In 1985 I started what has now become The Well Tempered Kitchen, a legacy from a dear friend and employer who after many years decided to retire. I moved the business a few times as it grew in New York before moving it to Waldoboro, Maine. I built an addition to the old stable which held the original store, adding storage, shipping and receiving, offices, and doubling the retail space. I added a demo kitchen and had local chefs teach cooking classes, built up a successful online business, held huge tent sales once a year, and employed a staff of seven people. I traveled to European trade shows looking for the newest kitchenware products. For many years my passion for cooking and the love of good kitchenware tools drove me to build this business and grow it stronger every year.
In 2007 my husband died after a long struggle with cancer. Although he wasn't officially part of the business, he was my support and cheering section. His death was a life-changing thing for me and since that event my energy for the business has slowly waned. I have reduced the size of the the overall business, closed the online store and cut back on staffing. In May of this year I moved the store to a smaller location in Camden, Maine where it has been very well received and I believe is poised for some real growth.
I have come to terms with the fact that I just do not have the energy needed to keep doing this after 36 years and also move this very viable business forward in exciting new directions. I have made the decision that I must either sell the entire business or offer a limited partnership. This business is a complete turn-key operation with inventory, computer systems, vendor reps, social media all in place. If you have a serious interest in owning the business or becoming a partner, please contact me directly so we could arrange a meeting. I need someone with energy, a passion for cooking and an appreciation of the fine quality equipment used.
The Well Tempered Kitchen's customer base has been very loyal and supported us for the eighteen years we have been in Maine. It is my sincere wish that I find someone who will bring new life to the store and continue to supply the mid-coast with the finest kitchenwares.
"Dishwashers are death to a kitchen knife. Dull knives are far more dangerous than sharp ones. And most electric sharpeners make terrific doorstops." Eric E. Weiss
We all know that having sharp knives is essential to home cooking, and we use them every day for countless tasks. When it comes to keeping them sharp, many of us feel uneasy with such a precise task. Did you know that we offer knife sharpening here at The Well Tempered Kitchen? Our very own Gail Montgomery carefully hand-sharpens each knife to a fine edge, ensuring that your chopping, slicing, and dicing can continue effortlessly.
We'll be offering a knife-sharpening special for the first two weeks of November - for every two knives you get sharpened, we'll sharpen a third for free! Call us here in Camden if you have any questions, otherwise swing by the store to drop off your knives!
Act now and be sure to take advantage of this great deal!
The chill in the air confirms it: fall is here. The vegetables of summer start receding into memory once again, squash and sage slowly replacing tomatoes and basil in our hearts and kitchens. Something about the depth of flavors in a caramelized onion or a roasted root (parsnips are my favorite) helps ease the transition from long sunny days into evenings beside the fireplace. It's a time for simplicity of flavors, and I find myself increasingly drawn toward simple, hearty foods.
One of my favorite fall meals is so versatile it can be served at a formal dinner or spooned into mugs, it can be a main entree or a filling side dish, you can dress it up or down and adjust the recipe to accomodate all sorts of dietary needs (I've even made it for vegans!)
What is this dream dish? How could something be so complex and at the same time perfectly simple?
Risotto. Creamy, savory, sweet, wonderful risotto. Now, at first you may shy away because, like me, you watch too much "Top Chef" or "Hell's Kitchen" and you have heard that there is a right way and a wrong way to prepare it, but I'll let you in on a little secret: you really can't mess it up. If you're a perfectionist, you may have to make a few batches to find your ideal texture and consistency. But after a while you'll be surprised how quick and easy and - maybe most importantly - how impressive this dish can be.
The best method I know of for a perfect risotto starts with the perfect pot. My first choice is this beauty, from French company Emile Henry. I find that toasting the arborio is an important step. Again, trial and error is the best way to learn how to achieve the perfect golden color on the grains before adding butter or oil, followed by onion or shallot, and eventually stock, wine, cheese, spices - really whatever flavor combination you find inspiring in the moment!
This link will lead you to a basic recipe - this one with a decisively springtime flavor profile. The great thing about a simple recipe like this is you can drop the asparagus in favor of something you can pick up today at the farmer's market. Be sure to choose a good cheese - it's an essential element and can add real depth - you almost don't need to add anything else!
I'd love it if you would share your favorite flavor combinations with us! I'm always inspired by the ingenuity of my fellow home chefs!
This past Sunday we were thrilled to host our first ever Humble Pie contest! We had an amazing assortment of submissions for our judges to sample, ranging from the traditional (at least five varieties of apple pie) to the eccentric (Who's ever heard of beer pie? It's delicious, by the way)
Our big winner for the day was Liz Coldren of Camden, whose entry of a beautiful Flemish Beauty Pear and Apple Pie with a puree of Cranberry Orange took the prize for Best Overall. Congratulations to our other winners, Jennifer Nichols and Debbie Dayton!
And it wouldn't have been a competition without our wonderful judges, Josh Hixon, Flint Decker, Cathy Ames-Cruz, and our own Gail Montgomery. We were also grateful to Seth from Youthlinks for stopping by and acting as tiebreaker!
All of the funds we raised this weekend will benefit Youthlinks in Rockland, ME.
Photo courtesy PenBay Pilot