Maine Dish

  • Gingerbread cookies are a crowd favorite

    Gingerbread cookies are a crowd favorite

    Last week, my culinary students at Deer Isle-Stonington High School prepared and served a harvest lunch for their 120 classmates and staff. It was a heroic effort that involved the whole school and spanned over two weeks of preparation. Students roasted five Maine-raised turkeys, picking the meat off the bones, making stock and preparing gravy.

  • Let vegetables speak for themselves

    Let vegetables speak for themselves

    Gardeners and cooks make excellent bedfellows. Likewise, farmers and chefs, judging from the number of restaurant menus that honor the producers of their vegetables, meats and cheeses. An affectation? A fad? I think not. It reflects a passionate interest in how food comes into being. Farmers, in turn, love to see what chefs do with

  • Deer hunt yields culinary pleasures

    By Cheryl A. Wixson There’s an industrious level of excitement around our household as the month of October draws to a close. When the temperatures drop and daylight hours become shorter, we’re like the red squirrels, scurrying to prepare for winter. Wood split and stacked: check. Rain barrels drained: check. Pumpkins and squash harvested: check.

  • Raise a glass to “Ruby Juice”

    Raise a glass to “Ruby Juice”

      Our slow, cool spring produced a bumper crop of rhubarb for many folks. Although usually eaten as a “fruit,” rhubarb is a vegetable, botanically speaking. An invaluable homestead plant in Maine, this tart- tasting member of the buckwheat family can reach up to 2 feet tall. I’m a collector of rhubarb recipes, and we’ve

  • Gretchen Jost’s cookies sweet sensation

    Gretchen Jost’s cookies sweet sensation

      Who doesn’t love a fresh chocolate chip cookie hot from the oven? America’s favorite hand-held confection is credited to Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Mass. In 1938, Ruth made cookies with chunks of a Hershey candy bar, featuring them in her restaurant as the “Toll House Cookie.” The

  • Versatile vinaigrette for salads, marinades

    Ron Fortier of Ellsworth recently wrote to me, “With the present stay-at-home situation, I have been delegated as chief cook. I’m rapidly running out of comfort food ideas,” he said. “Please, if you have any fresh ideas, please share, lest I am forced to eat them lobstah. Don’t want to take them away from the

  • Say cheesecake, lobster that is

    Say cheesecake, lobster that is

    The long stretch of keeping to home has given me the opportunity to catch up on some necessary spring-cleaning projects. Clothes have been sorted, books dusted and windows washed. One fruitful endeavor was tackling the kitchen refrigerator and freezer. I practice the frugal, homestead cooking technique of saving containers of food scraps in the freezer.

  • Syrup-laced muffins on tap

    Syrup-laced muffins on tap

    I keep a close eye on my pantry inventory these days; sorting root-cellared apples for sauce, peeling and freezing garlic and roasting the butternut squash with soft spots. The urge for this annual routine of spring sorting and cleaning reminds me of squirrels, checking their food supplies, cleaning out their nest and getting ready for

  • Cabbage touted for cancer-fighting benefits

    Cabbage touted for cancer-fighting benefits

    The cabbage, which derives from the French word “caboche” (a colloquial term for head), was introduced to the Americas in 1541-42 by Jacques Cartier on his third voyage to Canada.  Although the vegetable became an important New England crop that sustained many homesteading families, the first writing of its cultivation wasn’t recorded until over 100

  • Dishing up Maine tradition

    Dishing up Maine tradition

    Last week was Arts Week at Deer Isle-Stonington High School, and the theme was a celebration of Maine’s bicentennial. Once part of Massachusetts, Maine became independent — very independent — in March of 1820. For the entire week, over 120 teenagers were engrossed in studying the history of Maine and Deer Isle and creating works

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