I love that I live in a place where there are four distinct seasons. I get to experience the euphoria of wearing a wool sweater while apple picking only to go home and drink a warm cup of cider. I know the true meaning of the word cozy because I have sat in a picture window watching the snow blanket the world, erasing every trace of mankind, all while being warmed by the heat of a wood stove. I feel revived when spring swoops in with its warm breezes, subtle rain showers and blossoming trees. And when summer comes, it’s glorious. Maine is lush and fragrant and alive. Farm stands burst open, offering everything from beet greens to freshly butchered beef. Route 302 becomes a tourist nightmare, but we all still travel it to get to “the lake.”
I love each and every season for its unique beauty and personality, but I have lived in Maine most of my life which means that it is also ingrained in my DNA to bitch about each and every season. Mainers can’t help themselves. Fall in the Northeast is stunning, but damn it, it means that we have to break our backs to clear the lawn of leaves or suffer the consequences of rotting wet leaves in the spring. In the winter we pray to our respective Gods, begging to be spared from subzero temperatures, offering up our first born for a brief glimpse of the sun. Spring, well spring with all its beauty can feel like weather purgatory. It’s raining, it’s sunny, oh hell, it’s hailing. Spring is Maine’s “in limbo” season. And then comes summer. Summer, we love you, we do. We adore you and the freedom to discover snails in tide pools or grab a lobster roll on the sidewalk of Commercial Street while watching the ferries comes into the terminal, but you need to be gentle with us and remember that we have just come out of a six month deep freeze. We can’t handle the heat. It gets any hotter than 85 degrees and Mainers shut down. We’re throwing on the air conditioners, hooking up the sprinklers and swearing that there is no possible way we will survive the humidity.
What’s more, we don’t cook. It’s 85, 86, 87 degrees out, we grill, order out or just give up on eating altogether because we can’t imagine turning our ovens on. This past week the mercury was north of 85 degrees for three straight days in a row. By the third day, I was hungry, but still refused to turn on my oven, so I whipped up some cold fruit soup instead. Perfect for taking my mind off the heat for long enough for me to actually enjoy the sun.
- 4 cups chopped cantaloupe
- 2 cups chopped cucumber (seeds removed)
- 1 cup light cream (divided)
- 15 mint leaves
- 4 ounces mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Remove seeds from the cantaloupe and cucumbers and dice. Finely chop the mint leaves
- In a blender combine cantaloupe, cucumber, mint and ½ cup light cream. Pulse until smooth.
- Place pureed mixture in the refrigerator to chill for at least three hours.
- Once the mixture has chilled and you are almost ready to serve, combine mascarpone, ½ cup light cream and powdered sugar in a blender and pulse until smooth.
- Ladle melon puree into four separate bowls and add ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into each bowl. garnish with small mint leaves.