As we witness the last vestiges of summer, we are reminded of the many wonderful experiences we have enjoyed through conversations with new and repeat diners who have become friends. What constantly amazes us is the people we meet at the restaurant who have such fascinating lives and share with us their friendship and more.
Two weeks ago we met a couple, one of whom is a retired executive chef from Boston. We fell into conversation and before long the four of us were friends. As an unexpected surprise and pleasure, our new friends shared a picnic lunch made especially for us! As you can imagine, the food was fabulous and both the friendship and picnic are listed as a special memory of the summer of 2018.
I think we can all agree it has been a hot summer and as a result it has been too hot for our greenhouses to germinate salad greens. Our young friends, Finegan Ferreboeuf and Jason Gold who own Steelbow Farm in Norridgewock, have pulled up the slack for us by providing us the salad greens that we consider superior. Steelbow Farm’s exceptional products can be found at the Skowhegan Farmers Market and the Belgrade Farmers Market. These two do everything right and a walk around their farm is a testament to their knowledge and expertise.
Here’s one for the record, Finegan and Jason gave us two artichoke plants in late spring which they had painstakingly started through a series of warm germinating, cold shocking, and rewarming. The plant needs to think it has been through a cold dormant stage without being frozen. Well, we harvested an artichoke last week! Never thought we would be growing such a plant in our Maine climate, but it can be done if you know what you’re doing. Steelbow has also introduced us to mild peppers and baby eggplant grilled on the BBQ and drizzled with good olive oil. Another great taste of summer!
As we move into the harvest month, we are offering a cooking class this coming Sunday, September 2nd, to be co-hosted by Maryann Reynolds and Mary. Maryann conducted a very successful class a month ago and we asked her back to co-create the ‘Fruits of Fall’ cooking class. There is still room to join this class which will feature a 3 course meal: a unique late summer salad; a delicious take on Ratatouille with our home grown lamb; and a dessert inspired by the fruits off the farm. The class is $60 p.p. from 2 to 5 p.m. ending with a shared meal and complimentary wine. The classes are fun and we hope you’ll join us.
This week’s meal at 122 Corson is FRIDAY not Saturday since many folks will be packing up over the weekend and leaving vacationland. We’ll miss you! We will be open until the end of October for weekly meals and twice monthly during the later months. Soak up these lazy hazy days of summer while we still have it.
Mary & Bob
P.S. The Sand Hill Cranes just flew into our field. It looks like mother, father, and two juveniles. The joys of living in Maine…
122 Corson Rd. Mercer, Maine | 207.587.2019
2018 is the year of the dog in the Chinese zodiac. While we don’t follow the Chinese calendar, every year we declare it a year of something. The criteria are simple: it is whatever strikes us on the farm as being particularly abundant, beautiful, or noteworthy. This year we have decided that it is the year of the swallow. In our 4 decades in Mercer we have never seen so many barn swallows and tree swallows on our farm. Yesterday we counted over 50 around our Beech Hill home alone! While we can’t account for this population boom, we do love to see the swallows’ graceful flight and how they skim over the top of our pond catching insects, and yes, getting a drink.
We seldom talk about the wonderful wines that are available to us here in Maine. We are fortunate to have a number of distributors in the State who offer over 10,000 different wines. Last week one of our distributors provided a tasting of some spectacular Sonoma County wines from the Duckhorn portfolio. Part of the joy of owning a restaurant is enjoying fine wines and offering them to our customers at a reasonable price. This year it seems like Rose’ wines are in the news everywhere. Rose’ is often considered a French wine from Provence, but in fact Rose’ is made in many countries. Rose’ wines are made from a variety of grapes and the color comes from brief contact with the grape skins. Typically, Rose’ wines are light and fruity and are refreshing. It makes a perfect choice for a warm summer evening. The next time you are at 122 Corson, ask for a free tasting of our French Rose’.
While we are full for August 11th and have limited availability on August 18th, we do have tables available for this Saturday evening, the 4th and also August 25th. We hope you will be able to join us in the last few weeks of summer.
Mary and Bob
Bob & Mary
We have been farming since 1976 and growing our own food has been the focus of all our farming ventures. We have seen many evolutions since the early years, from raising a nationally recognized flock of sheep, running a small dairy, growing vegetables in high-tunnel greenhouses, expanding the vegetable production to several acres, building a commercial fresh pasta business to our present day venture at 122 Corson. The constant within the evolution is growing and producing what we eat.