Maine: Misty mornings and Whoopie Pie Genius

While my parents were here (“Back East,” as we always said when I was growing up) we spent two nights with my aunt and uncle at a lodge they were renting on Great Pond in Maine. The weather cleared for us and we got to splash around in the lake and eat on the porch, and my dad and uncle did quite a bit of fly-fishing from the old canoe. The lodge is affiliated with a venerable and very cool boy’s camp, Pine Island Camp, which my uncle and cousin both attended. We got to have lunch there and tour the island, and it made me hope that I have at least one son one day, so I can pack him off to a mosquito-free island in a Maine Lake to canoe and row and sail and play crazy games and do carpentry and otherwise step back in time. I liked that there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on artistic achievement–music, painting, carving–as well as sports. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera that day, but Dad took a few shots. (The photo up top is of a group of boys rowing past our dock one morning.)

The campers still sleep in tents on platforms, just feet away from the lake.

(Photo by Dad)

Dad was smart enough to take a photo of an archival picture to show how little has changed in 100 years:

(Photo by Dad)

Other than that little trip, we mostly just cooked and ate and relaxed by the lake. We were visited by a distinctly un-shy loon:

Despite appearances, the green canoe was seaworthy:

Bug spray aside, this photo could have been taken 50 years ago:

And if this is basically my dad’s favorite kind of view (ok, he’d prefer a burbling trout stream, but framing anything with a fly rod helps):

I definitely captured his favorite way to shave!

Oh, and Mom and I cooked dinner one night!


After leaving the lake, we drove on back roads over to a resort in NH where my mom worked in High School. On our way there, we passed Douin’s Market, which looked like a convenience store, but sported a sign saying something like, “Home of the Brownie Whoopie Pie, STOP or you’ll regret it.” I yelled “STOP!” and everyone thought I was kidding. Once I made it clear that I take threats of brownie whoopie pie regret seriously, Dad and I ran in. He had the presence of mind to take an iPhone picture of a sign advertising the 10-lb Brownie Whoopie Pies Douin’s makes for parties:

We purchased the normal sized one (perched on the giant one in the previous photo), and devoured it with our picnic lunches. OMG, you guys. I like a whoopie pie as much as the next girl, but most of the time the cake seems to be sadly bland or dry. This subbed in the best brownie I’ve ever tasted–incredibly chewy and chocolatey and delicious. The market also makes a variety of normal whoopie pies, as well as some with peanut butter filling or pumpkin cake.

To die for. (Photo by Dad)

In case anyone will be in Maine soon, DO NOT MISS:
Douin’s Market, New Sharon, Maine
Home of the Brownie Whoopie Pie

Finally, on our way home Sunday we went to the very famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, NH. We called ahead to get on the list, so we didn’t have to wait long. Polly’s is well-known for serving some of the best pancakes anywhere. Your server cooks them to order, and brings three at a time, then your next three, fresh and hot, when you’ve finished those. I chose a sampler so I could try a few of the many, many options–the best by a long shot were the cornmeal blueberry (the middle pancake in my stack, below).

The smoky, crisp bacon and the maple spread were my two favorite things, though! Also the placemats, maple leaf shapes cut out of red vinyl, and the mismatched chairs all painted bright red.

Great, now I kind of want bacon for dinner.

17 thoughts on “Maine: Misty mornings and Whoopie Pie Genius”

  1. Thanks for ruining my diet. Now I want bacon ALL THE TIME. And whoopie ANYTHING, now! Hate. HATE.
    Pancakes. Mmmmm.

  2. Lovely photos. I’ve always wanted to go to Sugar Hill. Always forget when I’m in NH.

    I’ve never really had a good store bought whoopie pie. They are always too dry or too big or have too much filling. I think people tend to like big things in Maine.

    I’ll share my grandma recipe this week. The cake is moist and the inside is made with fluff, egg whites, and crisco. Super yum!

  3. Bridge: Kisses! You’re welcome.
    Katy: I can’t wait to try it. I might borrow the filling and try my own brownie version. Though with good homemade cake… Mmm.

  4. I had my first Brownie Whoopie pie last night from Douin’s and it HAD to be share with my husband and daughter. All I can say is OMG. I have been considered the best Whoopie pie maker in my town. I make regular ones with peanut butter frosting or plain, pumpkin ones, zuchinni ones, molasses ones, oatmeal ones. The key to not getting them so thick is to spead the mix out in a circular motion. But now, I have to master the brownie one. I am on a mission.

  5. Allow me to second the ‘I want whoopie anything’ comment. Never even heard of such a thing and now I can’t understand how I’ve lived without it.

  6. Carmen, do you actually live near enough to Douin’s to drop by casually? If you make progress on the brownie version (since you can actually compare it!) please share your secret. Also, molasses whoopie pies, my goodness you are talking my language.

    Dad- Woot!

    Xander and Mike- I guess they’re a real New England thing. Katy Elliott promises to post her family recipe soon, so hopefully we can all get cooking on the traditional version.

  7. I saw your blog and wanted to say “We at Douin’s Market in New Sharon, Maine are so very happy you enjoyed our Brownie Whoopie Pie.” Thanks for the great words you had for it. Stop in and see us again sometime if you are traveling through.

  8. I am a new fan of Douins Market because of the BROWNIE Whoopie pies…while traveling Rt. 2 to go visit the inlaws in Vt. my wife and I drove by and as was stated in previous comments “Screeched into the reverse” headed back to Douins to buy one and one turned to 3 and then on the way home to Oakland and my wife asked “do you want to stop and get another whoopie pie” of course my response was “DUH what do you think” we bought 2 more 1 regular and 1 pb..if you live in anywhere between Rt. 27 Belgrade region and Rt. 2 Farmington area stop in you won’t be regretting it and maybe if you’re daring call ahead and ask’em for a 10 pounder….

  9. Maine Whoopie Pie Festival is on Saturday June 25th, 2011. It is located in Dover Foxcroft, Maine. Douin’s Market won “Maine’s Favorite Flavored Whoopie Pie” Last year and we hope our Brownie Whoopie Pie will win again this year! Come if you feel the need to bite into a great Brownie Whoopie Pie!

  10. I used to live in Maine and my husband and I stopped by Douins market one time and bought a couple of brownie Whoopie’s. Best Whoopie EVER. I have since moved to Colorado (and BTW, I miss Maine like crazy) and have often wondered if there is some way to get Brownie Whoopie’s sent here??

  11. Michele- The Douin’s people seem really responsive: You should totally google their phone number and call to see if they can hook you up. And then let me know, because OMG SO GOOD.

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