BLACK FLY STEW STORY
Girls just want to have fun...
My brother, Chris, bought me my first gun, a 20 gauge Savage Pump when I was 19. Of course he moved from Connecticut to Moose River, Maine right after. I took the NRA Course, passed, and signed up for skeet shooting to practice. Amazing what a little kick can do to bruise your shoulder when you practice a lot. I went from skeet shooting in CT to patridge hunting in Jackman/Moose River, ME. And my experiences expanded to watching and learning, practicing, learn to trap beaver, hunting deer (although I am too noisy in the woods because I can't sit still) to winning the moose lottery twice for two bulls in Jackman, ME. I love the hunt and don't have the time to do it enough. So I depend on a good Maine Guide for the best results. Thanks Chris!
Black Fly Stew Story: When I married Don in 2000, in our back yard in Pretty Marsh (MDI), his best friend surged ahead with a toast before the champagne was poured. Jay had to think quick on his feet and he and Ed came up with the "Top Ten Things" heard at Don & Kate's Wedding. The top of the list was, "I heard Kate has a great recipe for Black Fly Stew!" This stuck in my mind and has become the base for many stories, the lead on my published book series jokes, new recipes and even curiousity by Andrew Zimmern when I was asked to be part of his MAINE show "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern."
As I work on more recipes I reflect on the many comments and feedback I have received over the years. Those who love and want more stories related to the recipes, to new cooks who like the format and simplicity of the recipes and all the various spice combinations that sounded good and then tasted great. And always, keep it simple and tasty. I always say - "challenge your palette, be open and discover new culinary paths."
I am not a classically trained chef. I have been cooking since I can remember in my mom's kitchen. Always the curious. The first two spices I can remember trying, and being intrigued, were saffron and sage. I was 14 years old and my parents paid for me to go to Spain and I had Paella. I couldn't justifiably describe the elegance I tasted that first time. Then months later, a family friend, Shirley Hayes, made Sage Turkey Stuffing for Thanksgiving. I became addicted to sage, especially in stuffing.
Later years took me to working in Switzerland where Saffron, Beef Tongue, and the best homemade bread and butter graced the menu. Yoghurt and milk came in boxes; and granola, chocolate and Nutella were staples. The more I have traveled over the years the more I have discovered that spices and herbs offer so much more in flavor than sugars, which so much of our foods now contain is many, disguised, ways.
I get on my box many times about todays health of processed foods. And happily, I see more people who are reading the labels of boxes and putting them back on the shelf. I also love seeing larger shelf space filled with organic, gluten free and more foods that do not challenge our digestive system.