April dinner: Cooking Down East, Marjorie Standish

Now that May is more than half over, it’s time to report on the April dinner. April went a lot better than March in this respect, and we had a very satisfactory dinner.

My cookbook for this month is an old standby, Marjorie Standish’s Cooking Down East. This cookbook is a little piece of home for me, as I bet it is for a lot of my fellow Mainers. It is the bible of classic Maine cookery and even flopping open its pages and glancing over the familiar type is nostalgic. This is the sort of cookbook that gives advice on how to dig your own dandelion greens and starts off recipes with: “Try out a piece of salt pork in a spider,” on the assumption that the reader will not only have these items on hand, but will know exactly what they are and what to do with them. (Heat a piece of fatty salted pork slowly in a cast-iron frying to render the fat out of it for cooking.)

I have done plenty of cooking out of this book in my time, but it was fun to go through and look for recipes I haven’t tried before. We ended up with a very satisfying dinner.

We started with baked scallops rolled in bread crumbs.

Baked scallops.  Not quite the same as the ones freshly harvested by my father the diver, but still pretty good.

Baked scallops. Not quite the same as the ones freshly harvested by my father the diver, but still pretty good.

For a main course we had stifled beef served with lyonnaise potatoes and fried cabbage.

Stifled beef is cooked long and slow in the oven to make it tender.  The cabbage and potatoes both go very nicely with it.

Stifled beef is cooked long and slow in the oven to make it tender. The cabbage and potatoes both go very nicely with it.

Dessert was a hot milk cake with broiled coconut icing.

On the whole, I don't do well with cakes.  This one came out pretty well, though.

On the whole, I don’t do well with cakes. This one came out pretty well, though.

E made a nice simple table setting for this dinner. I appreciated the touch of green, especially at the end of a long winter that just wouldn’t go away.

A classic setting for classic food.

A classic setting for classic food.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: