Gardiner Public Library will be closed Thursday, November 23rd thru Sunday, November 26th. Enjoy Thanksgiving with your families and friends!

A 1 Diner

In 2006 a local publisher, Tilbury House, published a book by Sarah Rolph that celebrated a local diner, the A 1 Diner.  The book gives a history of the diner featuring both those who work behind the counter and those in the kitchen.  Many recipes that have become customer favorites are revealed in the book.  Below is one of them.  For more of these wonderful recipes and to enjoy the history of this local institution, visit the library to borrow the book, A 1 Diner: real food, recipes, and recollections by Sarah Rolph.

Hazel Newell’s Squash Custard Pie:
This pie is unusual in that it separates during cooking into a squash layer and a custard layer.
5 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup canned squash puree (fresh squash has too much moisture)
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1  9 inch pie shell, uncooked (bottom only)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the eggs and the sugar with a whisk.
Add the squash, the milk, the cream, and the vanilla, and mix, but do not beat.
Pour into the large pie shell and bake for 60-60 minutes until just set.  Chill before serving.

Picnic Like It’s 1928!

Green grass, blooming buds, and sunny skies all make us want to get outside and savor every minute.  In the Archives, the budding season makes us look at old treasures with new eyes.  This week, a 1928 cookbook compiled by Christ Church Parish Helpers made me wonder what tasty treats might make a perfect step-back-in-time picnic.

Here’s a selection of some of the most seasonally appropriate offerings for an outing.  See if anything strikes your fancy and let us know how they turn out (we’d be happy to taste test samples!)   And while we’re on the subject, what are some of your own long-standing family favorites?  Share some with us on Facebook — and have a very Happy Picnic Season!

  

This is the most marked-up recipe in the book – it must be good!

 

 

Enjoy!
Dawn Thistle, Special Collections Librarian

 

Fiddlehead Time!

 

It’s that time of year….Fiddlehead time!  Even though we may take for granted here in Maine the selecting, gathering, and cooking of these tasty spring morsels, it might not be a bad idea to review some “official” words on the process.  Here’s a link to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Bulletin #4198, Facts on Fiddleheads.  I’ll bet there is at least one fact there that you didn’t know.  Enjoy the recipes at the end of the article.

Facts on Fiddleheads 

Thanksgiving Recipe

How about something different on the Thanksgiving table this year.  The library has a wide selection of cookbooks to peruse.  Try something new!  It may become a new family classic.

From Celebrate! by Sheila Lukins, here is a very easy recipe for
Orange-Ginger Cranberries
2 pounds fresh cranberries, picked over and rinsed
4 cups sugar
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
1.       Divide the ingredients evenly between two heavy saucepans and stir well.  Cook over medium heat until the berries pop open, about 10 minutes.
2.       Skim the foam off the surface with a metal spoon.  Cool to room temperature.  Then refrigerate, covered, for as long as 2 months.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Note:  I prefer to cook the cranberries in small batches for better texture
Happy Thanksgiving!
 Scott Handville, Assistant Library Director

Salad Time!

 Summer time is salad time . . . . and nothing beats the comfort foods of Maine like those featured in the cookbooks of Marjorie Standish.  Cooking Down East was published in 1969; Keep Cooking – The Maine Way was published in 1973.  Both books are available at the Gardiner Public Library.  Try the recipe that follows for macaroni salad or check out one of the titles to look for other down home comfort foods from Maine.

MACARONI SALAD
2 cups elbow macaroni
½ cup mayo
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp diced pimiento
¼ tsp celery seed
¼ cup diced green pepper
1 cup finely diced celery
1 slice onion, finely minced
Cook elbow macaroni, rinse with cold water and drain.  Mix mayo with lemon juice, salt and sugar.  Combine cooked macaroni, vegetables, celery seed and mayo mixture, blending thoroughly.  This may be stored covered in fridge for overnight or all day.  You may want to add other seasonings, such as chopped dill pickle or chopped sweet pickle.  Chopped cucumber and chopped fresh tomato add interesting flavors, too.
Serve on crisp lettuce leaves.  This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

Autumn means it’s soup time!

As the temperatures drop, the phrase “Soup is good food” runs through my mind.  There is nothing like a delicious bowl of soup to warm you up on a chilly day.  The library has at least three books dedicated to only soup recipes:  Maine-Course Soups & Stews by Dorothy Ivens, Saved by Soup by Judith Barrett, and Lee Bailey’s Soup Meals by Lee Bailey.  Of course any general cookbook will also have great section of soup recipes.  They are so varied in scope, can be so easy to throw together, and can be stretched to feed many.
Some soups that are given in one of these three books are:
Summer squash soup with fresh herbs (uses basically 4 ingredients)
Cabbage-soup-diet soup
Steak and mushroom dinner soup
Sweet and sour meatball soup
YUM.
Scott Handville, Assistant Director