Irish Soda Bread with a Maine Twist
3 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 pint Greek yogurt
1 cup of dried Maine blueberries
2 tsp caraway seeds
Mix dry ingredients, then fold in wet, then stir in berries
Very lightly knead and form 2 round loaves.
Place on a baking sheet and score a cross on the top of the loaves.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until well browned.
*a more traditional soda bread could be made with currants or raisins
Try it toasted with butter, Yum!
We’re deep into rhubarb season here in Maine! We’ve been using it in our cocktails, on our bread, and now in our rhubarb scones! We used Kate’s recipe for Dreamy Blueberry Cream Scones, and adapted it to make use of our abundance of fresh produce! And now you can make them yourself! Here’s how:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes.
½ cup finely chopped rhubarb
1 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 425 degrees
Slice your rhubarb stalks into narrow lengthwise strips. Chop into 1/4 inch cubes.
Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse six times.
Chop butter into 1/4 inch cubes. Using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients.
Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add rhubarb and pulse one more time.
Transfer dough to large bowl.
Use your hands to shape a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the cream into the center of the well. Stir in cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
Knead dough by hand until it comes together.
On a lightly floured surface press into a 8 inch circle, smoothing the edges. Cut into 10 to 11 wedges.
Place wedges on a parchment covered baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, (optional) and bake until very light brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes and enjoy warm, or at room temperature.
Yumm!!! Now invite all your friends over for tea and scones, and discuss literature and flower gardens, and feel very fancy. Tra la la.
If you get these into the oven and your kitchen looks rather worse for wear, do not fear your mess: our kitchen looks appalling after baking, too. And we’re pretty much professionals, so you can definitely feel better about yourself about that one.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
We’d love to see how your Dreamy Rhubarb Scones turn out, and what other interesting variations you can think of! You can tag us in your photos on Instagram or share them on our Facebook Page– We can’t wait to see what you dream up!
The Inn at English Meadows
Wow. There is such an amazing festival coming up in town- are you even ready to hear about this? This month is the very first annual LAUNCH! Maritime Festival in Kennebunk!! There’s going to be all kinds of yummy seafood everywhere, cooking contests and parties, a boat parade, and art walks! They really have things for everyone- a 5k run, historic costumes, and a seafood pizza night! You definitely will NOT want to miss this festival!
The whole thing is going to be kicked off by the Landing School Boat Launch, which is so much fun to watch. Everybody in the school has been working on making their own boats entirely by hand, and now that they’re ready they’ll all take them out for the very first time and christen them!
The Launch is followed by local brew and wine tours, cooking classes, open house tours, parties, they really have a killer lineup- check out the full itinerary here. It’s a whole three days of fun, planned for June 17-19th. Some events require a sign up as there are limited spots available, so you should definitely get a move on! We’re all very jealous of Kate and David, as they will be attending the Rock the Boat after-party on the Spirit of Massachusetts, which you may have seen docked in the river!
For everyone who didn’t get tickets to the VIP party, our consolation is participating in the town – wide historical landmark scavenger hunt! It’s hosted by all the historical Inns in the area, English Meadows included, and the prize is $100 that can be used at English Meadows or any select registry Inn!! How cool is that? I have a feeling I’m about to be staying at English Meadows very soon… I’m already figuring out where all the landmarks are! Here’s a hint… This might be one of them!
Then again, you should absolutely not take my word for it, as I have a very poor sense of direction.
Right now, we still have openings available at English Meadows for the Launch weekend, but we’re anticipating our rooms to be booked quickly as more people hear about all the fun going on! You can call Kate and David at our office and book directly at (207) 967-5766, or you can check out our rooms and their available dates right here!
See you soon!
The Inn at English Meadows
Are you itching to pack your bags and explore the great outdoors? You’re in luck.
June is Great Outdoors Month, which makes it the ideal time to hit the open road and explore some of this country’s natural wonders. Maine is filled with stunning landscapes and terrains for every level of outdoor explorer, including mountains, rivers, and ocean with miles of coastline. You could even decide to hike it on foot, sail by boat, or hitch a plane ride and jump out to soak in an aerial view!
