Monday, March 3, 2008
Closed for the Season
Lobster Shack, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Oil on Canvas, 20 X 16
One clear sunny day a few weeks ago, I was wandering around the area looking for subjects to paint. I ended up in one of the more remote places around, a point in the so-called Two Lights area of Cape Elizabeth. In the summer, thousands of people find their way out here because of this place--The Lobster Shack. It serves fresh Maine seafood "al fresco" and it's especially known for lobster. You stand in line to give your order inside and find a place to eat at one of the many picnic tables that are arranged outdoors. To the back of this view, the waves crash on the rocks. So as you wait for your number to be called, you can enjoy an often spectacular view of the open sea. Those of us who live here have these views anytime we want them, but for folks "from away" they are a real draw. The crowds that come here during the summer season are hardly hinted at during winter.
As you can see, no one had been here in some time as the snow was unbroken. I was tempted to paint a gloomier scene with clouds and faint light, but the sun was so brilliant, I felt an irony here in an otherwise desolate scene. Besides, Edward Hopper, who painted in this area would have seen it this way. Would that I could capture what he would have! Anyway, I like the desolation plus the light, the picnic tables all piled up in front and the colors in the snow.
If this scene chills you to the bone, here is a lobster recipe that will warm you, I hope.
Easy Lobster Quiche (Serves 6)
Ingredients: 1 9" unbaked pie crust (store bought OK), 4 large eggs, 2/3 cup milk (can be 2%), 1 clove garlic-minced, pinch fresh grated nutmeg, sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste, 1 cup fresh baby spinach-chopped, 1 medium onion-diced, 1/2 cup mixed red and yellow bell pepper-thin sliced, 8 ounces fresh Maine lobster tail and claw meat-sliced, 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese--can be smoked.
Preheat oven to 425.
In medium bowl whisk milk, eggs, nutmeg, garlic, salt and pepper until lightly beaten and well-blended. Add spinanch, onion, peppers and lobster and stir well.
Pour filling into pie crust and sprinkle cheese over.
Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes until solidified and lightly browned.
Let cool a bit before cutting into 6 slices. Serve warm.