If you are a Mainer with a family recipe that has been passed down for generations, here is the perfect opportunity to share it.
The creators of the “Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook” have extended the recipe submission deadline for the popular cookbook’s sequel, and are looking for recipes from all over the state, especially rural counties.
Last year, Islandport Press published the “Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook,” with 200 recipes submitted from Mainers in celebration of the 200-year anniversary of the state’s founding. It now has 13,000 copies in print and was runner-up for New England Cookbook of the Year by the Readable Feast, an annual culinary book festival.
Because the first community cookbook was so popular and well-received, the creators have a sequel in the works, titled “Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2: 200 More Recipes Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State,” set to be published on April 15, 2022. The organization extended its recipe submission deadline to October 15, 2021 — two weeks later than the original deadline — with the hopes of receiving more recipes from Maine’s rural counties.
“We want to make sure all 16 counties are well-represented,” said Karl Schatz, one of the book’s editors.
Because the lead sponsor and advertiser of the cookbook’s second volume is Real Maine, a program of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry that works to connect consumers with Maine farmers and food producers, Schatz said that this volume will focus on ingredients that are grown and harvested in Maine.
“In this volume, we’re looking at some of the core ingredients that we have in Maine that make Maine food so special, things like potatoes and blueberries and lobsters,” Schatz said.
Family recipes can be cherished and held close to the chest, but Schatz encouraged Mainers to send in their recipes so their family members can live on through the cookbook.
Your family recipe may connect with other Maine families along the way. Maine has a long legacy of community cookbooks, and many family recipes are derived from those distributed by churches and school groups. Schatz said that, in collecting recipes for the first edition of the community cookbook, they saw historical community cookbook recipes “moving from one family to another.”
Plus, it’s for a good cause. Like the first cookbook, this second volume will raise money to aid organizations fighting hunger in the state of Maine. Schatz said that $2 from each book sold is donated to one of 25 different organizations, including the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Midcoast Hunger Prevention Programs and Maine Meal Assistance.
“We’re just excited to continue sharing people’s family recipes and continuing to build community through food and through cooking,” Schatz said.
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To get an idea of what the editors are looking for, Schatz said to check out this recipe that has already been submitted to “Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2: 200 More Recipes Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State.”
From Randy Hatch, Bangor, Penobscot County
Wassookeag School Camp, located on Lake Wassookeag, was founded in Dexter in 1926 by my grandfather Lloyd Harvey Hatch, Sr. My great aunt, Elsie Mae Sharpe, Lloyd’s sister-in-law, was legendary for the home-cooked meals she served the students. The story goes that one day there were some unexpected, exclusive guests for a luncheon, and “Auntie” did not have an appropriate dessert. With the supplies on hand, she developed a dessert that was beloved for years. When asked for the name of the dessert, she replied “The Wassookeag Special.”
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Scant 1/4 cup butter, melted
Enough milk to fill 1 cup when combined with butter and egg (roughly 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream, for serving
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and lightly flour a muffin tin.
Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Pour melted butter into a glass measuring cup. Crack egg into the butter, then fill with milk until you have 1 cup. Add vanilla. Stir liquid ingredients into the dry. Scoop batter into the muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.
To make the sauce: Place butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. When butter has melted, add chocolate squares and stir until melted. Then add sugar, salt and hot water. Boil 12 to 15 minutes, until consistency is a thick syrup. Flavor with vanilla.
To serve: Have cupcakes warm. When ready to serve, pour hot sauce on and then whipped cream.