn.

It was so delicious that we planned to get more and make a grilled corn salad on Wednesday.

Since corn is best when picked that day, I didn’t get it when I did my farm market shopping on Monday.

Unfortunately, when we went to the local farmstand to get corn on Wednesday, they didn’t have any.

This meant we needed to pivot quickly! They did have some beautiful tomatoes, so I grabbed a few of those. I was thinking we could do a simple tomato salad to go with the grilled zucchini dish we also had on the menu.

But then I got to thinking… of tomato… pie. Yum!

I ended up making this Tomato Galette from Bon Appetit. A galette is a free-form pie, baked on a flat baking sheet instead of in a pie pan. It turned out to be the star of the meal!

The galette was accompanied by Grilled Zucchini with Garlic and Dill from Alison Roman.

Cheese and Wine

I mentioned that Zoë worked as a cheesemonger for a while after college. Zoë flew with Poppy to Maine last week, and her husband Sam drove up this week. On the way he stopped at the Greenwich Cheese Company, where Zoë worked, and picked up a few cheeses.

Wednesday evening we had a little “happy hour” with a cheese plate and some sparkling rosé. We sat around our new Prism Hardscapes Moderno fire bowl and enjoyed the sky over the ocean as the sun set.

It was a beautiful evening followed by a delicious dinner!


We planned a special breakfast/brunch for Friday, Zoë and Sam’s last day here. We thought we were going to have to do something different , though, when fresh corn was unavailable.

However, when I stopped by the small market up the road to pick up my flower subscription bouquet for the week, they had corn again!

So, after morning coffees down on the dock in the village, we got cooking!

We made Grainy Corn and Cheddar Pancakes With Scallions & Chile Butter from Molly Baz. Molly’s website is by subscription only, so I can’t link to the recipe. Here is a link to her Instagram post about them, though.

These are a savory pancake. To a traditional flour and buttermilk batter, you add cooked grains (yes, we used farro again, ha!), fresh corn, grated cheddar cheese, and green onions. On top, butter with a little chile kick!

I don’t use Bluebelle’s built-in griddle very often, but there are times when it is wonderful to have. This was definitely one of those!

I have to say these pancakes were out of this world!

It could be worth making the $5-a-month investment for this and Molly Baz’s other recipes. (She has a fantastic granoal recipe too!) Zoë certainly takes good advantage of her subscription.

Friday night for Zoë and Sam’s last dinner we went for a classic — lobster rolls at McLoon’s. Read all about this local gem in my blog post The Best Little Lobster Shack in Maine.

A New Way (for me) To Cook Corn

One last food item. I learned a new easy way to cook corn on the grill this week.

Instead of shucking the corn before grilling, just throw the corn, husks and all, on the grill. You don’t even need to soak the corn in water first.

Grill for 12-14 minutes, turning a few times.

Allow to cool a bit before removing the husks. The silk comes right off too.

Then enjoy your tender and moist corn on the cob!

This Week Into Next

Enjoying sunset around the firebowl

I missed all of you last week!

I was making the most of my time with Zoë and Poppy. It was the three of us for the first week, then Zoë’s husband Sam arrived for the second.

In addition to delicious home-cooked meals, we did Thai takeout one evening and enjoyed amazing croissants from The Place, a new micro-bakery in Camden. Zoë, Poppy, and I had a girls day out, shopping in Camden, and we did an impromptu “sip and see” at our local watering hole, so some of my friends could meet Poppy.

I did a little dye project for Zoë, turning a light blue pair of linen overalls into navy blue. Have you ever dyed anything? I love transformations like this!

And of course we did a lot of just hanging out. Zoë was working remotely, so I had plenty of one-on-one time with Poppy. To say she is a joy and a delight is an understatement. Memories of our time together will sustain me for a long while.

You all know that I designed this home for gatherings like these. It is always its truest self when it is full and just a little (or even a lot) messy.

And likewise, I am always my truest self when I am surrounded by family.

Zoë, Sam, and Poppy hit the road Saturday morning just before I published this post.

A piece of my heart left with them.

But I have to dry my tears and look forward.

I have had a busy summer with out-of-town guests. Now it is time to get together with friends here in Maine!

I will be able to refocus on this blog. Work on a few projects around the house and in the yard.

And maybe I will just enjoy some reading time on the deck. Get out in my kayak more often. Spend some extra time on the Peloton.

Right now, though, I need to sign off, so I can enjoy my remaining time with Zo, Sam, and Pops!

Be well, friends!


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