We’re taking a little break from the food-ventures to share some other highlights of my trip to Maine today. Of course there were more, and I’ll be sharing those next week. For now, it’s time to talk shopping in Maine. This may surprise you, considering I’m not really into buying stuff. I haven’t been in a department store in months, if not a year. But Southern Maine is what you might call my shopping Mecca. Why? It’s home to the stuff that does fill my life. Like cooking gadgets, leggings, and boat shoes. From Stonewall Kitchen to L.L. Bean, I found a few goodies on this trip.
We stopped at Stonewall Kitchen on the drive up to Portland, since it’s located in York, Maine, just north of Kittery (which has a great Lululemon outlet that we skipped this trip). I could spend hours browsing for myself, but I actually had a goal in mind of creating a basket of cooking supplies and fun extras as a wedding gift for my friend Lauren. I gave her monogrammed wine glasses for the bridal shower, so I thought a basket of goodies to accompany some wine would be perfect.
When you walk into Stonewall Kitchen, you’re greeted by rows and rows of shelves with every type of baked good mix, jam, jelly, preserve, mustard, relish, chutney, and basically any other spread you can name. And you can taste all of them (if you’re not gluten free, since the taste spoons are pretzels). While Brett occupied himself with that, I set to work creating a basket. I had a muffin theme in mind, which I stuck to despite almost straying towards doughnuts or something a little out of the ordinary like whoopie pies. I figured classic is best, and muffins are so versatile, easy to serve for breakfast, snack, or dessert. I’ve made enough of them to know!
I picked out two muffin mixes (Breakfast and Blueberry) and several jams and preserves, including Maine Wild Blueberry, Cherry Berry, and Organic Strawberry Vanilla. I also found a sturdy 12-muffin tin, a blue spatula, some dish towels with baskets of blueberries, and a blue and white checked oven mitt, to make up the goodies within the basket. Plus I nabbed some of my favorite Maple Champagne Mustard and Wild Blueberry Preserves for my own refrigerator.
Notice that I did not mention a basket. Well, that’s because I didn’t find one I liked at Stonewall Kitchen. That had to wait until our afternoon excursion to Freeport, Maine, home of the L.L. Bean flagship store, their home furnishings, boating and fishing, and outdoors stores, and various other outlets of which I am a fan. It was at the L.L. Bean Home store that I found a fuzzy blue blanket basket perfect to hold all the muffin goodies until Lauren uses them up, after which she can use the basket to store blankets! I got an anchor dish towel for myself there, I couldn’t resist.
At the main L.L. Bean store, I found a new pair of long running leggings and a long sleeved running shirt on sale for about $35 each. The leggings have a cute blue, purple, and yellow pattern, and the top is pink and white striped. We then ventured to the Sperry Topsider outlet, where I got a new pair of Nantucket red canvas boat shoes for just over $20. Add to that a pair of pink linen shorts from the J. Crew outlet, and you have my shopping spree for the trip. What can I say? You put everything I need to bake, run, and hang out in the sun in one place and send me there right before the start of summer, and you’ve got pretty much the sole scenario in which I acquire so much stuff in one day 🙂
By the time Brett found himself a new navy jacket at Brooks Brothers for 80% off and decided in favor of some Sperry boots, we were pretty hungry, so we headed to Jameson Tavern for lunch. It’s a sports bar style place now, but it was actually the site of where the papers were signed for Maine to enter the United States as its own state in 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise. Pretty cool if you’re a history nerd like me.
The only further shopping on this trip was an impulse buy at Le Roux Kitchen in Portland, where I found an adorable blue and white striped plate with a faded red anchor perfect for photographing recipes for the blog, and a little white stand on which I can display a few muffins or cupcakes. And a mug for Brett. Now, I’m all set for a long while!
Do you enjoy shopping, or would you rather be doing something else?
What do you consider essentials (for clothing, food, or anything else)?
Are you an L.L. Bean fan?
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