Yet Again Throwing Carbs to the Wind

In September and October, there is no finer place to be than Maine. The asters are in glorious bloom by the side of the road.

And many of the trees are a blaze of color. In autumn, I give thanks that I was born in Maine and have chosen to stay here.

Yesterday was Clif’s birthday and yet again we threw caution and carbs to the wind. We went to the Red Barn for some of their delicious fried seafood—scallops for Clif and shrimp for me. Very tasty.

I am sorry to report that masks and social distancing seemed to be optional, which meant we weren’t quite as relaxed as we might have been. Because we were outdoors, we weren’t terribly worried, but why oh why can’t people wear a mask when they pick up their orders and/or keep their damned distance?

An interesting sign of the times. The Barn has invested in bubbles for small groups to gather. They plan to install heaters so that outside eating can continue into November and December, when the glories of fall have passed and Maine weather is usually pretty brisk.

On their Facebook page, the Barn has stated that they have a cleaning regimen to make the bubbles safe for customers.

We’ll probably pass on using one of the bubbles. Our dietary regimen and our budget pretty much preclude eating out most of the time. But I know that many restaurants are struggling during this pandemic, and the bubbles might be a safe way to extend the Barn’s on-site dining during the pandemic.

On his birthday, Clif found something in our local grocery store that made him very happy—a low-carb beer that actually tastes good.

This is the trick for staying on a strict diet—finding substitutes that taste good so that you don’t feel deprived. Clif and I have managed to find many replacements for high-carb, high caloric treats. (Of course, we also eat lots of fruit and veggies and other healthy food.)

I just ordered a tin of chocolate mint tea in the hopes that it might satisfy my sweet tooth (teeth?).

Stay tuned.

And if any of you have suggestions, please chime in.



66 thoughts on “Yet Again Throwing Carbs to the Wind”

  1. HB, Clif! Looks like it was a banner day between the culinary fare and the autumn colors that line the roads.
    Those bubbles sure look interesting… not sure IF I’m ready for such, I still haven’t even got take out yet! Baby steps, ha!

  2. I know the feeling of not feeling relaxed or even feeling unsafe because other people are inconsiderate. We have a new measure that we use frequently these days – do we feel safe? Let me know if chocolate tea really can take the place of chocolate. I’m having a hard time buying that one. LOL We also look for alternatives to the bad for our old bodies food that we used to love so much – and still would if it hadn’t been so long since we ate them.

    1. Great question, and Clif and I now know that we won’t be going back to the Red Barn until the pandemic is over. I’ll let you know about the chocolate tea. Not expecting hot chocolate, just a satisfying tea.

  3. Happy birthday to Clif! That dinner looks amazing. I have just recently gone out to eat for the first time since the pandemic – outside – and with my mom, who had been several times before. : I I was comforted by the masks that everyone wore (except while eating at their tables). I credit our Governor for that because long ago he made it mandatory so no one feels weird to wear them. It’s just what we do.

    I was also comforted by the breezes and the outdoor aspect. Not sure I’m ready for a bubble.

    Oh, and I LOVE the Library Lost beer glass! Nice!

  4. Happy birthday to Clif!! Red Barn is one of my favorite places to indulge, too! We haven’t been to a restaurant in the Covid times, but perhaps day after tomorrow on my 68th birthday.

  5. I agree that this time of year is very special in this little corner of the world. I was intrigued by those bubbles. It’s a worthy idea but I’m not convinced I’d feel safe in one of them with a heater in it!

  6. Maine is so much like Michigan, but I think your trees are further along. We are passing on all restaurants, even ordering carry out for the time being. Numbers aren’t so good right now. I even worried playing the concert on Saturday, outside and distanced…because it’s so hard to keep 6 feet away from people, though we did keep our masks on when we weren’t playing. Glad you enjoyed his birthday dinner!

    1. Yes, I think Maine and Michigan have similar climates. I think you are smart to pass on restaurants and carry-out. What the heck is the matter with people that they don’t take the pandemic seriously?

  7. Happy Birthday! The dinner looked amazing and applause on the low carb beer. I went to pick up a pizza at a different place yesterday, and I couldn’t believe the number of people without a mask. I had the heebie-jeebies for 16 minutes, and, yes, I was counting. I was very nervous until the minute I walked out. Great pizza, but I wish there was a different option for picking it up. As you can tell by the subject matter here, I don’t have any low carb options to suggest. πŸ™‚

    1. Heebie-jebbies is the perfect word. That’s exactly how we felt when we saw so many people swanning about without masks as though the pandemic were over.

