Maine - The Pine Tree State
Official Slogan: Dirigo (I lead)
Suggested Slogan: Mainly White Pines and White People
Two Truths and a Lie
Technically Alaska’s far-flung Aleutian Islands cross the internal date line, so Alaska is the northernmost and easternmost state in the nation. But within the contiguous 48, Maine sits at the most northern and eastern spots.
A weather-worn Norse penny suggests Vikings arrived in Maine in the late 11th Century A.D. Experts remain uncertain about whether the coin is a genuine artifact or a cleverly placed ruse.
Maine is home to 44 ports, places where ships can safely dock to load/unload goods and passengers. The entire continent of Africa has just 41 ports.
The Recipe - Blueberry Muffin Tops
Maine is famous for its rugged beauty. Along the coast, misty harbors feature picturesque lighthouses. Pine forests cover most of the interior and ancient mountains stretch across the landscape. These wonders attract so many tourists that Maine is also called Vacationland. Sadly, I have not enjoyed a trip to this gorgeous state. All I can say firsthand is that the state grows some delicious blueberries.
Wild blueberries grow as low shrubs. They took root in plains left by retreating glaciers 10,000 years ago. Maine’s brutal winters force the fruit to store extra antioxidants which creates the strong flavor and color in these tiny berries. Come summer the berries are harvested; many growers still use hand rakes instead of machines. I buy them flash-frozen in bulk and enjoy them year-round.
One of my favorite go-to recipes is blueberry muffins. I decided to mess with the ratios and bake them as muffin-top cookies. I used half the amount of yogurt and left out an egg to make a thicker batter. I had to chill the batter to prevent excessive spreading. I mixed in a half cup of blueberries, then popped more on top of each cookie before baking to ensure every cookie had adequate berries.
These baked well and tasted great. Some may quibble that they are more cake than cookie, but the distinction was cemented by my daughter. She is a picky eater and has flat-out refused to try any homemade muffins these past three years. She saw these “cookies” and sunk her teeth in. She says they’re yummy and the blueberries are the best part. If anyone reading this has picky children, you will understand what a profound victory that statement represents. I’m making them again!
Want to experience Maine for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
Kerplink Kerplank Kerplunk! I absolutely love Robert McCloskey’s “Blueberries for Sal.” I read it to my daughter last night. I really hope I visit the state in person in the next five years, but for now, I have only book knowledge.
Time for the whole truth
2D maps are deceptive, Maine lies south of the 48th parallel meaning Washington, Idaho, Montanna, North Dakota, and Minnesota are farther north than the Pine Tree State.
(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)