Our Family's Table: Boothbay Harbor

Our family has lived in the Boothbay area for sixty years—it’s always been a tradition to cook using fresh ingredients that are locally sourced.

 

    In Boothbay, the sea has forever been interwoven with everyday life. For early settlers, it was a lifeline, providing necessary nutrition. Fishing banks in the Gulf of Maine brought fisherman from far and wide, and a time-honored tradition of shipbuilding began to take shape by the late 1700s. As time went on, we became a little more accustomed to living with the ocean. Boats became a mode of recreation, rather than transportation. The commercial fisheries of the past are long gone, but Boothbay still supports a strong recreational fishery and tourism industry.

A map of Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Click the image to explore the harbor in more detail!

 

Young fisherman, Ernest L. Smith, holding a large codfish that he caught on Monhegan Island in 1910.
Photo and caption from the Boothbay Region Historical Society

 

Three women wading in the water by rocks at Ocean Point in Boothbay in 1907.
Photo and caption from the Maine Historical Society.

Our family’s table is a special place.

 

     For us, it’s all about the process of preparing a meal together. We pay attention to our dishes at every step along the way—starting with the ingredients. Luckily, developing an appreciation for quality comes easily around here. From berry picking to lobstering, we’re never too far from our food sources.

 

Robby picking raspberries near the house on a beautiful early morning in Maine.

 

A mouthwatering feast of fresh mussels, lemon, and white wine paired with a few adult libations.

 

Nothing better than a day at sea.

Paying homage to Boothbay’s long maritime history, we eat a lot of seafood. Oysters, crab, lobster, cod, salmon—you name it!

 

     We start with local fish markets and oyster farms, like Glidden Point Oyster Company. Glidden Point has been farming and harvesting oysters since 1987, and they do it all by hand! Using ecologically friendly techniques and the naturally cold water from the Damariscotta River, they produce oysters that are excellent in both flavor and quality. Craving the briny sweetness of a few oysters, we stopped by one day this summer. With the whole family’s helping hands, the fresh oysters were soon cleaned, shucked, and dressed! We devoured them just as quickly, too!

 

 

Try some of our favorite accompaniments to raw oysters using products from The Oil Tree!

 

Mid-afternoon lunches are some of our most cherished family get-togethers. On this particular afternoon, we charcoaled a gorgeous fillet of fresh Atlantic salmon.

 

     One of the best parts of owning a specialty foods store is experimenting with new flavor combinations! On an especially breezy Maine day, we juiced a few fresh limes, roughly chopped garlic & parsley, and whisked some Clover Blossom Honey with a mild extra virgin olive oil & our Sicilian Lemon Aged White Balsamic Vinegar. After fully coating the fillet, we topped it off with succulent, thinly-cut slices of lemon—and onto the grill it went!

     Dividing up a fresh side of salmon is akin to seafood sacrilege, so we dug in with forks, family-style! Less than thirty minutes later, we were all stuffed. We lingered around the table as the conversation drifted from topic to topic, everyone taking turns telling old family stories. At our table, food + family is a quintessential part of a healthy, happy, and full life.

 

  

Fancy a side of salmon? We've put together a few flavorful recipe ideas using products from our store!

 

There’s nothing as classically "New England" as a good, old-fashioned lobster bake. Maine lobsters are prized for their tender flesh and bright red color when cooked.



    There’s something about a lobster bake that does a heart good. Maybe it’s the boys boisterously scrambling on the rocks and swimming toward the dock, being close to the sea in so many different ways, or the whole family working together to make a temptingly delectable meal—I’m not sure. Whatever it is, it’s magic.

 

Between bouts of swimming, Will and Robby kept a watchful eye over the lobster stock pot.

 

 We all wait hungrily as steam rises from the stock pot while the lobsters cook.
 

     This summer, the lobster bake was a bittersweet farewell to Boothbay on our last night in town. We savored each bite as the sun sank toward the horizon and the last of the light came through the trees. Heading home the next morning, we could still feel the gentle warmth of the sun and the cool breeze off the harbor. Some days just stick with you that way.

 

With these products from The Oil Tree, a traditional lobster bake meets modern + gourmet taste!

 

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