Friday, June 12, 2009

State of Maine Dinner


Lobster rolls
French fries
Root beer
(since we can't get Moxie, the official state beverage)
Blueberry tarts



I have to admit I cheated. When I got to the store and was told it would be $15 for one 5 oz. frozen lobster tail (and the recipe called for five tails), I opted to go with a pound of cooked shrimp instead for only $3.99. (Shhh, don't tell anyone from Maine!) It was a big hit with my oldest son. He said it was almost as good as the shrimp in the white sauce at the Chinese buffet so that is a big compliment! :-) I made homemade New England-style buns (no crust on the sides, split top down) since we don't have them here. I used this recipe and shaped the dough into 12 long, fat ropes. I placed them on a greased pan 1/2-inch apart to rise and placed them close to each other so I had crustless sides. I baked them at 375 for about 10 minutes or so. I forgot to get whipped cream for the tarts but nobody complained!

Lobster rolls are a fairly modern creation but extremely popular in Maine. The typical side is French fries. Moxie, like some other soft drinks, was first created in the late 1800s and marketed as a tonic. Moxie, specifically, was supposed to be a remedy for paralysis, softening of the brain, nervousness and insomnia. The flavor is described as "distinctly different." You may remember the book Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. This book takes place in Maine and is the story of a little girl out picking blueberries with her mother. Maine is the leading producer of lowbush blueberries in the United States and the wild blueberry is the official fruit of the state.

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