Articles by Sandy Oliver


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. …

Gertrude’s Applesauce Cake

on May 09, 2016, at 11:38 a.m.
Anne Flagg of Northport offered this charming recipe. She calls it one of her “picnic” recipes. “My mother got it from her cousin Gertrude back in the 1940s,” Anne wrote, “and though they are both long gone, I like to remember the foods she served and the recipes for same.” …

Quickles Are Pickles in a Hurry

on May 02, 2016, at 3:10 p.m.
How quickly can you pickle? Usually, we think of pickles as a longer term process involving canners, bushels of cucumbers and green beans and onions, and gallons of vinegar, and lots of jars or crocks. But suppose you just want a little bit of tang on your plate, or to …

Remembering Brownie and Eating Her Crunchy Coconut Cookies

on April 26, 2016, at 8:17 a.m.
TASTE BUDS: Several of you wrote to say you knew Brownie Schrumpf and recalled her fondly. We ought to have another of Brownie’s recipes here.

Please Your Vegetable Sweet Tooth with Carrot and Parsnip Puree

on April 18, 2016, at 11:11 a.m.
If you grow parsnips then you know that this is the best time to dig and enjoy them. Overwintering in the ground turns parsnips into candy. Still, there are some who look askance at them, and it occurs to me that perhaps this combination with carrots might make a parsnip …

Savory Butternut Squash Custard

on April 12, 2016, at 9:27 a.m.
Butternut squash or any other winter squash with firm, smooth flesh can be pureed with cream and eggs and baked just as you would custard.

Pork Chops and Apples from Brownie

on April 04, 2016, at 6:40 p.m.
TASTE BUDS: Enjoy your pork chops, dear readers, and raise a glass to Brownie before tucking into them.

Chicken Liver Mousse (to Stuff Eggs Easter’s Boiled Eggs, or Not)

on March 28, 2016, at 10:55 a.m.
A couple hard-boiled eggs in the fridge never hurt anyone. Like leftover chicken, or boiled pasta, cooked eggs are so darn versatile. So after Easter, we regale ourselves with egg salad sandwiches; deviled eggs; curried creamed eggs on toast for breakfast or lunch, sometimes with shredded spinach or chard mixed …

Buchteln, Sweet Buns, for Easter Brunch

on March 21, 2016, at 2:37 p.m.
Europe and Eastern Europe are home to a pretty delectable array of yeast-raised sweet cakes and buns. Ruth Thurston in Machias sent in this recipe for Buchteln, famous in Vienna, saying that her family enjoyed them and she thought I might, too. How we wouldn’t like them, I cannot fathom: …

Irish Pound Cake

on March 14, 2016, at 3:29 p.m.
A proudly Irish Islesboro matriarch gave me this recipe. Eileen Shea Boardman sent this recipe along years ago, and as I do with practically all the recipes anyone sends me, I tucked it away for a time when I needed an idea or inspiration. I ended up making it to …

No-Fail Black Bean Soup

on March 08, 2016, at 8:42 a.m.
Normally, a recipe for soup would seem to be superfluous to me. But not long ago, when I said I never used a recipe for soup, some one of my pals rolled her eyes and said, “Of course, you don’t,” which was the reminder I needed that if a person …