Whether you’re a novice or advanced, the Pine Tree State offers thousands of miles of trails, and many of them are open all year long.
Climb the mountain peaks and scramble over pink granite cliffs and ledges along the coastline of Acadia National Park for a beautiful view of Mt. Desert Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Peregrine falcons and eagles can be seen flying over ahead, and sometimes whales and seals can be spotted offshore. Running from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail and its 267-mile portion that cuts through this state extends from the Mahoosuc Mountains to Mt. Katahdin’s summit. It’s geared towards advanced level hikers due to its extremely rugged landscape. Try the Barren-Chairback and Whitecap Ranges or explore easier and less-traveled stretches near the Carry Ponds, Sabbathday Pond, and the Piscataquis River in Horseshoe Canyon.
Each of these locations is about three hours from the inn.
Would you rather climb with the sea at your back or amongst a wooded landscape? In Maine, you can do both! There are more 400 rock climbing routes located throughout the state, including Mount Katahdin, Shagg Crag, and Acadia National Park.
In Maine, you could grab a kayak and gently glide over the state’s abundant lakes, or strap yourself in for a wild ride down one of the country’s “Big Three” whitewater rivers.
The Penobscot River offers 12 miles of rapids that begin at the Exterminator Rapid at the head of Ripogenus Gorge, continues through the Staircase Rapid and the Cribworks above the calm of Big Eddy. Twelve-foot falls at Nesowadnehunk and the rapids of Big Ambejackmockamus, Abol, and Pockwockamus, await downriver. Intense waves at Big Mama and Whitewasher lead to an exciting plunge through Magic Falls at Kennebec River. “Playboater,” or freestyle kayakers, will find space to showboat between the dam at Harris Station and the village of West Forks. The Dead River provides 16 miles of whitewater that starts with the mild Spencer Rips, and then moves on to the turbulent waves at Humpty Dumpty and Elephant Rock. The trip ends with a flourish at Big Poplar Falls.
Whale Watching Trips
Beginning each April, whales make their long voyage to the waters of Maine to feast on sand eels, copepods, plankton, and fish. They feed and play about 20 miles off the coastline which makes for the perfect whale watching trip. These majestic mammals can be spotted breaching the ocean surface, spouting water, and nursing their young. Humpback whales, pilot whales, minke whales, and the massive finback whale, which can grow up to 80 feet in length, are frequent visitors.
Whale watching cruises offer a front row seat to all of the action. Kennebunk’s Nick’s Chance Whale Watch Tour provides plenty of room on their observation deck to snap photos, along with breakfast and lunch fare in the gallery. Cap’n Fish’s Whale Watch in Boothbay Harbor is located about 1.5 hours away from the inn. Their main salon boasts cushioned seating and 360 degree viewing, while the upper deck allows free roaming for better vantage points.
Instead of walking or hiking to view Maine’s breathtaking beauty, why not try going by horse? Many of Maine’s state parks and multi-use trails welcome horseback riding, whether you’re an experienced equestrian or a newcomer. Riverhurst Farm in Kennebunk offers lessons in a variety of disciplines, including Western, English (Basic Balance Seat), Dressage (up to first level), and Jumping. You can even opt for a romantic horseback ride along the beach. You can find a full list of stables around the state here.
Moose and Bird Watching
The moose population in Maine is estimated to be close 75,000, the second largest populations of moose in the U.S behind Alaska. Moose can be seen throughout the state, but their population is greatest in the Western Lakes and Mountains, the Kennebec & Moose River Valleys, the Maine Highlands, and Aroostook County. One of the best ways of spotting a moose is to set off on a moose watching tour, otherwise known as a moose safari. A day trip to Greenville to take one of Northeast Whitewater’s moose tours or safaris will get you close to these magnificent creatures.
