Edited by Deborah Joy Corey and Debra Spark, this collection of essays on food, hunger, and family are written by all your favorite New England writers. As I am munching on my mouth watering Sea Salt Caramel baked at Day’s Store, the fiddlehead first essay catches my eye. We arrived in Maine by the lake and fiddleheads were way ahead of schedule, so I missed the annual May unfurling and sales at the grocery store for fiddlehead stew.
Cathie Pelletier writes, “We say, ‘I picked a mess of fiddleheads today.’ Rinse away the chaff and any dirt and boil them with potatoes. Some people throw in a chunk of pork. When they are cooked, cover them in butter…and sprinkle them with salt. But think of the riverbanks and brooks and marshes as you eat. Savor the smell of moist earth.”
Jump around the book to your favorite authors. Mine are Wes McNair with a rhubarb poem, Richard Russo on beans, Roxana Robinson on bread, Bill Roorbach’s “Foraged, Stolen, Begged!,” Christina Baker Kline’s on tomatoes, and our very own Belgrade author Jennifer Finney Boylan on pizza at her home kitchen by Long Pond.
It was fun to find new authors who live in our area. Brian Shuff teaches at Thomas College nearby. He wrote about “Takeout", my favorite easy kitchen practice. Also, in a similar vein, Richard Ford who lives on thec oast writes, “I’m So Not a Food Person.”
Just the titles will encourage reading at random wherever they lead, some of the best reading experiences to while away the summer: “Stone Soup,” “COVID’s Moveable Feast,” “Prize Inside,” “For the Love of Grits,” and “How to Eat a Lobster.”
Ready to read? Our family joke this year was that my husband and I finally began ordering grits at the Waffle House in 2022 for the first time. Took us since 1997 to adjust to living winters in Charleston, SC and southern cuisine. Grits are good at breakfast, but Alice Bingham Gorman waxes poetic about grits for lunch and dinner, too. When she shares grits full of cheese at Maine pot lucks, friendly folks beg her for the recipe.
Many recipes come from elsewhere, outside of New England, just as early food memories of childhood loom large in our lives. Maine summers bring us all home for family fun and delicious memories by the lake. I purchased my copy hot off the press in May at Oliver and Friends Bookshop on Main Street, Belgrade Lakes. Renee was ready for eager readers and book talk and a diversified selection of gifts as well.
All profits from this $30 non-fiction book of essays will go towards the editor Corey’s Blue Angels service organization delivering free food to porches. Fresh garden veggies are purchased from local farmers and taken to the poor and hungry in the Orland, Maine area.
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