      As for no low-carb suggestions…no worries! Not everyone has to follow a low-carb diet. We wouldn’t if we didn’t have to, that’s for sure.

  8. Great post, Laurie! I’ve only been to the tip of Maine on a visit with friends from Connecticut. I hope to return one day. Those bubbles made me smile. I would have loved something like that as a kid, and for my own kids when they were small. I appreciate the innovative ways that folks are trying to stay afloat. I’m sorry to read about the optional mask-wearing. Sigh.

  9. Happy Birthday Cliff! I am so glad you allowed yourselves to ditch the diet for one day. You have worked hard to adapt so you can both stay healthy but sometimes such self-discipline can become almost an eating disorder and all the joy of food is gone. Good luck with the search for tasty alternatives – especially beer which is a rather tricky one. I envy you the autumn colours. This year even the Virginia Creeper is not putting on a great show – patches of red which fall before the next patch turns – and the trees are just muddy brown!

    1. Too right about how self-discipline can become an eating disorder. We have told our friends that when we are invited to their houses for meals or drinks and appetizers, we will gladly eat whatever is served. After all, it’s not the occasional indulgence that trips you up. It’s when those indulgences creep into every-day eating. In Maine, autumn is a glory, even during a drought. Makes up for late winter and March. πŸ˜‰

  10. Best belated birthday wishes to Clif! I’m glad you had opportunity to celebrate — both his birthday and that glorious season. If I’d been there, I think I’d have been forced to go with shrimp and scallops!

  11. Maine is a treat in its autumn colours. I’m glad Clif had a great birthday. Those bubbles are an excellent idea. My mother wanted to go to her favourite pub for a celebration meal when it was her birthday last month and I’d have felt happier in one of those. As it was, it felt a little reckless, even though we were within the government guidelines and we were not there long. She really enjoyed it. It was as if being able to go made a tremendous difference to her.

    1. Maine is glorious in autumn. Our shining time of year. As for eating out…hard for those who are social to get used to staying home. Sounds as though everything went well with your mom. And a real treat for her.

  12. how lovely-and I am so disappointed n society these days and can not make sense of it-Happy birthday Clif-Maine is beautiful and try the cloud bread-two ingredients only!! Happy Autumn friend!!

  13. There are a lot of people about who think that two yards is just two feet – idiots!

    Happy Birthday to Clif – glad to see you could relax the food regime for one day.

    Great glass, and love the idea of the bubbles.

      1. I haven’t read the book, but I did read a description. I certainly agree that in our society, far too much emphasis is put on being thin. Not healthy. However, in my case, being overweight not only affected my blood pressure but also my mobility. So losing weight is absolutely the right thing to do. On the other hand, my husband, who has struggled for years with Type 2 Diabetes, is not overweight. For him, changing what he eats is the issue rather than losing weight. Not easy, but as his blood sugar was on the rise, the right thing to do.

  14. Happy birthday, Clif!
    You have a book merch – how exciting!

    Mask-wearing is mandatory here in Singapore except when dining out (in groups of no more than 5) and running/walking. We still do not dine out (we do takeout when we want a break) and we wear a mask when we run. So, I empathise with your concern.

  15. A very, very late Happy Birthday to Clif from me. Yes, substitutes are the answer when the cravings get too much to bear! I have seen a pub garden with bubbles in near us – what a great idea they are! I haven’t yet felt ready to have a proper meal out but last month I actually went into a cafΓ© and had a coffee and a small cheese and tomato panini. Just the once.

  16. The photo of the tree with Autumn leaves is glorious and I am so happy that you know you are in your right place. In my mind Maine, because of its northern position, seems like the beautiful golden crown of New England.
    Also Happy Birthday to Clif!

  17. I used to drink chocolate mint tea and it did satisfy my sweet tooth. I had forgotten all about it. It was quite wonderful, so thanks for the reminder. Happy very belated birthday to Clif.

    Those bubbles are clever. I immediately wondered about the cleaning …especially of the air!

    1. Many thanks! The bubbles are a good idea, but it does make one wonder about the cleaning. Clif and I won’t be going back. Not enough social distancing, not enough mask wearing.

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