Alice Allen’s 90th

On July 27, the 90th birthday of Alice Gamage Allen was observed at the Woodside farm on the Allen family’s Sebago property. It was a beautiful setting for the occasion, on a beautiful, sunny day.

About 45 guests attended. The farmhouse is now the summer home of Alice and her late husband Neal Allen Jr.’s son, Dick Allen, and his wife, Margaret. He is a teacher in New Hampshire. Several other Allen family members now have homes on the property, which comprises about 50 acres.

It was bought in 1924 by Neal Allen Sr. and his wife, Margaret Stevens Allen. She was the daughter of famous Portland architect and artist, John Calvin Stevens. Neal and Margaret and their six children spent summers there in the big farmhouse. Franklin Allen is the only one of their children still living. He and his wife Pat now live in Cape Elizabeth. He worked with his father for many years at F. O. Bailey Co., owned by Neal Sr. Franklin spent many years appraising there, too. The store was located on Free Street, Portland, when I used to visit there, enjoying browsing in the book and oriental rugs collections. It was a fascinating store.

Franklin and Pat’s daughter, Mary, who works in Washington, D.C., was at the party. I had car trouble near the Allen farm and had to leave my car at the farm, and got a ride back to Portland with Mary, who was driving her parents back home, too.

I was pleased to have Tom Allen introduce himself to me. He is our representative to Congress, and is running for senator in the coming election, the seat now held by Susan Collins. We wish him luck in the election.

Also at the party were my friends Madge Rhodes Frost and her husband, of South Paris, and Florence Day and her daughter Kathy, of Westbrook. Many of the Allen family were there, of course – cousins, children, grandchildren, and many friends.

The luncheon dishes were laid out on tables on the wide porch, overlooking the nearby mountains, including Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton, and beyond to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. What a glorious view. After the guests enjoyed the tempting variety of salads, casseroles, and cheese and crackers, they adjourned to the dining room as Alice cut the large and handsome frosted birthday cake, which was served to us with a dish of ice cream. Many cookies and candies were on the dining table, too.

Alice now spends time in the summer at the cottage she and Neal built at the top of the hill on the property. Her daughter Marion has been visiting her, from Washington, D. C., and Alice’s granddaughter from Seattle, Wash., was at the party, too.

I want to add one of Margaret Allen’s poems from her book, “The Burning Bush and Other Verse,” printed by the Anthoensen Press, Portland in 1964. Franklin sent me a copy and wrote that this is his favorite poem his mother wrote, describing the road leading up to the farmhouse. Franklin wrote a note to me, saying, “As my Mother intended, in my mind’s eye, I see the long drive at the Farm and the White Mountains in the distance that was the start of many a happy trip.”

The Road

“The road leads down, away from all I know and love;

And though the grasses bend and blow on either side

And sun shines bright above, ’tis but a little way;

Then into the dim, dark woods I must go,

What waits me there I cannot know.

But some I love have passed along the way,

And surely they will never let me stray

From off the path; while, far beyond

The tops of snowy mountains show;

To reach these distant peaks, this road I, too, must go

And, when attained at last those heights

Where heavenly glories shine,

I’ll still look back with love to bless

This earthly home of mine.”

It’s Pedroia

In the Sports section of the Portland Press Herald we’ve noticed full-page pictures of members of the Red Sox team, in action. But in the July 29 paper I was shocked to see one of Dustin Pedroia, but with his last name, in large capital letters, in white print, spelled PEDORIA. I have always enjoyed seeing his interesting last name, with the three vowels, o-I-a, together, at the end of his name. It is an unusual name. I’m surprised that a proofreader didn’t notice the error. Anyhow, I did.

Longtime favorite

This recipe was a favorite at our house when I was young. Our mother also served it when she invited our elementary school teachers for lunch, too. Those were the days!


One pound of ground haddock (ground raw).

An equal amount of bread crumbs

1 cup of milk, heated

3 egg whites, beaten

A little butter

Celery salt

Add beaten egg whites after the first ingredients are mixed together. Place the pan of fish in a pan of hot water. Bake for 1 hour in a medium oven. Make a cream sauce and pour over it, after it is baked.

It was delicious, and still is.

A clarification: Last week’s recipe should have read “Lightning (not Lightening) Cake.” Also the lady who wrote the recipe did not list the time or degrees for baking the cake. The book it came from was written in 1917, and I presume that all the cooks in those days knew all that; so I guessed that it should be baked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Then when I baked it, I found that, in my gas oven, at 350 degrees, the cake was all baked, and brown, too, in 30 minutes. It was delicious, too.

I used a loaf pan for mine. I shall use that recipe again, too.


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