A Little Cranberry Island, Maine, Part Two and Island Gingerbread - 100 years old recipe


Nestled just 30 minutes by ferry southeast of Mount Desert Island, with superb views of the mountains of Acadia National Park, the five Cranberry Isles host a year-round community of lobstermen, boatbuilders, and craftsmen, as well as numerous rusticators who’ve been returning each summer for years, if not generations.

Little Cranberry Island is fairly flat as Maine islands go, but that quality contrasts nicely with the stony peaks of Mount Desert Island that loom so dramatically to the north. Another pleasing contrast is how few motorized vehicles dash along its easy-going roadways. They're called "Cranberry" because of the low-bush cranberries that grow right on the dry ground. Islesford—the name of Little Cranberry’s village, and a popular alternate name for the whole 200-acre island—feels uncrowded, especially in the shadow of the nation’s most popular national park.

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Back along Main Street is the village’s nerve center—the combined market, post office, and bakery (where I got my recipe for Island Gingerbread). It’s a must-visit, and we had a lot of time before next ferry so we also make it to Gilley Beach. It’s not a beach of sand, but rather of surf-rounded stones of mostly gray granite mysteriously interspersed with clusters of pink ones. Is their presence due to a weight difference between the two colors? Is it something islanders do? Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Islesford Pottery, located on the Islesford Dock, has been open mid-June through Labor Day every summer since 1989. It is a shop as well as the working studio of potters Marian Baker, Cindy Thomas and visiting potter Kaitlyn Duggan.

Art on the island isn't just a part of the lives of artists visiting the islands. It is a vital part of the islands' way of life.

If you like to see more photos, please, visit here.

IMG_2935 Island Gingerbread 1

Island Gingerbread

If you haven't been to Little Cranberry Island, you've probably never had this cake. We've never tasted anything quite like it. They make it from a recipe that's been passed down among island families for over 100 years. On Little Cranberry, it's known as Island Gingerbread, even though there's NO ginger in it. Isn't that crazy? The Island Gingerbread cake has an old fashioned taste that reminds us of the warmth of our island kitchen all year long. When the Woodlawn Hotel was on Little Cranberry over a century ago, it was called "white gingerbread" and served every morning. They still eat it in the morning for breakfast, in the afternoon with tea or lemonade, and in the evening for dessert. The cake is divine, serve it with a little ice cream and cherry sauce.


  • 1 cup oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar plus 3 Tbsp. for sprinkle
  • 2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
In the medium bowl mix together oil, sugar, nutmeg and salt. Add flour, baking soda and buttermilk to the mixture. Blend and turn into prepared loaf pans (or one 9x13 pan). Sprinkle sugar on top of the batter and bake in oven for about 30 minutes.

Island Gingerbread 3


Maine, Acadia Park, Part One and Perfect Boiled Lobsters

We took a week off and ventured in the Acadia Park, Maine, wandered in the rocky forest, as well enjoyed some ocean breeze and lakeside sunset.

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Small lobsters under 2 pounds are the most delicate and desirable. Larger ones tend to be tough. The tail carries the great part of the good meat. The white flesh of the claws and the body, the roe, and the liver of the lobster are all edible. The shell of a live lobster is a mottled green and red, which turns to a bright red when cooked.

There is a great difference between the North Atlantic Coast lobster and the so-called lobster or Langouste of the Gulf and the Pacific Coasts, the most obvious deference being in the claws. An Eastern lobster has large, meaty claws, while the Langouste's are small.

Boiled Lobster
Bring a large pot of sea or salted water to a rolling boil. Add two tablespoons of salt for each quart of water. If sea water is available, even better, skip the salt.  Grasp the life lobster by the middle of the back and push it into the boiling water headfirst. Cover the pot and simmer 15-20 minutes. The lobsters will be a clear, bright red when done.

To serve boiled lobster, which may be eaten hot or cold, arrange lobster halves on serving plates or a platter, removing the claws and cracking them lightly with a nutcracker. Discard the dark vein, spongy tissue, and the sac near the head, but save the green liver and coral, if any. They are considered a delicacy. Hot boiled lobster may be served with melted butter, parsley butter, Hollandaise sauce, or a Sauce Mousseline.



Crêpes with three different fillings: Earthy Barley with Enoki Mushrooms, Potatoes with Mushroom Cream Sauce and Sauté Sesame Shrimp

A little history about crêpes from Culinaria FRANCE.

"As well as eggs, butter, and milk, good quality crêpes require white wheat flour and sugar, both originally luxury items, so it is not surprising that the first crêpe recipes were recorded in paris. When they quickly become a Breton specialty, it was very much down to the centuries of experience gathered in this region, in baking such round flat dough-cakes.

Crepe Filling Recipes 4

Crêpes came to be one of the region's most popular desserts. From their voyages to distant continents, Breton seafarers brought back rum, orange blossom water, vanilla, and cinnamon, all of which were very useful to crêpe bakers. There seemed to be limitless opportunities for sweet, tasty fillings, but pancakes kept their native appeal and simplicity. Long before France was invaded by American fast food chains, crêperies had already been established all over the country, providing the most popular form of French fast food. With crêpes it was possible to satisfy your hunger quickly, inexpensively, and appetizingly".

Crepe Filling Recipes 1

I hope You like Crêpes. They can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner! My favorite crêpes are filled with a mixture of whipped cream and a berry compote.

