The rain in Spain falls Mainely … oh, wait. That's the wrong use of "Maine," isn't it? At any rate, this week I'm continuing my alphabetical exploration of tea in every state, and a number of notable items related to Maine caught my attention …
• Georgia peaches, Florida oranges, Idaho potatoes, and Maine … blueberries, right? I cannot even begin to think of Maine without thinking of blueberries and of my dear friend Ruth here in Newnan, who hails from Maine and is the first person I ever knew of in Georgia who had successfully grown blueberries. (The second was my dad, in whose garden I photographed the Georgia blueberries above.) Ruth says her Georgia blueberries are good, but she just looks wistful and sighs when she recalls the blueberries "on the island" where she grew up in Maine. Is it any wonder that blueberry is a perennial favorite flavor of tea lovers? Some of the blueberry teas I've enjoyed are, from top, Mrs. Patmore's Blueberry Scone Tea from Republic of Tea, Cape Shore Blueberry Tea, Inko's White Blueberry Tea, and Bar Harbor Tea Company's Blueberry Tea. (If you know of another blueberry tea I should try, please let me know!)
• Kennebunkport, Maine. I always think of that as the summer home of President George H. W. Bush, but in tearoom history, it was also once the home of the Old Grist Mill Tearoom. The restaurant opened in the forties and was owned by two generations of the Lombard Family, and it was an actual working grist mill that had been converted to a restaurant. The restaurant is no longer there because it burned down in 1994 "under suspicious circumstances." I'm thinking that would be an interesting plotline to explore in a mystery, don't you?
• Finally, I have to mention a fact that I did not know until a few years ago, which is that the Boston Tea Party was actually just one of a number of early "tea party" protests in our country. Ten of them are featured in Joseph Cummins's intriguing "Ten Tea Parties" (which I noted was on sale for just $5.98 in the discount section of Barnes and Noble recently), and one of them was in York, Maine. If you're interested in all the juicy details, as I always am, you can also read about the "York, Maine Tea Party of 1774" in this article.