Merryspring Nature Center's Annual Kitchen Tour pairs local kitchens with 16 chefs

Inside the Kitchen Tour: Retro tea sandwiches and a renovated Rockport barn kitchen

Wed, 08/07/2013 - 12:30pm

    ROCKPORT - Every summer, Merryspring Nature Center throws a Kitchen Tour, pairing up a certain number of Midcoast homes with top Midcoast chefs and caterers. Today, we got a look inside one of the eight featured houses to sample some gourmet tastings in the kitchen.

    Maureen and Rick Morse, of 40 Pascal Avenue in Rockport, allowed us to come into their kitchen (No. 5 on the tour) and check out its unique features. The roomy kitchen centers on a brick chimney with a six-burner Wolf stove at its base. Other touches include pumpkin pine wide-plank flooring, honed granite counters with subway tile backsplash, cabinetry by Crestwood Kitchens with wooden bung joinery, and milk can pendant lights.

    As the tour started, we talked briefly with Chef/Caterer and Food Writer Laura Cabot, owner of Laura Cabot Catering.

    What do you have offered today?

    We have here a variety of tea sandwiches with a retro bent: the traditional watercress sandwich, a traditional cucumber sandwich and a smoked salmon sandwich, which is always popular. We also  have a ribbon sandwich, which is done in layers. It’s got smoked tomato mousse and watercress. They're loaded with butter, also retro. I’ve got some Acqua Panna mineral water. I like to offer something refershing to go with all that buttery goodness.

    Have you always been involved with the Kitchen Tour?

    Yes, I’ve been doing it for over 10 years, never the same kitchen, but always in a beautiful kitchen like this one. It’s hard to believe this used to be a barn. I love the milk can lighting—the light is fabulous in this place and I love the Wolf stove, gorgeous. I have one at home.

    Talk a little bit about the flower display

    These come from my garden—lots of day lilies, black-eyed Susans, Hydrangea, some Penstemon and a lot of culinary herbs I like to throw into the mix, such as dill, lettuce, kale, which is really decorative, mint and chervil.

    The 2013 Merryspring Kitchen Tour takes place on Wednesday, Aug. ,7 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  To see other featured houses and the 16 chefs/caterers on the Kitchen Tour click here. All proceeds from the Kitchen Tour support Merryspring Nature Center, a nonprofit park and education center in Camden and Rockport with 66 acres of nature trails and gardens. For further information about the Kitchen Tour, call Merryspring at 236-2239 or visit

    Kay Stephens can be reached at