For a savory crêpes for lunch or easy dinner recipes, the possibilities for fillings are endless. There’s nothing better than crêpes filled with mushrooms or vegetables, or shrimp. Serve two to three crêpes per person. Delicious! I have here three easy recipes, Earthy Barley with Enoki Mushrooms, Sauté Sesame Shrimp, and Potatoes with Mushroom Cream Sauce. Pick one, or three, they all so good-))

You can make the crêpes in advance, then you will be able to put the dish together quickly at the last minute. The best recipe for crêpe batter you can find here.

Crepe Filling Recipes 2

Earthy Barley with Enoki Mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms (also referred to as the velvet shank) are the delicate and tasteful mushrooms that grow on tree trunks, roots and branches mostly found in Japan. They grow in a cluster and have stems that are up to 4 inches tall. Their aroma is slightly fruity and they taste is mild.

An ancient grain, barley has a pleasantly chewy texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.


  • 1 cup hulled barley
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 small chopped yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lb. Enoki mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the barley and half of the salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the barley is tender and most of the water is absorbed, about 30-35 minutes. Drain in a coarse-mesh sieve to remove any excess water and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a deep, ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. When the oil is hot, chopped onion, shredded carrot, garlic and sprinkle with the fresh dill, the remaining salt and the pepper. Cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add Enoki mushrooms and sauté a little more, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the barley. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and herbs.

Crepe Filling Recipes 3

Potatoes with Mushroom Cream Sauce

  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 lb. potatoes, diced and peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh thyme 


In a large kettle, sauté onion and garlic in butter until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper, then stir to make a smooth paste. Gradually add water, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and potatoes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add cream and Parmesan cheese. Heat through couple more minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Crepe Filling Recipes 6

Sauté Sesame Shrimp

  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh chives


In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the sesame oil. Add the garlic, paprika and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, add the shrimp, sesame seeds, fresh ginger and soy sauce, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the chopped fresh chives and serve.

Crepe Filling Recipes 5


Roasted Whole Red Snapper, Healthy and Easy Recipe

"There are as many good fish in the sea as ever came out of it"

Red Snapper found all over the world. This fish has a firm texture and an almost nutty flavor. When buying look for clear, red eyes and bright red skin that fades toward the belly. Make sure the skin is not marked or broken. When you press down on the skin, the flesh should feel firm and not soft. Buy the whole fish to help retain the flavor of the fish. Red snappers are fantastic for roasting and grilling whole.

Red Snapper 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 1 medium whole fish, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, cleaned and scaled 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves crushed or sliced garlic
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh lemon mint or favorite herbs 
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

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In a large baking dish, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread around dish. Place fish in dish and coat with remaining tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Insert garlic, lemon, thyme, other herbs to cavity of fish. Pour white wine over the fish.

Bake, uncovered, at 400°F for about 25 minutes or until skin is browned and fish flakes easily.

Red Snapper 4

I am sorry I don't have any photos of the cooked fish, I deleted them by accident -))
Here are a few photos of something very unique and beautiful - my neighbor drying his garden herbs. He is a doctor by profession, but I think he is truly a great artist -))

Dry herbs


Homemade Sour Cherry Jam

Anyone can make delicious jams and jellies. Even city dwellers. It's easy and it's fun. And when the winter solstice casts its gloomy shadow over your home, what could be a more refreshing reminder of the coming spring than a newly opened jar of Sour Cherry Jam - made by you?

Jams, jellies conserves, and other spreads are usually made at the height of summer fruit season. And today, when science has revealed the secrets of the chemistry of fruits and sugar, and the nature of cooking process itself, you can count on perfect results every time you set out to make one of these delicious spreads.

Jellies are made from fruit juice cooked with sugar. Jams are made of crushed food and sugar cooked until the mixture is thick an homogenous. Marmalades are jam-like preservers, containing two or more fruits plus raisins and nuts. Fruit butters are made of fruit pulp cooked with comparatively small amount of sugar until thick and butter like.

Sour Cherry Jam 4

Jams are usually made from crushed fruits such as apricots, berries, cherries, peaches, plums, and grapes. The fruit is cooked with sugar to a soft jellylike consistency and contains no free juice or liquid.

The standard proportion of sugar varies from 3/4 to 1 part by weight of sugar to 1 part by weight of the prepared fruit, or 3/4 cup sugar to 1 cup of fruit.

Heat the fruit and sugar slowly, stirring constantly, until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boiling point and stir and boil rapidly until it is thick. The cooking time varies with the fruit.

Sour Cherry Jam 5

You'll thank me later, when a winter comes-)))

Makes: 6 half-pint jars


  • 7 pounds (about 14 cups) fresh sour cherries, without blemishes, stemmed and pitted
  • 7 cups sugar (I like it when it's a little sour, you may add more sugar)
  • 4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 2 lemons

Sour Cherry Jam 1


In a large saucepan, place sour cherries with lemon juice and one third of sugar; place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in half of remaining sugar, and cook, stirring, until it has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

Bring the mixture to a full boil, and cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes. While cooking, skim any foam that floats to the surface. Then reduce the heat and cook more slowly for a longer time, 40 to 45 minutes.

Ladle the jam into prepared jars, seal and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes after the water comes to a boil. Remove the canner lid, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the jars to sit undisturbed until they are thoroughly cool. Check the seals before storing. Label with the name of jam and date it was made. Store in a clean, cool, dry place.

Sour Cherry Jam 2


Vanilla Chocolate Chips Bars

Nothing can compare with a homemade Vanilla Chocolate Chips Bars for bringing a touch of pleasure to a coffee break or tea-time.


  • 2 1/8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position.

Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch so you can grab those edges and pull the brownies from the pan after they have baked. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well.

Chocolate Chip Bars 1

Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined; do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula.

Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the foil overhang and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve with tea or milk.

Chocolate Chip Bars 2

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