Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Friday, October 19, 2007

Common Sense & Creativity

Cooking is always equal parts creativity and common sense. I love the challenge of creating something from nothing, blending leftover refrigerator ingredients into a soothing autumn soup or casserole.

I read cookbooks the way others read novels. Some nights I curl up with M.F.K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, and scores of others. I am inspired and encouraged by their writing, but sometimes I am also overwhelmed. That is why I collect and treasure old cookbooks. With all their faults and sins of omission, they seem to me to be usable, personal, and lovable.

One of my favorite cookbooks was written by Florrie M. Locke in 1936, “Recipes from Maine: Mrs. Locke's Dining Porches, Fryeburg, Maine."

Learn the basic batter for fritters and then add your own favorite ingredients


Fritter Batter

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 egg well beaten

Apple Fritters

Dice 2 medium-sized tart apples. Slip into fritter batter. Fry in deep fat (I use canola) and serve with lemon sauce. I top these fritters with a dollop of ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

Enjoy the simple pleasures of the orchard and the table!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bangor Book Festival

From October 5th through 7th , the City of Bangor hosted the highest concentration of authors and illustrators to be found anywhere in the state. Over 30 authors contributed their time to the event, which featured a poetry stroll, storytelling, panels, lectures, and book signings. The event was a moveable feast, cropping up in The Briar Patch Bookstore, Lippincott's, and Book Marc’s, and utilizing the attractive premises of the Maine Discovery Museum, the Bloom Bakery, the historic Penobscot Theatre, and several other venues.

One of the highlights of the event for me was the storytelling session by famed and beloved author and illustrator Ashley Bryan, winner of many awards including the Coretta Scott King Award.

Perhaps my favorite hour was spent listening to the poignant and eloquent talk by Allen J. Sockabasin, a cultural leader of the Passamaquoddy tribe, and an author-singer songwriter who has devoted his life to his people. Allen described growing up as an Indian, the prejudices, tribulations, and joys of his life. Then, he picked up his book Thanks to The Animals and read. Author Ed Rice read in English, Allen responded and spoke his own Passamaquoddy language, which he fears is being lost. Allen's voice, as he read to us, sounded like river water running over rocks.

Listen to Allen's voice on the Tilbury House Publishers site and utilize the teacher's guides (scroll to bottom of page). They're great.

The Briar Patch
27 Central St.
Bangor, ME 04401

Lippincott Books
36 Central St
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 942-4398

Book Marc’s
78 Harlow St
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 942-3206

Maine Discovery Museum
74 Main St
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 262-7200

Penobscott Theatre
131 Main St
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 942-3333

Allen Sockabasin
Peter Dana Pt.
Princeton, ME 04668
(207) 796-2227

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Color of Great Food

One of the best restaurants (family fare) along the coast of Maine is Chase's Daily in Belfast. They offer vegetarian meals and an ever changing array of produce displayed artistically throughout the store portion of the building.

Chase’s Daily
96 Main St
Belfast, ME 04915
(207) 338-0555

Monday, October 1, 2007

An Apple Extravaganza

October is apple season in Maine and the roadside stands, farmer's markets, and even bookstores offer up tastings of our heirloom varieties. In Portland last week, Rabelais Books hosted an apple extravaganza. Apple art work adorned the walls, thousands of cook book titles tempted all of us food bibliophiles, an old fashioned cider press was in full operation, and we feasted on apple pizzas and more.

Rabelais Books
Thought for Food
86 Middle St
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1044