Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good Maine Cooking

Mainers are a thrifty lot, savers extraordinaire and experts at reinventing uses for old equipment. The infamous toilet lawn planter springs to mind, although equally thrifty would be the reuse of old cast iron-porcelain bathtubs as livestock waterers. My former landlord in Greenville, Lonnie Rowe, used an old delivery van as a chicken coop, and made wildlife watching perches out of old tractor seats set on pipes in the ground.

This thriftiness transfers into the food category, too. Chicken and turkey carcasses become stock, meat scraps go in the freezer to become soup. Of course, poultry owners have a ready source of birds to productively dispose of every scrap of food. And should you trap a big old coon or a give terminal lead poisoning to a pesky groundhog, well, there's good eating if you know how to prepare it properly.

For my birthday earlier this month, Dan found a great old-time recipe book for me, All Maine Recipes, published by the Courier Gazette of Rockland in the late 1960s. It is chock-full of good Maine recipes, many for game such as venison or pheasant, with some modern ones, too, with many variations of the Jello salad --shudder. (I even found a recipe from my long-ago landlady Irene Yerxa of Bridgewater, Maine, and Dan saw a recipe from a woman he knew in Waldoboro, Athlene Damon. Maine is a small town spread over a big state.)

And there are several recipes for preparing garden-chomping rabbit, raccoon and woodchuck.

It is good to know I have a resource handy for preparing varmint should the opportunity arise. You just never know.


jeannie said...

I just love cook books. Once Dad bought me a cook book Called to the Queens Taste.The books cover was up side down, and backwords. If I still had it I'd show it to you. It had some real good recipies in it. Well Bye for now.

Kathryn and Ari said...

That's so wonderful! I think I'd skip the varmit (and maybe even the Jello salad), but I love the concept. I bet they have a 100 finnin haddie receipes in there, too!