All posts by Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann

About Karen O. Zimmermann

Karen O. Zimmermann savors chance encounters with people throughout the state of Maine, and is endlessly delighted with the tales they have to share.

Meet the Bar Man

Galyn's Loungs

“Do you know what that is?” Ernie Haskell Brooks asks, stroking his hand over a thick butcher-block counter top. “Cutting board” I respond, wondering if it is a trick question. He is pleased as he shakes his head. “A queen-size head board,” he answers. The massive slab of wood, now mellowed with oil and cut […]

Samphire, seepweed and seaside salad.

Samphire, Bombay Sapphire gin, and cucumber cocktail

Samphire, seepweed and seaside salad, that’s a tongue twister, and after a samphire-Sapphire adult concoction, I prefer to savor the flavor of these Maine edible plants instead of trying to say them. Samphire is a lyrical word for an earthy and salty edible plant that grows along the seaside. It frequently keeps company with sea […]

Gather blueberries while you may

Energetic blueberry picker

Nothing lingers in summer. Things bloom, fruit and fade so quickly I feel as though I am living in a time-lapse video. I gather chanterelles, and over my shoulder see Amelanchier berries, plump, deep purple, ripe and ready. Oh, and the sumac is at its prime. In the garden the peas need picking, I planted […]

Maple syruping for beginners, Part 2: Tapping

Drilling a tap hole

After you get all your equipment together, it’s time to tap. (for equipment: http://mainemorsels.bangordailynews.com/2014/03/23/maine-morsels/maple-syruping-for-beginners/) Choose your trees Sugar maples have a higher sugar content than other maples, which means you get more syrup per gallon of sap. We have a few sugar maples, but use mostly red maples. The flavor is as deep and maply […]

Cranberries in March? Yes, it’s the best time to pick.

Plump red winter cranberries

We went cranberrying in Northeast Creek in November, but did not get many. It was a banner year for cranberries, too. All my fellow foragers and gatherers were telling tales of over a dozen gallons, and easy picking. But I needed cranberries for the holidays, so gave up hunting, and went to Snugglemagic Farm pick-your-own […]

How to make the world’s best salt

Seawater full of salt

I do not use a lot of salt when I cook, but when I do, I reach for the very best salt, bar none, on this planet. It is Zea Salt, and I harvest it here in Otter Creek when the wood stove is running. Sea salt is very easy to make, and if you […]

Winter outside, spring inside: How to force branches to leaf

Forced forsythia

I’ve noticed forsythia twigs are now for sale in the local grocery stores. If you can’t go out and snip a few twigs yourself, bringing these home to blossom while the outside world is still in the deep freeze is a way to bring spring into your heart. I also cut aspen, red maple, and […]