Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Maine Summers Cookbook (Linda and Martha Greenlaw)

I don't really know what my obsession with Maine cooking has been all about lately. I think having just reviewed Lobster Claws & Blueberry Pie (about summers in Kennebunkport), I wanted something to compare it to. While Lobster Claws seems to be an anecdotal record with some recipes thrown in, The Maine Summers Cookbook is all about the recipes, with just a few anecdotes.

The subtitle of Linda and Martha Greenlaw's book (mother and daughter), Recipes for Delicious, Sun-Filled Days, says it all. As I look out my window on this beautiful, sunny, July 3rd in Philly, eating a lobster roll by the pool sounds like my cup of tea. Maine is known, obviously, for the lobster, but I never knew that it was also known for its blueberries. The reader of this cookbook runs into somewhat of a problem, however, when the recipe calls for Maine blueberries or Maine crabmeat, and he or she does not live in Maine (like me). But just like a Key Lime Pie only tastes delicious when using key limes (hence the name), making the recipes like the Greenlaws call for requires the authentic ingredients.

Short anecdotes about pig roasting and "rafting up" come between the real "meat" (no pun intended) of the book...the recipes. From cocktails to desserts, the Greenlaws have you covered. The heart of the book is, of course, seafood (Maine stuffed clams, Red crab cakes, Lobster rolls, etc.)., but I was surprised by the number of other types of food (Moxie Island baked steak, Cilantro and cholula corn bread, Cinnamon-blueberry ice cream, etc.). You literally could put a whole meal together every day for a month just using this book.

The Greenlaws are true "Mainers", and as the pictures show, they know their stuff (witness the picture of soaking wet Linda Greenlaw digging for clams). When you can't get to Maine, this is the next best thing.


This review can also be found at