Articles by Sandy Oliver


Summer in a Jar: Corn Relish

on Sept. 27, 2016, at 10:01 a.m.
Even though it isn’t officially summer anymore, we who live Down East are still harvesting tomatoes, corn, and peppers while in the garden winter squash is ripening and root vegetables are fattening up. It was cool enough this past week to put a fire in the cook stove where I …

Spicy Tomato Soup to Can for Winter Eating

on Sept. 20, 2016, at 9:40 a.m.
This rich, deeply flavorful tomato soup will taste so good next winter accompanied by a grilled cheese sandwich, or not, that you’ll feel like planting an acre of tomatoes. Well, I exaggerate, but only a little. This soup is a pretty good reason to stick a few more plants in …

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes for Salads, Pasta, and Appetizers

on Sept. 13, 2016, at 7:45 a.m.
If there is such as thing as too many cherry tomatoes, and I could swear I heard someone grousing about that a couple of days ago, it is not a problem I have ever had. In fact, I can hardly ever just get them into the house because a sun …

Luscious Peach Custard Pie

on Sept. 06, 2016, at 9:28 a.m.
There are a couple dozen more peaches on my two trees; one tree is a Reliant and the other is a Red Haven and both bore prolifically this year, even after my fairly ruthless fruit-thinning. I’ll bet I took a little more than two hundred pounds of peaches off those …

Too Many Zucchini? How About Zucchini Pie?

on Aug. 30, 2016, at 8:39 a.m.
Zucchini season is upon us. Even one zucchini plant can produce too much if you aren’t paying attention, and two zucchini plants can get a small household in trouble. A couple summers ago, I asked what some of you liked to do with zukes, and I ended up with a …

Chicken and Corn Quesadillas

on Aug. 22, 2016, at 5:16 p.m.
There are probably only about half a million things to do with chicken and I’m going to add yet one more to the list. This recipe is another from the Tex-Mex collection that Josephine Belknap sent me a couple years ago. The original recipe called for crab, but Josephine crossed …

Elaine Lowell’s Blueberry Muffins

on Aug. 16, 2016, at 8:15 a.m.
Kids, grandkids, third cousins, old neighbors from forty years ago, new friends—all descend on us in summer and, in between running towels through the wash, you might want to make blueberry muffins for their breakfast, or just for instance. After all, along with lobsters, blueberries are our other famous local …

Another Way to Sneak Vegetables into Your Diet: Chocolate Beet Cake

on Aug. 08, 2016, at 12:34 p.m.
Why beets in chocolate cake? I don’t know why not. We put carrots, apples, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, and even parsnips into breads or cakes, so beets are just another in a long line of vegetables sneaking into places where they may not be expected. I first learned about chocolate beet …

Dylan’s Blueberry Pudding Cake

on Aug. 02, 2016, at 10:07 a.m.
Good old blueberries which are now ripening. Where would we in Maine be without them? Pretty bereft, I suspect, of our annual festival, pie, cake, and crisp rituals. This pudding cake is the most recent of blueberry desserts to catch on in this household, brought here by my young friend …

Quick, Easy Shrimp Dip

on July 26, 2016, at 8:42 a.m.
Spontaneous entertaining is fun but it can catch you with your appetizers down. A while ago, I figured I had the bases covered if I kept some Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, and cream cheese on hand. I could always make little balls of cream cheese and roll them in cracked …

Sharon’s Deluxe Meatloaf

on July 19, 2016, at 8:40 a.m.
Not all meatloaves are made equally. The one that follows was sent me by Sharon Frost in Calais who commented that it was the best thing for family gatherings, which we are likely to have in Maine summers, plus she wrote, “My mother made this many times for Legion suppers, …

Escapades with Scapes for a Blast of Garlicky Flavor

on July 12, 2016, at 9:31 a.m.
If you grow garlic, you know that the plant sends up a fetching coiled stem with a long-billed flower bud, which, if you leave it on the plant, will bloom and prevent proper formation of an underground bulb. You really have to take the scapes off the plants, and you …

Cold Vegetable Pizza with Spicy Peanut Sauce for Warm Weather Eating

on July 05, 2016, at 7:14 a.m.
Now that summer here has finally gotten around to being genuinely warm, we might actually welcome cold food for supper. Here is a cold pizza, loaded with vegetables and made zippy with a Thai-style peanut sauce. No cheese in sight. I first ate this pizza at a party I attended, …

White Chili Feeds a Fourth of July Crowd

on June 27, 2016, at 1:25 p.m.
Perhaps you, too, have a houseful on Fourth of July weekend. What to cook on the Fourth itself isn’t a problem. If outdoors, then burgers and hot dogs or barbecue chicken is the choice. If indoors, maybe you will have the traditional salmon and peas. But what about feeding everyone …

For a crowd, do dijon chicken

on June 21, 2016, at 9:18 a.m.
Chicken is such easy going stuff, amenable to all kinds of flavors, and manner of preparation whether stove top, oven, or grill. Most modern people don’t have to catch chickens, murder, pluck, and eviscerate them, and besides all that, we can buy vast quantities of all our favorite parts: breasts, …

Not-So-Plain-and-Simple Rhubarb Cakes

on June 13, 2016, at 8:05 p.m.
  Gingerbread with rhubarb was what Stephen Bergey, Belfast, remembered having for breakfast. He was pretty sure it was one of Brownie Schrumpf’s recipes. So we asked here a couple of weeks ago, and sadly no one seems to have Brownie’s recipe. In the process, though we collected a few …

Plain and Simple Rhubarb Cake

on June 07, 2016, at 7:44 a.m.
The most popular conveyance for rhubarb seems to be cake. This week and next, we’ll treat ourselves to a couple of versions of rhubarb cake. This week’s is simple, gently flavored, nothing fancy on top, and it swallows up its rhubarb sweetly leaving only a small trace behind. Fresh out …

Rhubarb Spaghetti Sauce. Rhubarb Spaghetti Sauce???

on May 31, 2016, at 8:30 a.m.
It is high rhubarb season among us, huge green leaves unfolding at the end of long pink stalks, and statuesque buds emerging and blooming into elegant ivory blossoms. People who like rhubarb, and not everyone does, are trying to figure out what to do with it since it is so …

Beef, Chicken, Pork, or Deer Meat Makes Good Mississippi Roast

on May 24, 2016, at 7:20 a.m.
If you are an on-line kind of person, with your phone in hand, or tablet open nearby; if you check Pinterest daily (or hourly); if you watch Good Morning America every day, then this recipe will be—or ought to be—familiar. Mississippi Roast is apparently what they call “trending.” That is, …

Asparagus Season, Garnished with Scallops

on May 17, 2016, at 8:02 a.m.
There is probably nothing in the absolute major treat category that my companion Toby loves more than scallops. Add to that the now-abundant asparagus harvest in the garden and what to make to celebrate his birthday this week was a no-brainer. I did have to ask what kind of cake. …