In the cold Maine winter of 2013, I made a point of driving to Searsport to hear Sandy Oliver speak at Penobscot Marine Museum on the publication of her latest book, Maine Home Cooking: 175 Recipes from Downeast Kitchens. I love that little museum, and especially its outdoor living history section, and I was charmed by Sandy. She’s a soft-spoken, lifelong New Englander with a smile that lights up her whole being. She loves the history of food, especially as it pertains to this part of the country, home cooking, gardening, and writing.
When I met Sandy, she had been thinking for some time about putting together a series of classes, taught in her home kitchen on the island of Isleboro, entitled “5 Great Things to do with _______”. (Fill in the blank with whatever is fresh in her garden, can be foraged on the island, or can be provided by a local hunter.) And I had been thinking about how I could possibly organize authentic, absolutely true-to-this-place-and-time food experiences for guests of my inn. So, we’ve put our heads together and will be offering 3 classes this year that will allow my guests to take the ferry to Isleboro and spend a few hours with Sandy, cooking in her kitchen and eating together at her table!
Friday, June 20, 2014:
“5 Great Things to do with Rhubarb (from Sandy’s garden)!”
I think a lot of us are beginning to appreciate the flavor of rhubarb, but still don’t have much confidence in what to do with it. Sandy can solve that problem!
Sunday, November 9, 2014:
“5 Great Things to do with Apples (from the island)!”
Right, most of us know the apple pretty well, but most of us also love a good apple. It’s a staple in New England diets because, unlike many other fruits, it’s well suited to growing here. The apples we’ll cook with will come from this island and Sandy has some lovely recipes, many going back in time to our early settler history.
Saturday, December 6, 2014:
“The Cratchits’ Christmas Dinner (including that perfect goose)!”
An old-time historic Christmas dinner which we will cook and share in Sandy’s home, and which you will then be able to re-create for your own family and friends if you’d like to.
Each class is limited to 5 participants (plus me, I wouldn’t miss these experiences for the world!) so do let me know if you’d like to take part.
Please feel free to phone me at the inn for more details. (207) 236-8053.