Cook, Sip, and Sail Away on Penobscot Bay – a Maine Gourmet Feast

Join us on the Schooner J. & E. Riggin for a unique Maine Gourmet Feast! Come savor the best of Maine’s local foodways on this 4-day foodie adventure!

Maine Gourmet Cruise

Meals will feature the best of the best: oysters from Pemaquid Oyster Company, produce from acclaimed Hope’s Edge Farm, award-winning cheese from Appleton Creamery and Hahn’s End. Every night will feature a different specialty cocktail demo (be sure to bring your own vodka, gin, and whiskey!). Come join us and celebrate the outstanding local food MidCoast Maine is famed for and celebrate the release of the newest cookbook Sugar & Salt Book Two – The Orange Book.

This delectable foodie cruise will take place on our Maine Windjammer, the Schooner J. & E. Riggin from August 1st – 4th (2016)  at only $650 per person.

Cooking (and sipping) away on Penobscot Bay

New Cookbook!

Announcing Sugar and Salt: Book Two -The Orange Book!  This collection of recipes from my galley and home kitchen will arrive at our door step (or barn step) soon!  Here’s a look at the process….

Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
Over the past several months we’ve been getting serious about producing a cookbook, so we made a lot of food.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
Some of it was chocolate! And delicious.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
Some of it was healthy. And delicious!
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
When we couldn’t hold all of the pieces in our head any longer, we posted it all over the office walls.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
We got to knit. And made a Ball jar cozy (several actually) using Mim Bird‘s pattern.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
Occasionally, we made cocktails. They were well timed.
Then Elizabeth made them look pretty in photos.
Then Elizabeth made them look pretty in photos.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
And then we drank them.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
Some of us had lemonade instead. And also, one of us got confused.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
Then we made Brussels sprouts that were so good we almost didn’t get the photo (because we ate them all while standing at the stove).
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
A lot of words got written and someone had to take a doggie break.
Photo by Rocky Coast Photography
And then there was more food.

Now that was fun!

Click Sugar and Salt to order.

Masts, Bowsprit, Anchors, Oh My!

In the fall, we removed the masts and bowsprit so that we could get at the deck up forward and replace deck planks and any deck beams that needed tending.  While we were at it, we also removed the anchors and three out of the four spars.  Now that the winter deck project is complete, it was time to put all of those sticks back in place so we could look like a schooner again.

Early yesterday morning, we set out to North End Shipyard where the masts and spars were stored. With the help of a masterful crane operator, we had everything back in place by lunch time.  What a difference a couple of hours make!

Early morning pow wow with Capt. before leaving the dock. (Yes, that’s Justin making a guest appearance for the morning!)  We lured him with Willow Street doughnuts.
Our crane operator extraordinaire.
What’s missing from this schooner picture? Why masts and a bowsprit, of course.
Guiding the foremast into place.
All stop for a second to check everything out and then lower away. As tradition goes, we placed a silver dollar under the mast for good luck.
Main mast goes next.
Over she comes.
Almost there!
Down easy, slow and steady.
Down easy, slow and steady.
Now to get the shrouds laced up…
Go teamwork!
What do you do when the lift line gets caught on the mast collar? Why send a Justin up the ratlins to free it of course.
What do you do when the lift line gets caught on the mast collar? Why send a Justin up the ratlins to free it, of course.
Hold on tight! And clip in too, please.
The bowsprit and the anchors were the last to go on and before the tide got too low to stay in this spot, we were back to our home berth looking a whole lot more like ourselves.
Happy to have the ole’ girl back together in one piece.

Coastal Living’s Daily Catch!

Thank you, Betsy Cribb of Coastal Living Magazine’s Daily Catch, for a great article on the Riggin and our Maine Food Cruises.  You captured it perfectly!

Salmon with Corn Relish and Zucchini Blossom Fritters. Photo by Elizabeth Poisson.

In the news!


