Eggplant Parmesan, Simplified

Next to ratatouille, eggplant parmesan is my  favorite way to eat one of summer’s grand vegetables, and a good excuse for growing eggplants. I have assembled it in casseroles, baked, then carved the result into blocks of deliciousness to serve. The following simpler method makes individual servings which can be put together on a baking […]

Green Beans with a Little Red

It is so good to see green beans setting abundantly on the plants out in the garden. I love green beans—eat them raw in the garden; blanch them and dip them in pesto mayonnaise or garlicky aioli; steam them and eat with butter, salt and pepper; sauté them briefly in olive oil with a little […]

Hello Dolly Squares

“These are not State-of-Mainish in any way,” wrote Marjorie Standish in Cooking Down East, 1969, “except just about everyone in Maine makes them.” Back the ‘60s, when I was busy being an awkward teenager, the whole darn country was apparently making these. And humming along with Carol Channing in the Broadway musical. Is that why […]

Fourth of July and Picnic Bug Juice

My parents didn’t believe in soda for children. When my sister and I were thirsty we drank water out of a Dixie cup assigned to us, lined up on the window sill just above the kitchen sink, one for each family member. ZaRex, a sweet flavored syrup that dissolved into water was termed belly-slop at […]

Fennel Salad

Thinly sliced, dressed with a little olive oil and lemon zest and salt and pepper lightly added, fennel salad is just the ticket for cool summer dinners, or something light after hearty braised winter dishes. Not everyone likes a vegetable that tastes like licorice though they might really enjoy a slight burst of that flavor […]

More Coconut Cookies

Another coconut cookie recipe never hurt anyone. This one came from Jan Varnum in Bar Harbor. Her mother, Ruth H. Witt, used to make them when Jan was a child, and Jan still does, too. I liked them very much because their flavor comes from brown sugar, coconut and butter; there is no spicing or […]