Toward the end of our vacation (about which I have not yet written) Jeff and I went to Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine. We had been there previously, but it had been some time so we thought we’d take a quick spin through Stonewall again…
Well, that’s funny….a quick spin….it’s nearly impossible to take a quick spin because there is so much to look at and so much to buy and even some pretty yummy food to eat in their café!
When we arrived at the Stonewall campus, I made a beeline for the cooking school. It’s the cook in me and the cooking instructor in me….I like to see what other instructors are doing and where they’re doing it! And I surely was not disappointed. They have a beautiful school.
After spending a few minutes checking out the classroom, we wandered past the huge windows that allow you to look into part of Stonewall’s bottling operation. It is pretty mesmerizing to watch all the jars on the conveyor belts whizzing along. If I squinted my eyes and belted out (in my head of course) “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, shlemiel, schlemazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated. We’re gonna do it!” I could pretend I was watching the line at Shotz Brewery.” But as usual, I digress……
I stole a few moments to relive my childhood and then we moved on to the beautiful retail store via the gorgeous grounds. After the first lap of the store we decided we’d put together a gift basket for Macy’s gracious caregivers and for my mom and dad who were watering our hanging flower baskets in our absence.
We had a lot of fun selecting things for each of these gift packs and considering what the folks receiving the gifts would enjoy. Jeff and I each selected items for the gifts and tried to work within a theme for each one – although I have to say that in the end both gifts ended up to be a mishmash of things we thought sounded delicious and that was OK!
We gave our gift items over to the talented young woman who arranged them and made them look beautiful and we began wandering the store in search of a few things for ourselves. Since we were hungry and the café, which was just a few feet from where we were standing, was soon closing we decided to put the shopping on hold and have a little snack – ok, more like a late lunch.
I asked about the size of an order of mac and cheese and was told it was small – enough for a taste – which is just what I had hoped. Jeff ordered a BLTA (BLT with avocado). When the gal behind the counter delivered the food – which looked amazing – to our table she offered an “apology.”
She explained that since it was nearing the end of the day, the chef made a much larger portion of mac and cheese than would normally be served. How can you complain about that? NO APOLOGY NECESSARY! It did take a considerable amount of self-control to eat just a little and save the rest because it was sooooo good. But it was very rich, which helped.
Jeff’s sandwich was also delicious…very fresh and flavorful. But after helping me with a bit of mac and cheese he was too full to finish the whole sandwich, so we wrapped part of the sandwich and most of the mac and cheese in To Go containers and put them in the cooler. They made for a great lunch the next day when we were travelling to Rhode Island!
Here are some miscellaneous snaps of our time at Stonewall Kitchen:
With full bellies, we resumed our shopping and found a few things we wanted to bring home. One was hand soap in Stonewall’s Lake House scent. As soon as I smelled the soap I knew I had to bring some home because it reminded me of one of my favorite things about Maine – the smell of balsam.
Another thing we tucked into our bag was a simmering sauce for Butter Chicken. Butter Chicken (also known as murgh makhani) is an Indian dish of chicken in a mild curry sauce. I thought it would be good to have this simmering sauce in case we found ourselves in need of a fast, easy dinner.
Tonight was just that night! Having tested recipes much of the day yesterday and planning to test recipes much of the day tomorrow, I have to admit I didn’t really feel like cooking anything too involved tonight after work. But we did have chicken in the fridge and some jasmine rice in the pantry so Butter Chicken was the perfect solution to the age-old “what’s for dinner” conundrum.
It was so very easy to make this recipe. I cut the chicken into cubes, browned it in batches and, while the chicken was browning, I started the rice. After all the chicken was beautifully golden brown I put it all back into the skillet and added the jar of Butter Chicken Simmering Sauce. The chicken simmered for 15 minutes, which was perfect timing – when the timer rang the chicken was done, the rice was finished cooking and Jeff was walking through the door!
We sat down to dinner of Butter Chicken over jasmine rice and it was delightful – the chicken was juicy and the tomato-based sauce was thick and flavorful with just enough spice. I have not previously eaten Butter Chicken so I have no basis for comparison; but based upon my experience with this Stonewall product, I will definitely order this next time I’m in an Indian restaurant and I’ll probably play with the recipe at home too.
There’s just one problem with the Stonewall Kitchen Butter Chicken Simmering Sauce – it’s gone. I wish we had bought more! Fortunately, we carry Stonewall products at work and perhaps I can convince Dan to order some of this simmering sauce (and some of the other simmering sauces) for the shop!
Stonewall Kitchen’s Butter Chicken Simmering Sauce + a few minutes prep time + a pan of jasmine rice = a delicious, fast dinner!