Dirigo Dish: Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Bisque

Dirigo Pines Chef Lew Stubbs shares a favorite recipe to celebrate autumn…


2 tablespoons butter

1 medium chopped onion

1 cup sherry

½ teaspoon dried thyme

4 apples peeled and chopped

4 cups roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin

6 cups chicken stock

¾ cup heavy cream


In a heavy large sauce pan melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add sherry and let simmer for 5 minutes then add thyme, roasted pumpkin, apples and chicken stock. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Add cream, pepper and bring to temperature. Serve with fresh chopped scallions.

To roast pumpkins: Clean out the inside and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350°F skin side up for about 45 minutes.

Garden Harvest

It’s Harvest Time in Maine – and at Dirigo Pines our gardens are producing quite the haul this year! Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and cabbage – oh my!

Just behind the Dirigo Pines Inn are a series of raised beds that residents claim each spring. Stunning flowers and gorgeous fruits and veggies sprout and produce all summer long, and this time of year the harvest is plentiful.

Many days residents can find vegetables available at the Inn in exchange for a donation to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – a favorite charity among Dirigo residents. And what veggies residents can’t use are donated to local food pantries and Habitat for Humanity to help the greater community. Happy harvesting!

Fall Foliage Tour at the Thomas Hill Standpipe

Leaf peepers take note: the Fall Foliage Tour at the Thomas Hill Standpipe is coming Wednesday, October 10 from 3-6 p.m. Access to the promenade deck is via a 100-step enclosed stairway. The historic structure is not handicap accessible.

Did you know: The tower was open to the public unattended for many years, and featured seats on the promenade deck for viewing the countryside. The Bangor Commercial reported that 3,200 tourists signed the guest book in 1935. Now the Water District offer 4 seasonal tours each year.

The Bangor Water District hosts the tours and offers the following details:

The Thomas Hill Standpipe was built in 1897 to provide water storage for fire-fighting and to help regulate pressure in downtown Bangor. It has been in continuous use since it was completed. Bangor Water assumed ownership of the standpipe in 1957 when a quasi-municipal water district (separate from the City of Bangor) was formed.

The standpipe, which holds 1,500,000 gallons of water, is a riveted wrought iron tank with a wood frame jacket located on Thomas Hill in Bangor. The metal standpipe consists of steel plates riveted one outside the other, and stands 50 feet high and 75 feet in diameter.

The wooden building that encloses it is 85 feet in diameter and 110 feet high. The 24 12”x12” main posts, which extend up past the open promenade deck, begin at the base of the structure and are 48 feet long.

Between the tank and the wooden shell is a staircase to the promenade deck and – beyond a locked door – a winding stairway leading to the roof and access to the flagpole. The promenade deck encircling the top is 12 feet wide and 280 feet in circumference.

Click here for more details: www.bangorwater.org/about-us/thomas-hill-standpipe.

The Standpipe is about a 10-minute drive from Dirigo Pines — click here for driving directions.

Dirigo Dish: Blackberry Cobbler

Finding fresh fruit in Maine throughout the summer isn’t hard — though blackberries can be a little tricky. If you’re lucky enough to find some, here’s a tasty recipe from the American Heart Association to put them to good use! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar substitute and 1/2 cup sugar substitute, divided use
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice from 1 medium lime
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup canola or corn oil
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, gently stir together the berries, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, the water, lime juice, and ginger. Let the berry mixture stand for at least 15 minutes so the juices can accumulate.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar substitute.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, yogurt, and vanilla.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture, stirring just until no flour is visible. Don’t overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Using a spatula, spread the batter in the pan. (The batter doesn’t have to touch the edge of the pan; it will spread while baking.) Top with the berry mixture.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!

Foliage Tips for Autumn

Happy First Day of Autumn! Can you believe fall is here already? The leaves are starting to change, which means leaf peeping season has also arrived. At Dirigo Pines in Orono, we’re perfectly set right in the middle of Maine to take advantage of all the great foliage sights around our state. According to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s website, northern Maine is at or near peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. Central and western mountains of Maine are at or near peak Columbus day week/weekend. Coastal and southern Maine generally reach peak or near peak conditions mid-to-last October.

The Department of Ag also has recommendations for foliage hikes and paddles — and we can’t imagine a better way to take in all Maine has to offer! From kayaking the Androscoggin River to taking a drive to the top of Mt. Battie in Camden for fall colors and an ocean view, there are ideas for everyone. Check it out here.

Click here to for the state’s guide to foliage season: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/projects/fall_foliage/index.shtml

For more about local foliage, check out this post.

Happy Leaf Peeping! Have your own favorite spot to suggest? Share it in the comments below!

Construction Nearly Complete

The Dirigo Pines cottage community is growing! Construction is nearly complete on several new cottages and we have a limited number of cottages available now!

