For the “re:past” on Malaga Island, catering chef Leslie Oster used an old family recipe, courtesy of her grandmother Adelaide Crocker, who came from a family of sea captains in Rockland. After she saw a 1910 grocery receipt belonging to a Malaga Island resident, Oster tweaked the recipe by using tinned salmon, something she had never cooked with before. “It listed tinned fish,” Oster wrote in an email. “No surprise there, as there were canneries up & down the coast of Maine at that time. They would have had milk on the island as they had a dairy cow or two and at least one kitchen garden.” Remember to start this recipe the night before, as you need to soak the salt cod.

Serves 6 as an entree or 8 for an appetizer

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large yellow onions, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 box salt cod, soaked overnight in tap water (no need to refrigerate)


6 cups fish stock

2 pounds small new potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into bite-size pieces

3 (5-ounce) cans of pink salmon

4 cups light cream

2 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons chopped dill


1 tablespoon chopped chives

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a good-sized soup pot and sauté the onions and celery until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Test the salt cod for salt level. If it seems too salty, drain, add fresh tap water and slowly bring to a boil. Test again and if it is still too salty, repeat this process using fresh water, repeating until desired level of salt is reached. Then drain, flake the salt cod and add it to the onions and celery.

Add the stock and potatoes. Cook over medium heat for an hour or until the flavors are melded. Add the salmon and cream and cook for 20 more minutes. Finish with herbs, and add salt and pepper to taste.

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