Six out of ten midday text messages that I get from Maya are about lobster rolls. Before Maya, when I heard the term “lobster roll,” I imagined something like an egg roll with lobster in it. Deep fried crustacean goodness. Perhaps that’s the Midwest seeping through my pores. It was on a trip to Maine with Maya that I learned that the sandwiches weren’t fried, but were slathered in mayonnaise and served on a bun.
When Maya and I decided to do a food and camping tour of Maine, lobster was her main – or Maine! – motivation. As a matter of fact, I’m probably stepping on her territory by being the first to mention lobster; this is Maya’s domain. She lives way closer to the rat of the sea. (Yes, once upon a time, lobsters were considered to be a nuisance. I can only imagine how they came to be a delicacy in our culture. I imagine this involved alcohol and a dare.)
The Maine trip happened several summers ago. We borrowed tents, bought flights to Maine and rented a car. We slept on the ground so that our precious and few dollars could go toward our gluttonous food consumption. The trip had its ups and downs, including an aforementioned vegetarian potluck. (It was at this potluck that I slipped on a rock and fell into a river with my cell phone in my pocket. We quickly found out that there is only one store in the entire state of Maine that allows you to buy a cell phone for a preexisting out-of-state plan.)
I had my first-ever whole lobster at the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, just across the bridge from Bar Harbor. The menu was simple and the view was memorable. Lobsters, sides, chowder, blueberry pie. I remember watching in awe as live lobsters were plunged into the sea water and dead ones came out on a tray with a side of melted butter. (I think I’d be okay if most foods came with a side of melted butter.) From what I remember, Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound is unique in that they cook their lobsters in salt water.
Maya patiently guided me in eating my first whole lobster, and I quickly fell in love. It was at those wooden tables that we talked about Maya’s father’s famous blueberry pie recipe. I’ve tried it once, and it’s delicious. Possibly because it carries the memories of Maine with it.
The recipe, known in the family as Martha’s Electric Blueberry Pie, came from Maya’s grandmother. I know that it’s a little bit – six months – out of season, but I’m posting it now, because it’s memories of blueberry pie and lobster in Maine that help itinerant foodies get through February.
Martha’s Electric Blueberry Pie
Freeze a couple of quarts of blueberries for cravings in the off-season. If you make the pie the day before you need, it becomes much more solid.
For the crust: If you are good at making pie crust, go ahead. If not, buy Pillsbury pre-made pie crust and use that.
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Mix together in fair-size bowl:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon*
3. Mix a quart of blueberries lightly through the mixture above so that the sugar is evenly distributed.
4. Line a pie pan with a bottom crust.
5. Pour in the berry mixture and dot with butter (approximately 1½ tablespoons). Cover, seal and silt the top crust.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through through the slits on the top.
(Mother’s advice: Don’t let it burn. Whipped cream is good on it.)
* The cinnamon is the secret to the taste – that’s where the “electric” comes from.