While we common Maine folk are destined to languish this summer in our pool floats shaped like toucans, cold ones in one sunburned paw and fishing pole in the other, Martha Stewart spends her Maine summer at Skylands, her 12-bedroom, 71-acre estate in Seal Harbor on Mt. Desert Island.
Last year, we reported on Martha’s glorious summer in Maine as recorded on her famous Instagram account, replete with Italian speedboats, personal chefs and 40-pound fresh-caught halibut. Nary a red hot dog, plastic Adirondack chair or pontoon boat to be found.
Let’s do it again this summer, shall we? Love her or hate her, you have to admit the woman knows how to savor the sweetness of the warm months in Maine.
To start, Martha came up to Maine for a few weeks in June, where she donned her custom-made Skylands apron, and delighted in the flowers in her garden.
She left for a couple of weeks after that, sadly having to go the Hamptons for a visit. But she came back in late July to host a dinner party at Skylands for supporters of College of the Atlantic. There, she made one of her favorite dishes, judging by the number of times it’s appeared on her ‘gram: a giant Maine seafood paella.
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Step by step instructions for our Maine version of the original paella recipe that appeared in Martha STEWART Living magazine in the 1990's, we made three paellas for sixty guests and everyone who helped with the dinner honoring the philanthropists who have contributed to the Fund raising for @collegeoftheatlantic in Bar Harbor Maine
Martha sure does love her giant paella!
Maine seafood inspired another dish Martha made this summer: a vanilla panna cotta, topped with raspberry jelly, set in a lobster-shaped mould. This dish bitterly divided myself and my colleagues on whether or not it looks, frankly, a little gross. Vanilla panna cotta — basically, a sweet cream-based Italian pudding thickened with gelatin — topped with a raspberry jelly does sound tasty. But something about this does not look appetizing. Does it to you?
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Our dessert last night on #mount desert island I finally got hot use an antique porcelain lobster mold. We made a fresh raspberry jelly with which we lined the mold It had to be a bit firm to insure the sure release of the contents from the mold . The delicious and delicate vanilla panna cotta then filled the mold and all was chilled overnight The mold was turned over in a large platter and warmed ever so slightly with a little butane torch Once released the entire remained surface of the platter was coated with a jelly made from the oddly blue liqueur Curacao That formed the sea around the lobster and it added just enough “punch” to the dessert All in all a successful first try at using this beautiful lobster mold
However, these lovely cocktails at Havana — the Bar Harbor restaurant made famous by President Barack Obama’s visit back in 2010 — sure do look attractive.
Martha’s Insta isn’t just food and drinks. Here’s her really cute video of a loon family at Jordan Pond. Mama and Papa loon are swapping nest duties while the other goes off to look for food.
She also takes her dogs — chow chows Emperor Han and Empress Qin, and French bulldogs Creme Brulee and Bete Noir — for strolls at the dog-friendly trails at Little Long Pond. Naturally, her dogs pose beautifully for the camera on a bench. My dog finds the nearest patch of dirt and rolls around in it.
On her birthday on Aug. 4, Martha celebrated with an ice cream cake, composed of meringue, dark cherry and pistachio ice cream, and dark chocolate with chocolate chunks covered in whipped cream. Ooh la la!
A few days later, she took her grandkids to Wild Acadia Fun Park, where they ziplined and did the ropes course. Alas, Martha herself did not zipline.
She did, however, take a ride on a two-seater seaplane for a bird’s eye view of the island.
Last weekend, Martha hosted the Garden Club of America at Skylands. Her flower arranger, Kevin, was gone, so what did Martha do? She arranged the flowers herself. Heavens.
Finally, in a truly shocking series of photos, we come to Brioche Gate. To summarize the whole affair: Martha could not find brioche (rich, fluffy, eggy bread) anywhere on Mt. Desert Island. Just like she found herself having to arrange her own flowers, now Martha has to make her own brioche? What a world. Anyway, she documented her process on Insta, and I have to admit: that’s some pretty tasty looking brioche.