For some reason known only to the gods, my husband, Clif, and I decided to get married in mid-March. Now, March in some states might be delightful, but in Maine, mid-March is usually a discouraging mess that brings such weather delights as snow, mud, cold, sleet, and fields that look like shredded wheat. (This last description I borrowed from my dear, late friend Barbara Johnson.) However, this year March has been very different, with weather so warm that most of the snow is gone, and the roads are bare. Yes, there is mud—where there is frozen ground thawing, there is mud—but it almost seems like an afterthought rather than March’s usual big event.
I realize only too well that this abnormally warm weather is probably due to climate change. At the same time, I must admit I enjoy the warmth. All week long, the meteorologists had been promising grand things for the weather for our anniversary weekend, and when Saturday came, we were not disappointed. The day was sunny and warm, and for Clif and me, this could only mean one thing—a bike ride, the first of the season, on March 17th, and the earliest we have ever ridden our bikes.
We went along our usual route along Maranacook Lake, and how odd it seemed to be biking while there was still ice on the water. There were even a few brave (or foolish) souls ice-fishing—complete with little shack— not too far from shore. With the way spring is progressing, the days of ice-fishing will soon be coming to a close, and I expect the ice will be leaving the ponds and lakes early this year.
Clif and I weren’t the only two on our bikes, and there were plenty of walkers as well. Even when the winter is mild, people are sick of it by the end and are ready for the weather to be warm enough so that being outside is pleasant.
We stopped at Mia Lina’s for some of their delicious Lina bread—pizza dough with melted cheese and served with a marinara sauce for dipping. A good way to kick off spring and to celebrate our anniversary.
More culinary delights were waiting for us at home. I had bought scallops. My, they are expensive—$16 a pound. As the man at the fish counter weighed and packaged them for me, I observed philosophically, “It’s cheaper than eating out.”
“It sure is,” he replied. “You can be spend $16 for two on a meal at McDonald’s.”
And it hardly needs to be said that the McDonald’s meals wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as those scallops.
Both Clif and I really like Scalloped Scallops, a recipe I’ve adapted from an old Fannie Farmer cookbook. (Click here to get the recipe.) It’s one of those perfect celebratory dishes—really special but very simple to make, which means the cook gets to enjoy herself, too, in the course of the day. (We also made homemade s’mores ice cream for dessert. Another easy but delicious dish to make.) Over the years, Scalloped Scallops has come to be the centerpiece of our anniversary meals.
More treats were in store for Sunday. Our daughter Shannon and our son-in-law, Mike, live in South Portland, and they invited us over for a meal of roast chicken with the fixings and homemade chocolate cake for dessert.
As Sunday was even warmer than Saturday, before going to Shannon and Mike’s house, Clif and I nipped over to Crescent Beach State Park for a picnic and a walk on the beach. I found a lovely shell and a pearl-like rock to commemorate our anniversary. Very appropriately, Shannon and Mike had put together a snappy three-photo grouping of our dog, Liam, enjoying himself on Crescent Beach. A perfect present.
Today, the actual day of our anniversary, is another beauty. Clif only works half-days on Monday, which means there will be yet another celebratory bike ride.
What a great three days!