Maine Dish

  • Rascally raccoons twice raid corn patch

    Rascally raccoons twice raid corn patch

    My corn patch was truly a work of art this summer. Regal, tall stalks almost 7 feet high in a neat 10-by-12-foot patch. Five rows of 12 plants. The variety, Natural Sweet (F1), sold by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, bore at least two and sometimes three 8-inch-long, plump ears per stalk. Delighted with the potential bounty,

  • Sinfulness in the summertime

    Sinfulness in the summertime

    We can thank the French for the golden brown, crispy and savory casserole known as “gratin.” This comforting dish, often featuring potatoes, is assembled in a heavy, shallow pan, topped with combinations of butter, cheese and/or breadcrumbs and then baked or broiled until perfectly crusty brown, creamy and crispy. Classic and humble, the gratin accommodates

  • Pucker up!

    Pucker up!

    The cucumber season is at full tilt, and friends have “gifted” me more than 60 pounds of pickling cucumbers. Bright green, blocky, crunchy fruit that ranges in size from 4 to 6 inches long. The perfect type for making old-fashioned crock pickles. Of all the pickles I make, these crock pickles are my favorite because

  • Dangerously delicious!

    Dangerously delicious!

    It’s strawberry pickin’ season!  There is nothing more delicious than a sun-ripened sweet strawberry just plucked from the vine.  I’ve been out picking twice now, treating my family and friends to perfectly ripe, juicy red berries, served up with cream or yogurt, in smoothies, on pancakes, and in pies. The recipe for Strawberry Cream Pie

  • California dreamin’ of citrus inspires salad

    California dreamin’ of citrus inspires salad

    My foodie adventures started over four decades ago in Southern California when my Aunt Sharon moved from her East Coast apartment in Washington, D.C., to sunny Pasadena. For years, my annual visits were centered around enjoying the food of culinary icons like Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, Jonathan Waxman, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. No

  • Pucker up, it’s time for rhubarb crisp

    Pucker up, it’s time for rhubarb crisp

    Rhubarb Crisp is one of our family’s favorite springtime desserts. Ruby red chunks of fresh rhubarb are combined with Maine maple syrup, covered with a topping of rolled oats, coconut, brown sugar and butter, and baked until the filling is set and the top is golden brown and crunchy. The flavor is first tart and

  • Crazy for crab cakes

    Crazy for crab cakes

    In the late 19th century, crabs were only enjoyed along the East and West coasts of the United States. Often found in the traps of lobster fishermen, these crustaceans were considered quite dangerous, as the pinchers of the two front claws could pierce the skin. And the meat was hard to access. Still is, as

  • Season’s first green a welcome sight

    Season’s first green a welcome sight

    There is nothing more welcoming in spring than a clump of fresh chives. The smallest species of the onion genus, Allium schoenoprasum, chives are a choice edible herb, and the only allium native both to the Old and New World. The cheerful, slender green and hollow shoots of “grass” or chives start to appear once

  • A treasured cookbook

    A treasured cookbook

    When I visit my cookbook assortment seeking culinary inspiration, the nearly 100-year-old Girl Scout chant sung around the campfire, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold,” reminds me that when it comes to practical matters in the kitchen, old friends still have a lot to offer. One of

  • Demystifying the delicate soufflé

    Demystifying the delicate soufflé

    The elegant, puffed and golden soufflé is considered the prima donna of the culinary world. Golden egg yolks enrich a delicious savory or sweet base sauce. In a hot oven, stiffly beaten whites gently expand the base to create a towering, light and airy mixture that melts seductively on your tongue. The time to enjoy