Yes, She Can Make Blueberry Cobbler for 750 People 08.09.2014

 If you’re anywhere near Winter Harbor, Maine today, I suggest you head into town and stay for the duration.  Today is the town’s 50th Lobster Festival, a big deal because it’s the 50th, and anything related to lobsters in Maine is a big deal.  And I'm going because Beth Clark, who works at the J.M. Gerrish Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour, has whipped up blueberry cobbler for 750 people.  (I may have a slight addiction to blueberry pie and cobbler.)

Earlier this week, after a day of hiking in Acadia National Park, Eric and I were looking for a place to take the kids for ice cream.  We drove through Winter Harbor and found J.M Gerrish.  The kids ate ice cream on old-timey bar stools and everyone in the parlor was abuzz about being tapped to make the cobblers.

It took Beth four evenings and three to four hours per evening to get the cobblers ready, and she had yet to make a few gluten-free cobblers.

The blueberry cobblers in the freezer.
 Today, Beth hands the cobblers over to the Chamber of Commerce for the festival.  J.M. Gerrish will serve up lobster rolls (I will be there).  This is one of the biggest lobster festivals, which will culminate with a street dance and fireworks.

My kids eating ice cream -- that's Beth behind the counter.

In addition to ice cream, J.M. Gerrish serves other baked goods including baguettes and pies.  While the kids slowly went through their chocolate ice cream cones, I stared at the last slice of blueberry pie.  Life is short, right?  And I’m in Maine.  It makes sense.  It was really good pie.

Before joining J.M. Gerrish, Beth managed Le Domaine in Hancock, Maine – a French restaurant that recently closed.  J.M. Gerrish changed ownership last year and is currently owned by Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt’s Bees. 

J.M. Gerrish opened in May and will close after the season for the winter.

J.M. Gerrish Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour
352 Main Street
Winter Harbor, Maine


Cronut 07.14.2014

No, this is not Chef Dominique Ansel's famous cronut (or disputed cronut if you think you invented it before he did), but it was deeply, deeply satisfying.  I was picking up some small palmiers at Breads Unlimited in Bethesda when I saw this robust-looking doughnut.  One of the bakers informed me it was cronut-esque:  a blend of croissant and doughnut made from fried croissant dough.

From the side, it is wickedly thick with layers of dough, laced with sugar.  A lot of sugar.  And no doubt some oil, possibly butter?  Lard?  Whatever.  I don't care.

While my daughter swooned over a massive chocolate chip muffin, I had a long, silent debate with myself about the cronut:  I could get it, cut it up into eight pieces; have one small piece, share another piece with Eric; save the other pieces for people who would come over to the house later.  That could work.  

Palmiers, chocolate chip muffin, and cronut in hand, my girl and I walked over to a coffee shop, where she gingerly pulled apart her muffin bite by bite.  I took one small bite of the cronut, which was flaky and sugary and just so good.  I took a few sips of my coffee and contemplated the remaining cronut, which was huge.  I worried that maybe it would be off by the time Eric finally got around to tasting it.  We had a busy day ahead of us and it was the final game of the World Cup (who eats during sporting events??).  What a waste.  

I slowly pulled apart each decadent piece of the cronut and ate all of it.  While sipping coffee.  And thinking about Eric.

I have no idea if Chef Ansel's cronut is better (I'm guessing it is), but if this is third -- or even fourth -- place for best cronut, I'll take it. I will not, however, stand in line for a cronut, which countless people have done in New York City.  I won't get involved in food crazes that involve waiting in any kind of line.  Life is short.  Keep moving.  You'll need to after you've eaten an entire cronut.