Featured seasonal recipes from the archives

Cider

By Roberta Bailey Cider is an extraordinarily versatile beverage that can be enjoyed in its many forms, sweet, semi-sweet, dry, sparkling, still, apple brandy and apple jack, as well as in a staggering number of hot and mulled drinks. Recently, the United States has rediscovered this beverage that quenched the thirst of its founders. Interest

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Barley Recipes

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey “Simplify, simplify,” said Thoreau. I sit at my table and eat steamed kale and a barley pilaf. Outside the winter wind whips snow against my windows. Other than that, silence prevails. No radio, no stereo, no television fill my house with the sensational and negative news of the world.

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Acorn Bread

Processing acorns in a Davebilt nutcracker. Photo courtesy of Chris and Ashirah Knapp. By Chris Knapp In autumn, all over the world, something wonderful happens: The acorns fall. The oak seed, which once sustained the bulk of human civilization, is now largely ignored as a food. Not so at our Koviashuvik Local Living School, where

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Cookies

Summer’s bounty, such as these black walnuts shown in the Waldo Organic Growers’ booth at the Common Ground Fair, and raspberries picked and processed into jam, add local flavor to winter comfort foods. English photos. By Roberta Bailey The winter winds are blowing. The colors on the horizon are deep evergreen and the pale gray

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Bread

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Roberta Bailey I stopped baking bread this summer. I was taking a writing class in Portland, and after the class I would go to the open market or the health food store. At first, I was drawn by the number, shape and variety of breads on display, everything from olive

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Estrogen Rich Dishes

Toki Oshima drawing Read the review: Estrogen the Natural Way By Roberta Bailey Of the three primary forms of estrogen, plant estrogen (lignans), appear to protect against breast cancer, while the other two stronger forms of estrogen promote cancer. Soy and flax are excellent sources of plant estrogen for menopausal women. Relief from meno­pausal symptoms

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Low or No Sugar Jams

Many fruits grow in Maine and can be preserved easily. Grow your own or purchase produce at farmers’ markets or at the Common Ground Fair for making low- or no-sugar jams and jellies. English photos. By Roberta Bailey From spring through fall, Maine cranks out the fruit. Our winter weary palates get shocked awake with

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Harvest Kitchen Dry Beans

Sam Birch grows more than 100 varieties of beans and displays them at the Common Ground Country Fair Exhibition Hall each fall. English photo. Dry beans at Common Ground’s Exhibition Hall. English photo. By Roberta Bailey “Beans, beans, the magical fruit … ” I have been thinking that Jack (of beanstalk repute) wasn’t so crazy

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Flavored Vinegars

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey Summer is winding to a close. Even as the days cool, we scramble to pack in a few more picnics, one last long swim, and another slice of watermelon. In the garden, the race is on to ripen the remaining green tomatoes, pick the late sweet corn, bring in

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Cassoulet

By Cheryl A. Wixson When the skies turn a dark, mottled gray and the clouds start to scurry as the winds pick up from the northeast, my heart flutters. As the elegant spruce trees bend into swirling white snowflakes and our lights flicker, my taste buds quiver. There’s a winter gale coming: time for a

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Harvest Kitchen Lingonberries

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey While visiting a friend and touring his high bush blueberry patch, I was taken by the thick understory of shiny leaved plants covered in small red berries. Lingonberries, he informed me, then went on to explain that this cranberry-blueberry relative made a great second crop in an area where

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Simply Grande

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey I have such gratitude toward Jean Ann Pollard. She has been a guide and inspiration to me in the kitchen since 1987, when she published The New Maine Cooking. Until then, I would go to the garden or the root cellar, choose vegetables for the day, then thumb through

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Healthy Lunchbox

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey The other day a friend telephoned me in complete exasperation. She had been trying to find something that her eight-year-old would eat other than pizza and macaroni and cheese. I wasn’t much help. My kids liked most vegetables and I let them eat a lot of macaroni and cheese

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Alliums

Toki Oshima drawing By Roberta Bailey “Garlic,” says the French writer Raymond Dumay, “is peasant, rustic; the onion is urban. The onion brings to the kitchens of the cities a little of the countryside. The onion offers always, and especially in winter, a little of the springtime of the soil, preserved in its bulb.” Rustic

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Pesto Manifesto

Sue Szwed drawing By Roberta Bailey I once stated that if I could grow only one plant, it would be sweet basil – aromatic, pungent, mouth-watering basil. No sooner were the words out of my mouth when thoughts of tomatoes, fresh salad greens, cilantro, and garlic immediately challenged my claim, and I conceded that basil

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Grape Leaves

Growing grapes provides not just fruits for wines and jellies, but leaves for stuffing as well. Illustration from Handbook of Plant and Floral Ornament from Early Herbals, by Richard G. Hatton, Dover Publications, N.Y., 1960. By Jean Ann Pollard The Norse tale of Leif Eriksson’s epic voyage across the Atlantic to “Vinland” circa 995 –

