Articles by: Merry Post

Merry Post

  • Saluting Susan B. Anthony

    Saluting Susan B. Anthony

    Susan B. Anthony’s cake was flavored with a little almond extract. Apparently, she served it plain, with no indication that it should be improved with frosting. Sponge cake alone has a light, airy texture, but it is rather dry.

  • Popcorn used as meat and wheat substitute during WWI

    Sometimes I like to look at cookbooks from the World War I era just to envision a period in modern American history that could compare to the past year for collective misery. About 675,000 Americans died from the influenza pandemic of 1918. Because the crowded conditions of military life fostered the spread of influenza, more

  • Serve up a slice of summer: Downeast Pie

    Serve up a slice of summer: Downeast Pie

    Special to The Ellsworth American Every November I try at least one new type of pie. This year I attempted mock cherry pie — a dessert that was popular at the end of the 1800s but disappeared in the early 1900s.  I believe the pie lost favor when canned sour cherries became available year-round. Because

  • Try immune-boosting chicken noodle soup

    Try immune-boosting chicken noodle soup

    By Merry Post Special to The Ellsworth American Homemade noodles are quick and easy. They have a fresh, eggy taste that cannot be matched by dry pasta. They will elevate beef, chicken or turkey broth into a satisfying soup that looks more complicated than it is. I found a good recipe for noodles in a

  • An enduring tradition: Classic apple cake lives on

    An enduring tradition: Classic apple cake lives on

    My recipe for farmer’s fruitcake comes from an 1889 cookbook put out by the women of the Ashland Grange No. 124 in Massachusetts. Oliver H. Kelley founded the National Grange of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry after the Civil War in 1867. He had been sent by the Department of Agriculture to assess

  • Shuck and awe

    Shuck and awe

    In coastal New England, shell heaps show where native people found estuaries rich in oysters. The bivalve mollusks were popular with the early colonists as well. Thanks to expansion of the railroads in the 1840s, pickled oysters could easily be shipped inland and by mid-century had become a widespread food fad. New Englanders ate oysters

  • History under a crust

    History under a crust

    By Merry Post Special to The Ellsworth American Reformers in 19th-century New England tried to improve the lives of women through legislation: to obtain voting rights for women, to liberalize divorce and custody laws, to guarantee women control of their own property, and to improve the conditions of factory work. Early feminist Melusina Fay Peirce

  • Pilau talk

    Pilau talk

    By Merry Post Special to The Ellsworth American The anonymous woman from Salem, Mass., who wrote “The American Matron, or Practical and Scientific Cookery,” addressed young housekeepers in her preface. Writing in 1851, she sought not just to ennoble the mission of housekeepers and cooks but also to caution the reader about the seriousness of

  • In praise of cod

    In praise of cod

    One of the essential survival skills that the Pilgrims learned from Native Americans was how to fish by hand for the cod that abounded in New England waters. Cod was admirably suited for preserving by drying or salting. Preserved cod had been an important part of the European diet for hundreds of years. I learned