Sand Beach, Stonington, Maine where I harvested the wild mussels.
Today I had the good fortune to discover our beach had an extremely low tide that divulged a bounty of fresh wild mussels clinging to rocks near the shore. I had gone to Sand Beach with my bf and our dogs at the end of the day to get some fresh air and exercise. We’ve had a spate of marvelous Indian Summer days this week (last week was 37 degree nights, this week we had 80 degree days) and we’ll be leaving for winter digs soon. Any excuse to get out and enjoy is always welcome! Anyway, I had never harvested wild mussels before. And since I wasn’t prepared with a bag or vessel, I used my turned up t-shirt hem to carry my load o’ mussels back home.
Wild mussels ready to be cleaned. Note the near black color.
Once there, I called my friends Caty & Captain Frazier of The Lobster Shack to find out if it were safe to eat these wild caught mussels and how to cook them. Captain Frazier said that if the mussels come from near the lowest tide line, are nearly black in color, and were attached to rocks before I pulled them off then they should be safe to eat. I was thrilled to hear that though some of them had barnacles on them, they would still be good to eat! The Fraziers recommended cooking the mussels in a covered wok with olive oil, garlic, and favorite spices tossing them with a spoon until the shells open wide.
A nice big pot or wok filled with mussels and your favorite flavors.
Not having a wok handy, I used a large pot. I first cleaned the mussels very well with water to get all the beach sand off them. They didn’t have long beards like most mussels and I gather that is because these are wild caught. Caty Frazier said that most mussels you get from fisherman and seafood companies are cultivated mussels that are grown on a string, believe it or not. The wild ones attach themselves to rocks.
The finished product plus sweet corn on cob and a green tossed salad.
I used garlic flavored olive oil–just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Then I added some balsamic vinegar (I never measure anything when I cook but I gave it a healthy shake of the bottle). I tossed in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and a few slices of fresh ginger. Then kept stirring the mussels every few minutes and keeping the pot covered so they could steam open. It didn’t take very long for that savory broth to fill my kitchen with a most auspicious aroma! I served the mussels with sweet local corn on the cob and a tossed green salad (all of the veggies from The Stonington Farmers Market). Is life good? You bet it is! When your feng shui is in alignment, good things happen. Enjoy the little things and the rest will fall into place.
This weekend in our small fishing village of Stonington, Maine we hosted the annual Lobster Boat Races. Lobstermen from all over compete with their boats—some of them put in special engines just for the occasion and then remove them for regular fishing—crossing the harbor at full throttle while people watch from other boats, dinghys, islands offshore, and from the harborside restaurants and the hillside homes. It’s a sport roughly equivalent to NASCAR but on the water and attracts a similar spectator (with beer as much on the mind as racing).
Lobster Boat Races
We went out in our double kayak into the relative safety of the harbor spectator boats to watch the races this Sunday. The waves generated by the racing boats made for an exciting couple of hours for us in our little craft. We did endure a few jibes from people on lobstering boats but we had expected it since kayakers are also known as “speedbumps” in lobstermen parlance.
Out in the harbor at sea level you notice details you might otherwise miss. Symbolism is a big part of feng shui and lobster fishing culture. Many of the lobster boats have incredibly creative and often humorous names. Size Matters, Pound a Pot, Wet Dream, Foolish Pleasure, Underdog, Joyful Noise, MyGraine…to name a few.
Last year I went looking for lupine to paint and discovered a
large field with an abundance of lupine near route 15 in
Deer Isle village. The resulting art work, "The Lupine Field", has
been selected for the poster, totes, and tee shirts for this year's
annual Deer Isle-Stonington Lupine Festival (June 17-20).
The original artwork is a 24" x 36" x 1.5" contemporary mixed
media painting using topographical maps and acrylic on canvas.
My original painting is on display at The Hutton Gallery,
89 North Deer Isle Road (rte 15) in Deer Isle (207/348-6171).
If you are looking for a great place to vacation this summer,
our island in Maine has awesome feng shui! Check out the website
to see some pics and get some idea of what there is to do here.
The Lupine Festival is just one of the many events you can take
advantage of. We're the kayaking capital of America, we've got
more art galleries per acre than any other location in Maine, and
the lobstah is plentiful! See more of Katy Allgeyer Art Studio at this link.
Have a hankering for lobstah? Now you can order fresh caught lobster and other live-caught seafood from the waters surrounding Stonington, Maine direct from Feng Shui By Fishgirl’s friends Perley and Caty Frazier of Lobster Shack. Perley goes out on his lobster boat every day in season and comes back with the catch to be sold from their retail truck at farmers markets in the region. Sometimes their dog Rascal comes with them to the market.
Rascal: the official Lobster Shack mascot 🙂
The couple also sells direct to the customer and will ship to you anywhere in the USA. Go to their website for more details. You’ll even find some great seafood recipes there. And if you’ve never dared to cook a lobster before, check out Perley’s Perfect Lobstah Recipe for the best way to do it. So call 207.367.5059 to order your fresh seafood from Lobster Shack today. And tell Caty and Perley and Rascal that Katy Allgeyer a.k.a. Fishgirl sent you!
Steamed lobstah is easy to cook at home.
I love owls. Here are two great designs inspired by them. One from east coast, one from west coast. Who? Geoff Warner in Stonington, Maine and Rick Lee in San Francisco. You know where that is.
The Owl Stool by Geoffrey Warner Studio.
Go to Geoffrey Warner Studio
for more information.
This is Rick Lee’s Night Owl Lamp. He makes it in a tall standing lamp version, too.
This is my art studio/gallery in Maine. Click on the link to see more photos.
We took the original 1929 garage and turned it into a working studio and art gallery space for showing and selling art. Replaced the garage door with salvaged glass windows and a glass door, added 2″ thick salvaged oak wide plank flooring, added more windows and a main entry door on the side, put in a wrap around deck, added barnboard and sheetrock to the walls for hanging art. We even found a great room divider: the original front desk from a landmark hotel in Rockland, Maine. It has a glass countertop with display case visible to the gallery and storage cubbies on the studio side where I keep my canvases and other supplies.
The studio portion has plenty of light with the floor to ceiling windows. My easel is located in the Creativity & Future Projects area–a perfect place to paint. The main display area runs from the Wealth area to the Fame area to the Love area. In the Wisdom & Knowledge area I have a display of 9 paintings. The bagua can be overlaid on them so that each painting corresponds to a feng shui position. Interestingly, I have found that paintings in the Fame area and the Love area of this 9 painting grid have sold best. Within the entire gallery, the Wealth area also has been a great location and paintings placed there do not stay with me very long.
What does your studio look like?