Articles by Sandy Oliver


Busy Morning Pudding

on March 03, 2014, at 2:46 p.m.
Busy Morning Pudding fresh from the oven. Now here is a charming, simple, and quick-to-make dessert for a sweet-toothed family. Helen Bartlett in Newburgh sent this one to me–oh, dear, was it three years ago already?—in 2011. I hardly ever throw away any letters or recipes that you all send …

Butterscotch Brownies without Baking Powder

on Feb. 24, 2014, at 12:58 p.m.
Roberta Tarquinio wrote me a few weeks ago, putting in a request for “Butterscotch brownies, moist and dense, with “cracked” tops and no baking powder,” underlined. As you may recall, I asked the question here, and two of you responded. Ruth Thurston in Machias sent along a favorite, delicious-sounding, recipe …

Buckwheat crepes with apple, bacon, and cheese or whatever else you like

on Feb. 18, 2014, at 9:33 a.m.
An unexplained craving for crepes hit me a few days ago. Particularly, I wanted to eat them with sautéed apples, bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese inside, and a dribble of maple syrup on the outside. This rose out of a recollection of a winter trip to freezing cold Quebec City …

Old-fashioned chocolate cornstarch pudding

on Feb. 09, 2014, at 12:40 p.m.
If you have loved-ones , what sweeter, homey way to show them your affection than to make this comforting, old-fashioned chocolate pudding on Valentine’s or any other day. We are temped left and right to go the high end chocolate route, make an elegant mousse, or flour-less chocolate cake, or …

Like Potatoes, Only Different: Pumpkin or Squash Gratin

on Feb. 04, 2014, at 9:27 a.m.
Ruth Thurston in Machias has a huge collection of recipes, and a big bunch of them are for pumpkins. She is the source of this week’s answer to my question, “Whatever will I do with all the pumpkins I still have in storage?” That is, what besides pie, bread, soup, …

The little pot roast that could

on Jan. 27, 2014, at 11:24 a.m.
What a good little pot roast. It only weighed four pounds, but it kept saying, “I think I can,” and it went on forever, and gave us several meals. We had a nice supper out of it when I first cooked it, and it produced lovely gravy. I merely filled …

Dumplings: Take Two

on Jan. 21, 2014, at 9:51 a.m.
In the mood for warm, comfort food recently, we made dumplings at our house, and I ended up offering you all the recipe. Janet Varnum in Bar Harbor gave them a try, and though she has found lots of other useful recipes here, she candidly wrote, “Sorry, but we did …

Cracked coriandered potatoes

on Jan. 14, 2014, at 9:50 a.m.
It’s helpful once in a while to have another way to prepare potatoes. Potatoes are a pretty versatile ingredient, and we can always boil, mash, bake, fry, scallop, gratinee, and roast. And probably some other things I haven’t thought of plus using them with other ingredients to make stews, soups, …


on Jan. 06, 2014, at 11:21 a.m.
It has been so cold that all I have wanted to do is stand by my stove and cook. I heat my house with wood, so the wood-burning kitchen cook stove is going anyway, and the stove’s heat feels fabulous on my face and hands, and, for a little while, …

Spreading Squash

on Dec. 31, 2013, at 9:51 a.m.
Happy New Year. May yours be full of peace, prosperity, and more winter squash. All the squash I grew this summer resides in the cool, dry, and dimmer corners of my house, which includes my bedroom, so when I wake up in the morning I see the array of Delicatas, …

Have Yourself a Stove Top Little Christmas

on Dec. 26, 2013, at 9:59 p.m.
It is Christmas Eve, and here at my house the power is out. While I am lucky enough to have an old Dual Atlantic wood and gas cook stove, the oven has some pretty significant limitations. Like it doesn’t work with gas, and the poor old dear seldom can get …

A Quick Tasty Chicken Supper

on Dec. 17, 2013, at 10:03 a.m.
If I had to get out a recipe and make a supper dish following the instructions, and having to measure this or that, and cook something for eight and a half minutes, then simmer for ten, and add five things, well, this time of year, it just won’t happen. I’m …

Warm beverages to keep the chill out

on Dec. 10, 2013, at 10:05 a.m.
When it gets really cold out, a fragrant warm mug of something delicious to drink, alcoholic or not, is really what you want to press into your company’s hands as soon as they take their coats off. I have often thought that the human impulse to gaze at a friendly, …

Traditional plum pudding for Christmas

on Dec. 03, 2013, at 10:24 a.m.
Toby and I have made our Christmas puddings, and I thought perhaps you might enjoy them, too. They are much better if you make them well in advance of the holiday – say October or early November – but they will taste just fine if you make them this week. …

Onion Jam for a Holiday Appetizer

on Nov. 25, 2013, at 1:43 p.m.
So by now we have all heard about red pepper jelly, or garlic or onion jelly, and I’ll bet anything that you, or your neighbor, probably have a jar of the same on a shelf in your kitchen that someone gave you as a stocking stuffer or house gift. For …

Roasting Brussels’ Sprouts for the Thanksgiving Table

on Nov. 18, 2013, at 9:33 p.m.
Generally, I don’t get too wound up about Thanksgiving Dinner because I tend to take the traditional menu pretty seriously, and the most complicated thing about that is unmolding the jellied cranberry sauce. Otherwise, despite all the hectic literature and the promise of turkey help lines for the hysterical, roasting …

Dessert or Side Dish? Green Tomato Pie.

on Nov. 12, 2013, at 9:36 a.m.
  Is it dessert? It’s sweet, lemony, and has cinnamon and nutmeg in it. Is it a side dish? It’s made with tomatoes and it went very well with chicken fricassee. I know, I know: tomatoes are technically a fruit, but we don’t usually eat tomato sauce for dessert. Phyllis …

What to do with a green tomato

on Nov. 05, 2013, at 9:55 a.m.
That mild October weather together with the warmth in my hoop house, bless its little plastic-covered heart, meant I had more red, ripe tomatoes than green ones this year. That would be what you call a mixed blessing because green tomatoes can be handy. I do like to make green …

Warm, comforting Indian pudding

on Oct. 29, 2013, at 9:44 a.m.
One upside to this blast of cold air we’ve been hit with is that molasses-y, soft, warm Indian pudding starts tasting extra good, and besides, my wood-burning kitchen stove keeps part of the house warm at the same time that its maintains an ideal low oven heat to bake the …

Kale, Leeks, and Shell Beans

on Oct. 21, 2013, at 9:23 p.m.
Generally speaking, I don’t think we ought to treat wholesome food like it was a hair shirt, as in “I’ll eat my oatmeal this morning, so I can eat steak later.” Or “Kale is good for me, so I suppose I should eat it.” I’d rather regard my grub as …
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