All posts by Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.

Irish Pound Cake

A proudly Irish Islesboro matriarch gave me this recipe. Eileen Shea Boardman sent this recipe along years ago, and as I do with practically all the recipes anyone sends me, I tucked it away for a time when I needed an idea or inspiration. I ended up making it to take as my contribution to […]

No-Fail Black Bean Soup

Normally, a recipe for soup would seem to be superfluous to me. But not long ago, when I said I never used a recipe for soup, some one of my pals rolled her eyes and said, “Of course, you don’t,” which was the reminder I needed that if a person isn’t accustomed to making soup, […]

Real Maine Baked Beans

Yellow eyes, Jacobs Cattle, Soldier, or Great Northern beans slowly baked with a chunk of salt pork; a little—not too much—molasses and sugar, dried mustard, an onion and enough liquid to keep them just barely covered is how Mainers make baked beans. It is a time honored combination, and we may find Mainers a tad […]

Cooked oatmeal, a warm porridge with milk and a bit of sugar and raisins, maybe a dash of cinnamon, is such a good breakfast when the wind is howling outside and it is cold. Of course, I know people who eat porridge every morning of their lives as my dad did, spring, summer, fall, and […]