The Boathouse

July 22, 2003
The Boathouse

We just returned from a week in Vinalhaven on Crockett’s Cove. It is a little island off of the coast in Maine and the cove is on the northeastern side of the island. Adam and I went there during the first summer that we were together. This past week was our tenth anniversary. What better place to celebrate it. We love being there.This year we stayed at what is fondly known as “the boathouse”.

The boathouse is a building owned by some friends of ours- the Welch siblings. It was built generations ago as a boathouse and is used that way in the winter. In the summer, it’s other identity comes through and a sky chair hangs from the rafters. A velvet couch is placed to view the cove, whose water comes within a stones throw at high tide.The low table in front of the couch was handpainted by Mali with boards for checkers and backgammon. A long table is draped with a cloth and a half dozen mismatched chairs in various stages of deterioration gather around it. A stove, sink, fridge, a cabinet and open shelves make up a kitchen corner. The “deck” is speckled with old telephone cable spools as tables and a few directors chairs. There are remnants of projects and activities from many summers past scattered thoughout; enough of them on the walls to evoke memories.

We slept in the “Belfry” up the hill. It is a small bunkhouse: 2 rooms, each with bunk beds built in. There us another sleeping building that has a double bed- which was originally built as a painting studio. The original main house burned down long ago. There is no electricity…. there is a flush outhouse up the hill… no TV, no microwave, and yes, we did this by choice. There is the most divine shower with endless hot water and a wall that only comes shoulder height, for a wonderful view of lobster boats in the cove only yards away.

A few weeks back, we realized that we might not be going to Vianlhaven this summer. That seemed okay when it was spring.But as summer approached and set in, so did withdrawl and panic. Adam got on the phone with Evan and asked if we could pitch a tent on their property. Turned out there would be no one there at that time, so we could have the place to ourselves and sleep in the bunks too!

The boys had a great time hunting crabs, throwing rocks, hunting beach glass and finding living creatures in tidal pools. We went to the bowling alley. we painted rocks, we went to bed at 8:00! We watched fog roll into the cove slowly and we cooked our lobsters in sea water over a fire on the rocks. We watched windjammers sail into the Fox Island Thoroughfare from the hill at Brown’s Head lighthouse. Dolphins played in the cove and seals were in the harbor when we left on the ferry from Rockland. Eli learned to play chess. Emmett learned not to hate his life jacket when it meant he could be in a rowboat with his dad.

Adam rowed out to one of the lobster boats that came into the cove and bought 4 soft shells for $20. Soft shells are wonderful. For those of you who don’t know of them- if you get the chance some day- eat them. When the lobsters have just molted to their new shells, they are not hard yet. There is less meat in them than it looks by the size of the shell, but the meat is so much sweeter, and they are so much easier to deal with, since you don’t need to crack them. You just tear into the shell and it rips easily.

The other key is to have something with it that is a good compliment. Over the years, we have learned what the favorites are. Red Cabbage and Roquefort, and Boursin Potato Salad. So in Evan’s honor here is the recipe for the red cabbage salad. He loves the stuff and requests it every time we are there together. He also loves me to make my bread pudding as an excuse to buy a large bottle of whiskey! So have yourself a lobster feast and enjoy it!


Bring a huge pot of sea water to a boil.
Drop in the lobsters.
Cook for 15 minutes from when the water begins to boil again.
Remove from the water, allow to cool slightly so they can be handled.
Serve with plenty of melted butter!

Red Cabbage and Roquefort

(I did put this recipe on once before- a testament to it’s popularity) This is from The Open House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase. It is simple and really good, excellent for having with sandwiches and other picnic fare. It makes alot and everyone seems to look forward to having the leftovers.
2 medium heads of red cabbage
1 1/2 cups crumbled roquefort cheese (I usually use gorgonzola)
(I use 12 oz. crumbled )
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 1/2 cups Hellman’s mayonnaise ( 1 large jar)
1/2 cup grainy mustard
1. Remove the outer leaves from each head of cabbage. Using a sharp knife, core the cabbages and finely shred them. Place in a very large bowl. Add 1 c. roquefort and 2/3 c. parsley. Toss to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and mustard. Add to cabbage mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.
3. Top with remaining roquefort and parsley.
4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Makes about 16 servings.

Boursin Potato Salad

This is also from the Open House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase. I have changed it only slightly in tossing the warm potatoes in cream flavored with a chicken boullion cube, a technique inspired by another of Sarah’s recipes.

(haven’t uploaded this one yet- sorry- email me if you want it, but I will do it soon!)

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