Are your blueberry pancakes better than my mom's? Prove it to me. Send your best New England recipe using the link below. Don't worry if you live somewhere other than the Atlantic Northeast, however - we'll consider any recipe that has that certain salty something about it. Chowders, roasts, baked goods: it's all fair game. If we decide to publish your recipe in the book, lots of people could be eating your pancakes! Meanwhile, check out a couple of my mom's favorites.

Click here to submit recipe.



LOBSTER CASSEROLE,
my mom's famous recipe:

My mom taught me how to make this one: "I've never made this for less than six, so you'll have to cut it down. Cook and pick twelve lobsters, or sixteen if they are very soft. Linda, do not boil lobster in my large Le Creuset." Oh, you mean the one in the sink? The one that I have been soaking for two days to get the burned spaghetti out of? The one that I may have to take to Billings' to be sand-blasted? "In fact, do not use abrasives on any of my good pots and pans. I told you that before, right?" Oh, you mean like scraping with a metal spatula? Too late. Somewhere, through all of the marching orders and in the midst of many asides, I managed to pull a list of ingredients from my tight-jawed mother, but had to guess at amounts and temperatures. She was certainly less than forthcoming. The following is what I ended up with, but lacked the confidence to actually try by the time my mother was done with me:
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups light cream
  • a couple of egg yolks
  • 1 handful minced onion
  • 1 generous splash Madeira
  • a little fresh minced parsley
  • some salt
  • some pepper
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 good dash cayenne pepper
  • 12 cups lobster meat, sautéed
  • 4 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter, and blend flour, cooking over low heat. Add cream and stir until thick. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks. Add onions, Madeira, parsley, and other seasonings. Add lobster meat that you have previously sautéed in butter. Pour into large casserole dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese. Place dollops of butter on top and bake uncovered until you think it's done (about 20 minutes at 400 degrees).

And a recipe that will be in my next book, Stuffed to the Gills:



MATTIE'S STEAMED BLUEBERRY PUDDING

By the time the mail boat docked at the island, Jim, Rhonda, Linda and I were absolutely starving. Luckily, it usually was just in time for dinner.

We walked the road from the docks to the old homestead in Robinson's Cove, dragging our bags filled with clothes, books, and toys. The family car was nothing if not temperamental and so we never counted on getting a ride.

By this time of day, Mattie and Lil, my mother and grandmother, could be found in the big kitchen, boiling lobsters and steaming our favorite blueberry pudding. The aroma of fresh biscuits wafted from the oven as we walked through the kitchen door, and we were greeted by the sight of a glass bowl filled with homemade coleslaw, sitting on counter. Soon we were seated around the table, satisfying our hunger and happily listening to Grandpa Aub as he amused us with island stories, which the girls still repeat to this day.

Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon .
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Maine blueberries
  • 1 cup Hard Sauce (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, milk, and egg using a hand-held electric mixer or a wire whisk.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the vanilla.

Spread half of the blueberries in bottom of a heatproof 2-pint bowl. Pour the batter over the berries and spread the remaining blueberries over the top.

Set the bowl in a large saucepan filled with about 4 inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Steam for 1 hour, without covering the bowl or the saucepan, or until the pudding is firm and the blueberries bubble around the edges.

Serve the pudding warm with warm hard sauce passed on the side.

Hard Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pour the melted butter in a mixing bowl and gradually whisk in the sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice.

Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring, until warm to the touch. Do not let the sauce boil or it might separate. Serve warm.