We left the house before nine, because it was already like an oven in here. We put on bathing suits under our clothes and packed beach towels, the stroller, and fruit. I wasn’t sure where I was going; I just started driving south. Florence and the Machine was playing on the radio, so I rolled down the Jeep windows, cranked the stereo and the AC, and we clapped along with the music. I figured out where we were going. There’s a lake – I think it’s in Union, which is bucolic – with water the color of long-steeped tea and a rocky bottom that I remembered from last summer. I want to explore every pond I can find while she is so fearless. In many ways, I hope this summer never ends. Violet and I are on the move, happy to be driving with nowhere to go. We got out at the lake and waded in, looking for minnows. On a rock in the middle distance, there was a heron resting its wings. We dipped and threw stones and splashed and practiced kicking. She puts her face in the water, and I hold her belly as she seems to float.
I realized we were ravenous, and I knew where to go next.
The first thing we put in our cart at Beth’s Farm Market was berries. Tiny, imperfect strawberries, high bush blueberries, and tart raspberries. Donuts, corn, bacon, jam, kohlrabi, garlic and onions with strong green stalks, oysters, lobsters, and greenhouse tomatoes. I was inspired with an idea for dinner and we stocked up on bread, cheddar, and cream.
This dinner is the essence of July in Maine. The small ears of sweet corn are perfectly ripe, and hardly requires cooking at all. The soft shell lobster was a good price, and I had lots of herbs in my backyard washtub garden to complete the trifecta. I bought butter and pasta and a bottle of wine from the grocery store and it turned out to be the best thing we’ve made all summer. Sweet and bursty, salty and oceanic, earthy, green, and savory. I made a tomato salad and poured glasses of crisp white, put the baby to bed in her crib with sweaty curls, my straw hat, her singing seahorse with a light-up belly, a worn copy of Goodnight Moon, and a quilt.
Lobster with Sweet Corn Linguine
- 2 ears corn, cut from the cob
- Knuckles, claws, and tail meat of 2 steamed lobsters, chopped in smallish pieces
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 big fat clove garlic
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley, dill, and basil
- 1 package fresh linguine, cooked according to package directions and drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with garlic and herbs. In a large bowl, toss corn, lobster, and herb butter with just-cooked linguine. Season to taste.
Notes: The lobster can be cooked ahead. I used the same stock pot filled with a little more water to boil the linguine in a sea salty bath. Remove garlic from herb butter before serving. Use whatever herbs you love, and for that matter, any other sweet summer veggies you have on hand.