With its vast amounts of forest, isolated islands, and numerous wetlands, Maine is home to a large number of migratory and non-migratory bird species. The variety of birds grows in the summer months to include the ruby-throated hummingbird, the common loon, and the iconic bald eagle. You can sign up for a tour by checking out the Maine Birding Trail or with organizations such as Down East Nature Tour in Bar Harbor.
You’ve heard the saying, “One if by land, two if by sea.” What about adding “Three if by air?” Satisfy your inner-dare devil, and see the state’s striking beauty from 10,000 feet in the sky on a skydiving excursion. You can observe the landscape from the soaring mountain peaks all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Lebanon’s Skydive New England, located 40 minutes from the inn, offers programs for tandem (jumping with an instructor), accelerated freefall, and experienced jumpers. Vacationland Skydiving in Pittsfield, about 1.5 hours from the inn, offers similar programs along with video services to capture the jump.
Hot Air Ballooning
If you’d prefer a more leisurely air ride, a hot air balloon excursion might be for you. You’ll still get the 360-degree views, but this time at a much slower pace! Kennebunk Balloon Rides and Balloons Over New England located near Kennebunkport will carry you 1,500 feet in the air above the gorgeous scenery below.
Whichever activity you choose, an adventure awaits you in Maine!
What’s summer like in Maine? In one word: spectacular! From the picturesque coastline to pristine parks, Maine offers countless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. But if indoor fun is on your agenda, you’re in luck. You can spend time savoring delicious meals at some of the state’s award-winning restaurants or touring historic lighthouses.
Here are 6 reasons to make your way to Maine this summer:
1. Maine’s natural beauty is breathtaking. If you’re up for a day trip while staying at the inn, Acadia National Park is located 3 hours away in Bar Harbor. It’s 47,000 total acres are home to some 40 different species of wildlife, 120 miles of hiking trails, 27 miles of biking trails, and two beaches. Only 1.5 hours away, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay offers trails, vernal ponds and forest over 248 acres. Want to stay local? The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Rescue is only minutes from the inn and stretches along 50 miles of coastline.
2. The lighthouses will still catch your eye. There’s a reason why Maine is sometimes called ‘The Lighthouse State’. There are 65 lighthouses dotting the state’s vast coastline, and the most prominent can be viewed while driving along Route 1. One of the closest to the inn is Goat Island Light, originally built in 1892 and rebuilt in 1859, located right up the road at the entrance of Cape Porpoise Harbor.
3. You can soak in Maine and its sunsets on the sea. Riding the waves along the rocky coastline on a windjammer or schooner is an adventurous and scenic way to see the state’s beauty. You can take a day tour or book a week-long adventure and end each day with a sunset cruise.
4. Summer brings fun and festivals. From June 1st – 8th, the Kennebunkport Festival brings together delicious foods, wines, and art, with the backdrop of some of the area’s most historic homes. If you’re a fan of the blues, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is being held from July 12th – 13th at the Public Landing in Rockland (about 2 hours from the inn). And, the annual Maine Lobster Festival featuring 20,000 pounds of the tasty crustacean is also being held in Rockland from July 30th – August 3rd at Harbor Park.
5. The food is fabulous. Everyone knows Maine for its lobsters, of course. You can stop by any number of lobster shacks, including The Clam Shack overlooking the Kennebunk River. But that’s not all. Portland, only 30 minutes from the inn, has become one of the best small foodie towns in the country thanks to a bevy of top-tier, nationally recognized restaurants such as Hugo’s and Fore Street. Foodie tours are very popular in the region (buying tickets in advance is highly recommended). Stay close to the inn and set out on the Kennebunkport Culinary Walking Tour for a taste of what the area is serving up.
6. Come visit us at the inn! We love welcoming our guests and providing each one a bit of R&R. From the daily, gourmet breakfasts cooked up by Liz, to the modern, luxurious touches of the guest rooms, we strive to give our guests a truly unforgettable experience. Our specials and packages are created with our guests’ happiness in mind.
We hope to see you this summer!