Recipe: Baked Macaroni & English Red Cheddar Cheese

I’m not kidding when I tell you that this is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. (Wayne is still at work so we’ll see how he feels about it tonight!) This is my own recipe, and the “secret” is a new-to-me sweet red cheddar cheese from the world’s oldest surviving cheddar maker in England. I purchased it at my local Whole Foods for the first time last month and have been buying it every week since. You can use any hard cheese you like in place of it in case it’s not available near you, but if you can, do give this sweet and smooth cheese a try!

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Recipe: Smashed Red Potatoes with Pizzazz

My love of mashed potatoes started back when I was a little girl eating the “Little Jack Horner” from the Fort Lee Diner’s kids’ menu in the late 60s/early 70s. It was a slice of rare roast beef Au Jus with a small mound of creamy whipped potatoes served by my favorite waitress with the large bouffant. My appreciation continued as a young adult during road trips (the most noteworthy one being out to Seattle and back) with truck stop fare for lunch. They always seemed to have the best mashed potatoes. The cafeteria at the University of Maine in Orono used fresh Maine potatoes for theirs.

My own recipe for smashed reds combines Maine red potatoes, Meyer lemon from California and British clotted cream for a harmonious side mash or meal!

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Recipe: Traditional British Scones With Meyer Lemon & Currants

Wayne’s brother and sister-in-law sent us beautiful, fragrant organic Meyer lemons from a tree at their home in California for a “Merry Citrus!” I’ve never experienced anything like them. Our kitchen smells like warm sunshine, if that’s possible! What a perfect balm for a frigid December. I selected a vintage scone (pronounced  sconn) recipe from the book Traditional Dishes of Britain published in 1953 by Philip Harben, the “TV Cook.” Scottish scones are very different from the Americanized versions; in fact they usually contain little to no sugar and few or no eggs. Additionally, they were often cooked on a “hotplate” which produced a “flat shape that is so convenient for splitting and buttering, the natural destiny of the scone.” 

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Vintage Christmas Recipe: British Steamed Pudding

Here is a recipe for an obscure and worthwhile 1905 treat, “Mother Eve’s Pudding” from a British Women’s Cookery Book in my collection. This recipe was submitted by “Miss Orkney from Bervie.” (I found an earlier recipe in poetry form online.) I made this last year and cut the recipe in half, as follows, for a smaller pudding:

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Recipe: Traditional New England Indian Pudding

Within my collection of vintage Maine and New England community cook books dating back to the early 1900s are dozens and dozens of recipes for “Indian Pudding.” It’s a humble, mildly sweet and spicy baked cornmeal dessert served warm and paired with whipped or iced cream. Each recipe is as unique as the contributor. Even within one cook book there are sometimes multiple variations offered: Lottie adds tapioca, no eggs while Cora uses eggs and no tapioca. Mary bakes hers in a “slow oven” (lower temp) for four hours while Alice only bakes her for 1 1/2.

After carefully reviewing my vintage sources I am offering you my own kitchen and taste tested (plus Wayne approved!) adaptation that’s made in a cast iron dutch oven.

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Recipe: Maine Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

(Originally published 11/22/2016 on my old blog, Outdated By Design.) I was talking to my 100 year old Nana on the phone yesterday (RIP my lovely Nana who passed this spring) and shared my Thanksgiving menu. She told me that she has never had pumpkin pie! She explained that she’s an apple pie girl. I was the same way, which makes sense since no one in my family ever served it to me until I had my first ever pumpkin pie last year and loved it.

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Recipe: Spicy Manhattan-Style Fish Chowdah

Due to the unusually warm Autumn we’ve been having here in Maine, tomato season has been extended! This simple recipe for Manhattan chowder was inspired by the many ripe tomatoes on my kitchen counter, the cod fillets in my freezer and the beautiful heirloom carrots from Frith Farm in my fridge.

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Recipe: Maine Concord Grape Pie

I received a special delivery this week: Ten pounds of organic Concord grapes from a friend’s garden! I have been wanting to make a Concord grape pie for at least a year now ever since I came across two very intriguing vintage recipes in my old cookbooks.

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Recipe: Homemade Heirloom Marinara Sauce

Here’s my first of many batches of homemade sauce using a variety of tomatoes from our garden. There’s something somewhat controversial and extra healthy about it, however: I don’t remove the tomato skins! Most if not all recipes will tell you to remove them, but they break down as they cook so they blend right in with the sauce. More importantly, your body will appreciate it because the skins contain a high concentration of carotenoids and flavonols, both of which are antioxidants.

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