Tuesday, December 10, 2013
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.
Since the weekend the food stores have been packed with a frenzy of shoppers going after all the Thanksgiving paraphernalia.
And each year the professional Thanksgiving pundits create such a sense of peril and doom regarding the roasting of the holiday bird that you’d think a turkey was a newly discovered animal.
I admit that when they come out of their pens, yards and other turkey habitats that anything over 12 pounds is virtually too big to handle easily. Imagine if you had a 20-pouind leg of lamb or a 25- pound standing rib. You’d be ready to hoist it into the hoosegow.
I’ve never cooked a turkey larger than about 18 pounds and that was cumbersome enough. Twenty-five pounds and up belong in restaurant kitchens where paid minions do the dirty deeds of stuffing, trussing, lifting and watching the heebie-jeebies out of it to make sure it doesn’t dry
Rather than wait for the usual Wednesday food posting, I thought I would share a favorite recipe now to consider using in your holiday menu. Here is my Special Report: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, the one dessert made most often for this holiday meal.
There are many variations on pumpkin pie, but I think the classic pumpkin custard filling is often the most rewarding and the easiest to make. I do urge you, however, to make your own pumpkin puree. It’s not that much more difficult than opening a can of pumpkin puree.
Yankee bakers know that the best kind of pumpkin to use in pies is the long-pie pumpkin, which has been readily available at the farmer’s market. Rosemont is also a good source for these super pumpkins and have plenty available now.
Will the parade of Portland’s finest chefs ever cease to amaze and impress? Certainly not in the case of Chef Frederic Eliot who is now at the helm of the ever popular Petite Jacqueine Bistro.
Here is a sneak peek of the newly evolving menu from the bistro’s new chef de cuisine.
The dining room at Petite Jacqueline overlooking Longfellow
If you’re looking for something special for the holiday dessert table here is an apple-sour cherry upside down pie that is deliciously sweet. The recipe comes from Mariette Farwell who is a consummate baker and whose husband is Mike Farwell, of Uncle’s Farm Stand, a mainstay at the Portland Farmer’s Market
Mariette relies on the bounty of her husband’s crops as the basis for her many baked goods. In the summer she has full use of all of his wild and high-bush blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sour cherries, apples and peaches. The family's favorite is a wild Maine blueberry and sour cherry pie, a winning combination of berries and fruit.
What’s different about this double-crust berry-apple pie is that the pastry is baked over a caramel-pecan caramel, on which the bottom crust sits.
When baked you turn the pie upside down similar to a tarte
The Brunswick Winter Market is one of the best, most diverse farmer’s markets in the state. Housed in the vast Ft. Andross space (November to early April), there are some 40 venders of all stripes who sell their goods.
Vendors include fishmongers, pastry and bread bakers, winemakers, coffee roasters, glass blowers, woodworkers, knife sharpening, furniture makers, prepared foods and the full roster of vegetables, meats, dairy and cheese from farmers who offer locally raised organic provender.
Indoors at the Brunswick winter