Grown-Up Tomato Basil Soup and Grilled Cheese


A few weeks ago we finally watched the movie Chef. I know many of you may have already seen it – we tend to be a little behind the curve when it comes to what’s new, which is what happens when you sail on a boat for half the year. No worries, though, by the time we get around to seeing a movie at the theater, it’s gone and another new and hot cinematic triumph is in its place. Never-the-less, we do get to the good ones eventually and Chef did not disappoint.

The food scenes were so beautifully shot and inspiring that all I wanted to do when the movie ended was don my apron, pick up my knife, and get cooking.

I think all artists of any craft, whether it’s food or fiber, wood or paint, find themselves in moments of needing to go inward to silence the competing voices, no matter if it’s for a moment or a year.  In those moments, I find I must simply breathe, relax and trust that this gift of mine for creating food will again flow freely and with joy.  And it does.  Always.  When creativity begins to flow again, it’s the sweetest of places.

As I watched “Chef” and reveled in the crispy crust and gooey, dripping, melting cheese of a grilled cheese sandwich that he makes for his son, I thought of how evocative the simplest of meals are. How the simplest things sometimes require attention to detail to make them great. The bread was a brioche or a beautiful sourdough, buttered liberally all the way to the edges. The several different kinds of cheese were layered thickly. The heat was low enough to allow the cheese to melt all the way through and the bread to brown into crispy perfect.

And then I NEEDED to make grilled cheese.  Right then.

And what goes better with grilled cheese than tomato soup – making us happy for something warm to wrap our hands around.

The quality of the tomatoes in this recipe matter a good deal as they are the centerpiece. If you have home-canned tomatoes, this is the place to use them. If you have frozen whole tomatoes, this is the place to use them (skins removed). If not, good-quality canned tomato like San Marzanos are lovely and work perfectly well. Don’t attempt to use fresh tomatoes this time of year, not worth the cost or effort.

Grown-Up Tomato Basil Soup and Grilled Cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onions; about 1 large onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons minced garlic; about 6 cloves
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
6 cups whole or quartered tomatoes

1 cup minced scallions
1/2 cup crème fraiche

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the salt, black pepper, basil, paprika, garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes or so, stirring frequently. Add the flour and stir until well incorporated. Add the white wine and chicken broth and again stir well. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. For grownups, garnish with scallions and crème fraiche.

Serves 4 to 6

Grilled Cheese
1 stick salted butter, softened
8 slices peasant bread or sourdough bread
8 ounces sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese Cabot or other good quality cheddar
4 ounces sliced Monterey Jack cheese
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Heat a large griddle over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, butter 1 side of each of the slices of bread. Make sure the butter reaches all of the edges. Place 4 slices on the griddle, butter-side down and place the cheese slices on top, dividing evenly. Top with the second slice of bread, butter-side up.

Grill for 4 to 6 minutes each side or until the bread is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is completely melted and gooey in the center. Remove from griddle and slice in half. Serve with Dijon mustard.

Serves 4

Creative and happy

Knitting a Baa-ble Hat

If you read last Friday’s post, then you know that somewhere in there, Chloe had to have a handmade knit item from me as well.  Don’t worry, fair is fair, and hers came in the middle of the two sets of socks knit for Ella.


Chloe’s hat, called the Baa-ble Hat because it has the most adorable sheep on it, was made with Quince and Co yarn purchased at our LYS, Over the Rainbow Yarn.  Mim Bird, proprietor and knitter extraordinaire, is also the instructor of our June 8-11, Sheep to Shawl Maine Knitting Cruise, where we’ll get to see yarn from beginning to end.  Beginning at Bittersweet Heritage Farm, we’ll see sheep shorn (That was fun to write!).  We’ll then gather back at the Riggin for 4 days of spinning with Heather Kinne of Highland Handmades and knitting with Mim of the above-mentioned Over the Rainbow Yarn.

Back to the hat at hand, this super fun pattern was made with Quince and Co colors – Birds Egg; Split Pea; and Bark.  (The white we already had on hand.)  The pattern calls for the sheep feet and noses to be black, but we found that color to be way too stark with the rest of the palette.  Even though the pattern is actually, at times, a four-color pattern, I found it to be really easy and approachable.

Knitting is what Maine winters are for