Maine Dish

  • Lime syrup enlivens food, drinks

    Lime syrup enlivens food, drinks

    My makrut lime “tree” is in full bloom with dozens of white blossoms and tiny, green limes. A bonus of these longer days and brighter light, this unexpected profusion of flowers heralding spring is a welcome burst of citrus for the winter-weary palette. Although the knobby fruit is too hard to squeeze or slice, makrut

  • So much shoveling calls for chili

    So much shoveling calls for chili

    Shoveling, plowing and keeping up with the recent gift of over 4 feet of snow sure works up one’s appetite. What meal can satisfy the hearty desire for hard working snow removers and rekindle their palates? Try chili! Like many of the world’s great dishes of food, chili inspires poetry, disagreement, and dedication. Essentially peasant

  • Fit for a Frenchman

    Fit for a Frenchman

    For several years, I ran a small café and catering company in Bangor. It was about 20 years before the local food movement took hold in northern New England, but my restaurant featured international cuisine prepared with organic Maine ingredients. The 4 a.m. morning shift was my favorite, and I baked dozens of loaves of

  • Short and sweet

    Short and sweet

    Although Valentine’s Day is associated with romance and love, the history behind the “holiday” is tied to both the Catholic Church and folk traditions. Back in 1382, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” The poem was written to honor the first anniversary

  • In praise of braising

    In praise of braising

    Braising, a cooking process where food is first browned in a small amount of fat, and then cooked, tightly covered, in a small amount of liquid is one of my favorite culinary techniques. The long, slow cooking develops flavors and tenderizes the food by gently breaking down the fibers. This preparation is especially delicious for

  • Beet winter with a Mediterranean salad

    Beet winter with a Mediterranean salad

    These days, the vegetables on our plate become fairly routine: carrots, turnips, rutabaga, celeriac and beets. All workhorses of the root cellar, these hearty roots will sustain us until spring. Even as the outside temperatures start to warm, and the cellar creeps up to 40 degrees, my winter vegetables still have many culinary virtues waiting

  • The virtues of good stock

    The virtues of good stock

    Before he retired to Florida, my husband’s father was a successful automobile dealer. As an active member of the National Automobile Dealers Association, his travels took him both to Detroit and Washington, D.C. Upon his return, we’d be treated to stories of his adventures; dignitaries and celebrities he’d met on perfectly manicured golf courses, plush

  • Bacon-wrapped scallops sensational for parties

    Bacon-wrapped scallops sensational for parties

    The Maine scallop season is here, and we are enjoying this luxury seafood. Scallops sautéed with butter, scallops baked with lemon crust, scallops marinated and grilled; all are delicious ways to savor these luscious bivalves. Fresh scallops keep extremely well in a cold refrigerator for several days. We like to portion them into 4- or

  • Doughboys rise to fine dining

    Doughboys rise to fine dining

    As a confirmed lover of good food, this is the time of year when I’m scouting for new ideas and trends for the coming year. The James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture and honor those who make America’s food culture “delicious, diverse, and sustainable” recently released its 13 food trend forecasts at

  • Maine Dish: Let them eat cupcakes

    Maine Dish: Let them eat cupcakes

    Our tribe is like most families; we really enjoy our sweets, especially chocolate. During the holiday season we are often tempted with a multitude of goodies and bonbons, many of them lovingly prepared by our neighbors and friends. Sugar cookies, truffles, buche de Noel, chocolate mousse, peppermint bark and more. By the time Christmas Day

  • The belle of the ball

    The belle of the ball

    With the winter season approaching and temperatures dropping into the 30s, I’m stocking our root cellar.    Bags of bright orange carrots, purple-top turnips, rutabaga, and beets from King Hill Farm, boxes of red and green cabbages, knobby celeriac from North Branch Farm, potatoes from Wood Prairie Farm, and apples from Barbour Farm are sorted into