Snippets

11/10/2009

Filed under: Customer Comments — mainewarmers @ 6:19 pm

 The panda bear warmer is too cute for words! (And Washington DC is developing panda mania, as Tai Shan makes his public debut at the National Zoo). I “tested” the foot warmers that I planned to give my sister–and I don’t want to give them up. So I’ve ordered another panda bear warmer and a pair of foot warmers. Thanks again! J.W. Washington DC

Filed under: Customer Comments — mainewarmers @ 5:53 pm

Thanks for your prompt service, your products are wonderful and exceeded my expectations. E.P.H. Ontario, CAThanks for your prompt service, your products are wonderful and exceeded my expectations. E.P.H. Ontario, CA

Filed under: Customer Comments — mainewarmers @ 5:52 pm

I used one of your warmers while visiting with [EC] last summer. I have chronic neck pain and this was the BEST warmer I have ever used. Better than rice, moist hydroculator packs and electric heating pads. I don’t know why I have waited so long to order except that I can now share with family and friends for Christmas! I look forward to receiving my order! S.C. Gardiner, ME

11/08/2009

Giant Pumpkins

Filed under: Snippets - Stories about Maine people — mainewarmers @ 8:14 pm

Growing giant pumpkins has become very competitive in Maine and in other parts of the US. The largest pumpkin grown in Maine this summer weighed 1,210 pounds. What does one do with a 1200 pound pumpkin?

Several years ago, Buzz Pinkham of Damariscotta, read a book on growing giant pumpkins that listed a number of things for which they could be used. One was to hollow out the giant gourd and use it as a boat. That summer he grew a giant pumpkin, removed the seeds and pulp, and muscled it down to the harbor for a test run. Giant pumpkins are not easily moved by one person. I can guess the process of transporting it required the help of others. By the time the day arrived for the test run about one hundred people had heard of his experiment and gathered to watch. “You can’t really sneak into town with a pumpkin boat,” he said.

That event was the seed of the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta which has become a giant of a celebration in October. Bill Clark and Buzz Pinkham are co-founders of the festival which now includes a pumpkin regatta (some pumpkin boats have outboard motors), a pumpkin decorating contest, and a parade among several other activities. There is a pumpkin smashing contest, a pumpkin drop (this year onto a police car!), a pumpkin catapult, and pumpkin firing. People spend months growing them, tending them, and preparing to smash them. By the way, it took one contestant in the paddle contest four days to hollow out the pumpkin.

How big is a giant pumpkin? Generally it is between 500 and 600 pounds. Each year at the festival people give away seeds to grow giant pumpkins – insurance for more contenders in next year’s festival. This year’s winning giant pumpkin was grown by Elroy and Missy Morgan. “It grew 30 pounds per day for three weeks, weighing only 167 pounds on Aug. 3rd,” reports the Bangor Daily News.

“I’ve had people say, ‘That doesn’t make sense,'” said Buzz. “We spend too much time in our lives trying to make sense of things. You have to have a day when things don’t make much sense – and enjoy it.”

The festival lasts about a week. You might want to include it in next year’s travel plans.

Photos of this event and more information including how to harvest a giant pumpkin

Videos of 2007 Pumpkin Boats and Festival about 7 minutes, and 2008 video, 2 minutes

11/04/2009

Pumpkin Soup

Filed under: Maine Warmers Recipes — mainewarmers @ 4:31 pm

Ingredients
1 large onion, peeled & diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup carrots, peeled & sliced into ¼ inch rounds
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (divided)
2 cups cooked fresh pumpkin or canned
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup light cream, half & half, or milk

1. Sauté onions, celery, & carrots in oil until onions and celery soften — about 5 minutes
2. Add 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about ten minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat.
3. To a blender add:
1 cup cold chicken stock, 1 cup cold cooked pumpkin (fresh or canned), ½ of the cooked onion, celery, & carrots, cover and blend until smooth – about 30 – 45 seconds. You may have to stop the blender and scrape the sides. Pour into a 3 quart pan.
4. Add remaining cup of chicken stock and pumpkin to the blender, then add the remaining cooked onions, celery, carrot mixture and blend on high until smooth. Add to blended ingredients in pan.
5. Add: cinnamon and ground cloves. Stir well and heat on high until bubbling.
6. Add: 1 cup of light cream, half and half, or milk. Heat until hot, but do not boil.

Serve with crusty garlic bread and cheddar cheese for a quick hearty autumn supper.

Edamame Salad

Filed under: Maine Warmers Recipes — mainewarmers @ 4:17 pm

 

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 lb. frozen, shelled edamame beans (cooked according to package directions)

2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 diced red bell pepper

½ cup finely chopped red onion

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Combine above ingredients in large bowl.  Then toss gently with dressing.  Serve immediately or refrigerate. 

Dressing:

½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. olive oil

¾ tsp. kosher salt

¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Whisk dressing ingredients before adding it to the salad.

Submitted by Jennifer Sullivan, Maine Warmers’ Marketing Assistant and Cook Extraordinaire!

Pie and Paddle

Filed under: Snippets - Stories about Maine people — mainewarmers @ 3:50 pm

lindaLinda Dexter (pronounced Linder Dextah by most Mainahs)* owns a charming gift shop named Ecopelagicon, where she also rents kayaks. The name of her store was formed from three parts: “eco, for ecology; pelagic, a word meaning living or growing at or near the surface of the ocean; and con, for conservation.” 
 

Ecopelagicon sits slightly back from the main street in Rangeley, Maine, on the edge of Haley Pond, which flows into Rangeley Lake, but “you can’t get there from here unless you’re a fish,” says Linda. 

Kayaking is a growing sport in Maine as in many other parts of the country. What’s unique, in Rangeley, is a weekly “Pie and Paddle” event started by Linda and now quite popular among some of the locals. It began on the spur of a moment one day.

On her way out to join two friends for a morning of kayaking she carefully wrapped up some leftover blueberry pie, poured coffee into a thermos and grabbed a few cups, plates, & forks.  After paddling from the center of town out to Maneskootuk (pronounced man’ es scoo took) Island in Rangeley Lake, they stopped for a break and conversation. The two friends were pleasantly surprised when Linda offered them pie and coffee, and they happily accepted the treat.

One of the lady kayakers offered to bring pie the following week for their excursion. Word spread fast and since then the number of morning paddlers has grown.

Now when they reach the island they hook all the kayaks together and pass and pass an assortment of pies from kayak to kayak being careful not to feed pie to the fish. Meat pies and healthy quiche type concoctions are not allowed. Muffins, Danish, donuts or anything else will be sent back uneaten.pienpaddle copy

“We have rules about what we bring for pie…no quiche, pork pie, tofu pie or anything that is posing as a pie but is a meal. Dessert Pies Only!!!” says Linda.

Linda has been named the official Pie Warden.

If you happen to visit Rangeley, Maine be sure to stop and see Linda. She has a nice smile and a great sense of humor. If you go kayaking remember to take some pie and coffee to share with friends.

*Mainers do not pronounce the letter R when it appears at the end of a word, but when a word ends in A they’ll put one in.

 
Photo of Linda by Carol Sullivan
CPhoto of the yummy looking pie by The Pie Warden herself
 
Maine Warmers can be purchased at Ecopelagicon and online. A Cozy Bear or Magnificent Moose make great gifts for outdoor enthusiasts.

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