To check out what’s for sale right now, visit our site at www.dirigopines.com/for-sale.

Each duplex style, one-story or two-story cottage at Dirigo is designed to maximize your privacy while maintaining a warm feeling of community. It’s the perfect way to enjoy independence and privacy as well as a neighborhood of likeminded retirees. You can also benefit from the activities and events open to all Dirigo residents!

Every cottage offers a living room, dining area, kitchen with all appliances, master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch, and attached garage. Some cottages also have a den. There are many interior finish options and upgrades available.

Customize your own home, complete with the high-quality craftsmanship of the builder who constructed our original cottages in 2002, and who still maintains them today. Your investment in a share of common stock in the cooperative is equal to the value of your cottage. You’ll enjoy the privacy of your own home and have added peace of mind knowing that the cooperative covers your home maintenance. From routine mowing and snow removal to prompt service when it is time to clean your furnace or replace an appliance, the Dirigo Pines onsite maintenance staff are available to maintain your cottage inside and out.

Come see for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.

Making Memories this Grandparents Day!

One of the greatest joys in life is becoming a grandparent. Spending time with little ones and watching them grow is an incredible gift. And the best way to celebrate Grandparents Day (or any day for that matter!) is spending quality time with the grandkids. Here are a few fun ways to make some memories…

  • Reap what you sow. Many Dirigo residents in our cottage community enjoy large flower and vegetable gardens in their yards, and our Inn residents have the opportunity to claim a spot in our raised beds. Kids loves seeing what’s growing in the garden and now’s the perfect time to let them help pick a peck or two!
  • Share a family recipe. Now that you’ve harvested all those tomatoes, teach the grandkids how to make your family’s famous tomato sauce! Old family recipes for cookies, pies, and special meals are always the best and full of memories. Share them with the next generation.
  • Craft something together. If you’re a quilter or a knitter or tie flies, share your talents with your grandchildren. Not very crafty? There are tons of fun craft ideas online for every age, and creating something together is a great way to bond with little ones.
  • Brain work. Kids love puzzles — whether they’re jigsaw, word searches or just a fun riddle. Get out some board games or watch a game of Wheel of Fortune together — solving clues together is a fun way to spend time.

For more ideas for fun activities to do with the grandkids, click here! Have an idea of your own? Share it in the comments below!

Golf Tournament Sponsor

Dirigo Pines is pleased to be sponsoring Hole 5 at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce’s 30th annual Chamber Challenge Golf Tournament! This fun tourney will be held September 7 at Bangor Municipal Golf Course in Bangor. For information about this great day on the links, visit www.bangorregion.com. Spots fill up quickly — register today!

Dirigo Dish: Pork Tenderloin and Plantains

Never tried cooking plantains before? Now’s a great time to start! Here’s a simple way to enjoy them with a summery Cuban pork tenderloin. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!



    8 clove garlic (peeled)

    2 green onions (roughly chopped)

    1/2 cup fresh cilantro

    1/2 cup 100% orange juice (from 1 orange)

    1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)

    1/4 cup lime juice (from 2 to 3 times)

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    1 1/4 lb lean pork tenderloin

    2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced about 1/2-inch thick

    2 Tbsp canola oil (divided)

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add peeled garlic, chopped scallions, cilantro, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, and oregano. Process until all the ingredients are puréed, about 1 minute. Add pork tenderloin into a large Ziploc bowl or a shallow dish along with marinade. Marinate anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.
  2. To cook, preheat the oven to 450 degrees for the plantains and prepare the grill to medium-high heat for the pork tenderloin.
  3. Trim the ends off each plantain; cut a slit down the middle of each peel and use your hands to remove the peel. Cut the plantains into 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices. Add plantain slices into a bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover 1 large baking sheet or 2 smaller ones with foil and coat with cooking spray. Add plantain slices into one even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the baking sheet and use a spatula to flip each plantain over. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes later until plantains are crisp and caramelized on the outer edges; keep an eye on the plantains as they cook to prevent from burning.
  5. Meanwhile, remove the pork tenderloin from the marinade, discarding the marinade and wiping the majority of it off the pork. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Brush remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil onto the pork and place on the grill. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning every few minutes, until the thickest part of the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Transfer to a plate and let rest at least 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the plantains.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!

Meet Our New Director of Sales!

Dirigo Pines is pleased to welcome Laurie Cates as our new Director of Sales! Laurie previously worked in sales for the Bangor Daily News and Bangor Metro magazine. She’s excited to be working with the staff and residents of Dirigo Pines and already working on several events, including a recent Fashion Show with Christopher & Banks and Valentine Footwear featuring Dirigo Pines resident models!

Laurie can be reached at 207-866-3400, 207-745-2419 or via email at lcates@dirigopines.com.