Friday, June 24, 2011

Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie (Rebecca Charles and Deborah DiClementi)

I just love cookbooks that combine recipes with stories of family. Food and family are two "F" words that go together. It is no coincidence that the traditions that many of us enjoy with our families combine the two. Such is the case with Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine.

Having never been to Maine, I lived vicariously through this book. Rebecca Charles is currently the owner and head chef of Pearl Oyster Bar in Greenwich Village. The namesake of the restaurant is Pearle Goldsmith, Rebecca's grandmother. Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie recounts the Goldsmith's summers in Kennebunkport, from the time Rebecca's great uncle Sam first took the family there to Rebecca's weeks there now. The pictures in the book are worth the price alone. Seeing the male striped bathing suits in the early 1900s makes you realize just how much things have changed. Charles also includes shocking stories about Jewish prejudice in Maine at this time and the heroes who dared to stand up to it.

I have not tried any of the recipes yet, but I am most looking forward to trying Pearle's Shortbread. This is not so much a cookbook as it is an extremely heartwarming, worthwhile memoir of summers gone by.