Acorn Squash, Lamb Shanks, Carrot Zucchini Gratin
“The food!” It’s one of the most common reasons we hear folks sail the Riggin. They aren’t wrong. The food that Chef Annie is able to turn out on her Cottage Crawford wood burning stove is pretty incredible.
This summer you can join one of several Maine Food Cruise – Cooking with Annie trips and learn how to up your cooking game and turn out your own delicious meals at home. Immerse yourself in the natural bounty of land and sea with spectacular scenery and savory substance gathered from Chef Annie’s own garden, local farms and farmers markets. It’s the perfect blend of relaxation, cooking, laughing, entertainment, and of course eating.
Come savor the taste of Maine and cook alongside Annie. Prepare creative comfort food cooked with fire and passion. Learn from Chef Annie’s 30 years of experience and take-in practical culinary ideas, tips and Annie’s secrets to building flavor, improvising with ingredients you have available, and utilizing different herbs and flowers you can grow yourself to make creative dishes at home. All menus will showcase Annie’s love for seasonal and quality ingredients.
Topics covered this sailing season will include:
- Breads – to knead or not to knead, sourdough or quick breads, baguette or stirata, the world of bread is big and the options are many.
- Soups, Stews, and Sauces – from stock to pistou, we’ll talk about how to make super tasty and healthy soups, stews, and sauces and then sample them for lunch or for dinner.
- Eat Your Greens – how to combine veggies, what to do to make them interesting, and how to preserve them if you just have too darn much to use in a week’s time.
- Pasta – from Lobster and Parmesan Ravioli to traditional German spaetzle, fresh pasta is a special way to make a meal shine and Annie makes them all.
- Leftovers and Other Unmentionables – for some, leftovers have a bad reputation, but in Annie’s galley, they just spell flavor. Learn how to cook creatively with what you had rather than always using a recipe. Leftovers will become the workhorse of your kitchen.
- Cooking with Wood and Flame – backyard wood-fired clay ovens are joining backyard barbecue as a delicious way to add flavor to our meals. Whether it’s a wood stove like our grandmothers used or a grill that we cook over today, learning to use flame and wood heat well is another tool to add to your cooking arsenal.
- Open Mic – Let’s talk food and play together over our meals. Join Annie in the morning as she creates the meal plan for the day. Ask questions and find answers to what you want to know?
Cooking with the Annies Cruise
As an added bonus, for one exclusive trip this year, we will be cooking the books. The cookbooks, that is. Joining our own Annie M., will be Annie C., Annie Copps, that is. Annie C is the former food editor of Yankee Magazine, PBS Food, and who named the Riggin one of the top 10 places to have “Dinner with a View”. She just so happens to be a cookbook author as well and is celebrating the release of her newest book, The Little Local Maine Cookbook
Annie will be on board August 18 to 20th and the Annies will be cooking up a storm, sharing stories, cooking demos, kitchen tips, and lots of delicious food. They will be cooking out of each other’s books – recipes such as Annie C’s delicious Tourtiere, Lobster Rolls (the correct and traditional way, thank you very much), and Blueberry Boy Bait and Annie M’s Roast Pork Loin with Brandy Cream Sauce, Oysters Mignonette, and Lemon Berry Tartlet.
Your three days on board will be packed with lectures, pristine scenery, exciting sailing, and all the time you could want down in the galley with both of the Annies. Our meals will be centered around what’s locally available for ingredients and all of the wonderful recipes these two fabulous chefs have created for their many fans. Book your space on the Cooking with the Annies here.
Photo by Amy Wilke
After anchoring near an undisturbed island in the early afternoon, the yawl boat (our launch and tugboat) ferries us ashore and we hop across granite rocks to the beach. Everyone wanders off in different directions – exploring inland for blueberries, combing the shore for beach glass, or taking a refreshing swim from the water’s edge. One of the highlights of the week for many of you on our windjammer is a traditional Maine lobster bake – a feature of all our trips. It’s an all-you-can-eat feast with all the fixin’s. Seven lobsters eaten by one person in one sitting is our record, although we wouldn’t recommend it (she seemed pretty uncomfortable afterward!).
The crew has already rowed ashore to the island with everything we need for our feast and we all work to put the meal together for you. A fire is lit, corn is shucked, and various goodies are put out to tide us over until the lobster is ready. Once the fire is really going, the lobster pot – a huge galvanized tub – is filled with 2 to 3 inches of salt water and set on the fire to boil. While we wait for the water to come to a boil, several armloads of seaweed are gathered (being careful to leave some seaweed at each spot so that more can grow back in its place). Once the water is boiling we layer the lobsters, corn, mussels, and clams in the pot, cover it with a “lid” of seaweed, wait for it to come to a boil, and rotate the pot (for even cooking on the fire). When the water comes to second boil we’ll pull some of the seaweed aside and check to see that the lobsters are red all over. When the lobsters are done, the tub is carried away from the fire, the seaweed is arranged on a flat rock, and everything is placed on the seaweed bed – ready to eat!
While we are on an island for our lobster bake, we operate under a Leave No Trace policy. Whatever we take onto the island, we take off. Often we leave with more than we came with, as picking up litter while exploring an island is our contribution to leaving an island better than we found it. Our fires are built below the high tide line in a fire pan to protect the beach rocks from any scarring or cracking; five minutes after we’ve left an island, you can’t tell we’ve been there.
We feast on lobster, mussels, clams, corn on the cob, potatoes and more, all while sitting on a granite-studded island and taking in the pristine and wide-lens vista of the Maine coast. It’s a moment of magic to be sure.
Once everyone has had their fill of lobster, the watermelon is sliced and the makings for S’mores are laid out. There’s always a lively discussion over how to make the best S’more and the proper way to roast a marshmallow. Eventually, the magic must transition back to the schooner and as the sun sinks lower in the sky, we make our way across the water to our home on the ocean leaving only our footprints in the sand as evidence that we were ever on the island at all.
Salmon and Leek Chowder
Extending your stay in the Rockland area is an excellent idea but that means finding a place to lay your head at night. Here are our top 5 picks for places to sleep in Rockland Maine.
Every Race Week is special, but this year’s was one for the books. The captains decided the course in the morning at the traditional captain’s meeting. Even as we started the race at the sound of the cannon, we were at the head of the pack. After a full day of tacking and strategizing, we were on the last leg and just under the hills of Rockport off Indian Head Light. The sky was clear and the wind had died to a whiff, and we were all yearning for the forecast 15 knots. We’d had moments of excitement throughout the day, but they’d come and gone as the wind eased. With only two vessels in front of us, we saw wind begin to skim the surface of the water. Seconds later, the vessels ahead of us began to heal and then heal hard. And the wind was upon us. The Riggin gently healed over and when the physics of her majestic sails began to dominate, she started to move forward and pick up speed. The wind drove her with such purpose as we went from a relaxed, everyday sail to a thrilling chase that had us pulling ahead of one of the two vessels. With all of us cheering her on the Riggin finished 2nd in her class and overall! What a moment!
Photos by Susan Land (guest extraordinaire and long time Riggin Relic)
While the main cabin house is getting it’s makeover, the navigation station is also getting a total renovation. Those of you who have sailed with us for a while will remember Mouse, a long-time crew member who has, over the years, become a skilled carpenter and shipwright. He’s back in school for naval architecture and on the weekends we get his good, smart self in our shop. This beautiful nav. station will grace our cabin house this summer! Capt. will get to look at all summer long as he stands back by the wheel. Here’s some photos of the progress. We’ll post when it’s all on board and installed too.
Isn’t it pretty?!
Photos by Alan Castonguay