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Harvest on the Harbor - Going With the Flow

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Display from Cranberry Island Kitchen

This weekend was the third annual Harvest on the Harbor event in Portland, and I attended again, this time with some of my family members. Since I’d been before, I wanted to be more strategic about it, keeping in mind the recommendations I make for my “Am I Hungry?” workshops.

“I’d like to take a quick look at all the options before starting, to make sure I’m hungry for what I really want,” I said as we walked in.

“Okay,” they said agreeably.

I got past about three tables when I realized they weren’t with me anymore. I glanced around quickly, knowing that with the crowds it would be all too easy to get separated. I saw them a table back, licking their fingers.

When I rejoined them, my dad gave me a semi-apologetic shrug. “I couldn’t help it. I’m hungry, and I am what I am.”

I had to grin, knowing what he meant by that – food it one of his greatest pleasures, and he doesn’t hesitate to indulge that pleasure. I knew then I had a choice. I could try to stick to my original plan, which would make staying together difficult and the whole event more complicated. Or I could just go with the flow, enjoy myself, and trust myself.

It didn’t take me long to decide. “Did they have anything good?”

From that point we slowly made our way around the tent, trying whatever appealed to us as it came up. I didn’t try everything, and I didn’t eat everything that I tried (some of the portions were quite generous), but I didn’t turn away from anything that I wanted to sample. And what a feast to choose from! Various seafood dishes, meat and poultry, soups and chowders, pizzas, condiments, jams and jellies, snacks, desserts, soda, wine, and beer, from numerous vendors. Some of my favorites were:

  • seaweed coleslaw

  • smoked salmon wrapped in a crepe with a balsamic reduction

  • gingerbread of a blueberry compote with whipped cream and a sprig of mint

  • sesame roasted cashews

  • chai applesauce

  • a medley of gelato and sorbetto flavors: Maine apple lemon ginger, strawberry balsamic, mint cookies and cream, and chocolate caramel

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Salmon wrapped in crepe

Gingerbread with blueberry compote

Did I eat more than I needed, past the point when I was hungry? Yes. Do I feel guilty? Definitely not – and more to the point, I also agree with my aunt, who commented, “I don’t regret eating anything that I tried.” Do I wish I had stuck with my strategy? No – it would have made the whole event much less relaxed and enjoyable. And it was a good reminder that while I eat as healthily as I can most of the time, sometimes just going with the flow is the best approach.

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