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Ashwood Cookbook

By Roberta Bailey “These recipes are our gift to you. They are the ones we love, the ones that work, the ones that carry us through trouble and heartache, celebration and joy.” So begins the Ashwood Cookbook, Food for Family and Friends, a simple yet elegant collection of wholesome recipes gathered by friends of the

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Fermenting

Vegetables can be fermented in glass jars of various sizes, with rubber gaskets and wire bails, using non-iodized salt (such as sea salt or pickling salt) and non-chlorinated water. A scale is essential to get the right ratio of vegetables to salt. By Roberta Bailey One way that I coped with the interminable rains of

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Juicing

By Roberta Bailey My mother always said that things cycle back into fashion every 30 years or so. Usually she was talking about the clothes in the attic. I am not sure if it is an age thing, but I am starting to believe her. Maybe I had to let enough years pass to actually

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Bento Lunch

A bento box lunch containing dead dinos, primordial sludge, and fossils, by Laurel McFarland. Laurel McFarland photo. By Cheryl Wixson My elder daughter, Laurel, who works as a nanny and home schools two delightful children, is always sharing with me photographs of the colorful and fun lunches she prepares for her charges. Using bright purple,

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Harvest Kitchen Sweet Potatoes

by Roberta Bailey When I was just starting to garden in northern Maine, I would stop at a small, local greenhouse to ask the older woman who ran the operation about seedling problems or how to plant something. I no longer remember her name or much of what she looked like, but I vividly recall

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Whole Grains

By Roberta Bailey Sales in the seed trade were up 30 to 80 percent this spring. The growth was attributed to the increased interest in eating more locally grown food. People are getting closer to their food sources, whether from farmers’ markets and farm stands or a community supported agriculture share, or from locally grown,

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Tomatillos

Tomatillos are prized for their sharp, clean taste and, once cooked, for their thick sauciness. They are used in salads, desserts, soups, sauces, and stews. Illustration from The Principles of Vegetable Gardening, by L.H. Bailey, MacMillan, London, 1901. By Roberta Bailey Each year I seem to get excited about a different fruit or vegetable. Last

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Shad

Shad bushes bloom at Acadia National Park when the shad are running up Maine’s rivers. Art by Jean Ann Pollard. By Jean Ann Pollard  Each spring when the shad bushes bloom – those beautiful white-flowered shrubs that are the first to blossom (like snow on bare branches) – my grandmother, who was a coast woman,

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Fermented Foods

Illustration by Toki Oshima. By Roberta Bailey When I first came to Maine, I lived in northwest Washington County, close to the Aroostook County border. As in all rural Maine towns, you drive at least a half hour to an hour to get anywhere other than your local gas station/convenience store, which also serves as

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Celeriac

Toki Oshima drawing By Jean Ann Pollard What’s so round, so firm, so – strangely hairy? If you’ve never seen celeriac, you couldn’t guess. The literature has few references to it – at least in America. It’s a root vegetable that’s been around for about 4000 years, but its lack of publicity wouldn’t tell you

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Pesto

Basil can be harvested throughout the summer and into fall to make pesto. Freeze some pesto in ice cube trays for winter use. English photo. By Jean Ann Pollard “This [basil] is the herb which all authors are together by the ears about and rail at one another (like lawyers).” – Nicholas Culpepper, The English

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Applesauce

Drawing by Toki Oshima. By Julia Davis one red leaf balances precariously and drops Part One First, pick a sunny fall day when the smell of falling leaves is in the air. It must be a day when summer almost feels like a distant memory, a day when the air is crisp in its coldness,

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Chickweed

Chickweed is a common “weed” that is high in vitamins and minerals and can help relieve ovarian cysts, kidney problems, sore throats and more. By Deb Soule Various species of chickweed grow around our planet. A member of the Caryophyllaceae (Carnation) family, chickweed grows as an annual and reseeds easily in cool, moist soils. Its

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Harvest Kitchen: The Tricky Topic of Dieting

By Roberta Bailey I recently heard the results of a study comparing the success rates of three popular diets. They were about equally successful, and researchers advised going with the one that seemed easiest to stick with. The report was followed by a doctor’s personal commentary saying that losing weight comes down to the simple

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Harvest Kitchen Summer 05

Botanically Confusing, Culinarily Perfect By Roberta Bailey © 2005. For information about reproducing this article, please contact the author. Did you know that the seed-like structures on a strawberry are really a type of fruit called achenes (a small, dry, hard, one-seeded, indehiscent fruit), and that what most of us think of as the fruit

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Winter Garden

Siberian kale is one of many greens that can be harvested in Maine in very cold weather. English photo. by Roberta Bailey To go out to a snow covered tunnel or cold frame, brush away the snow and open the lid never fails to give me a sense of magical wonder and reverential awe. Outside

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Midwinter Menus

Combine apples and carrots to make delicious muffins this winter. These specimens were seen at the Common Ground Fair – the ‘Orenco’ apples at Mark and Paula Fulford’s Teltane Farm booth. English photos. by Cheryl Wixson Winter sneaks up on us in Maine. The crisp, autumn days get shorter, and cooler. Sunrises are later, sunsets

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