Maine has a long history of neighborly traditions, such as pot luck dinners, housewarmings, bean suppers, Maple Sundays… and recipe sharing.

Even if you don’t live in Maine, you can participate in this tradition with us via the internet. Email us your favorite family recipe (just don’t reveal any of Aunt Mildred’s secrets!) and we will post it here.

Bon appetit!

Grandmas’s Old-Fashioned Baked Beans

(Passed down from generations)
2 lbs white beans
1 lb salt pork (cut in one inch slices)
¾ cup molasses
1 tbsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tbsp dry mustard
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
5 small onions (cut into small pieces)

1.Place beans in large pot and fill with water.
2. Let soak overnight; next morning strain.
3. Place beans in a large pan that can be used in the oven.
4. Fill with water; boil for ten minutes.
5. Strain beans again; fill pan with water to one inch above beans.
6. Add all ingredients except salt pork and onions and mix well.
7. Add salt pork and onions and cook until boiling.
8. Cover and bake in the oven for 6 hours at 350 degrees:
9. At three hours mix lightly and check for dryness;
10. Last hour remove cover to brown.

Best-Ever Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Serves: 8


1 cup shortening

1/2 cup margarine

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup regular rolled oats

3 cups chocolate chips (24 oz.)

2 cups chopped walnuts or halved macadamia nuts

Add a cup of raisins also if you wish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixer bowl, beat together on medium speed, the shortening, margarine, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes. On low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.

On wax paper, mix the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and oats. Beat dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until well combined; mix in chocolate pieces and nuts.

For each cookie, drop a scant 1/4 cup dough on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Neiman Marcus Cookies

(Recipe may be halved)

2 cups butter

24 oz chocolate chips

4 cups flour

2 cups brown sugar

2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

2 cups sugar

1 Hershey Bar – 8 oz. (grated)

5 cups blended oatmeal

4 eggs

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

Fruited Scones

Makes eight scones.

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter

3 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup currants

smidge of granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour and next four ingredients. Rub butter into mixture with fingertips until the mixture is crumbly; add dried fruit to mixture and blend. Make a well in center with a fork. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and add heavy cream. Pour into well and mix with fork by hand until mixture is evenly moistened. Mold mixture into a circle. Lightly flour board or countertop and pat mixture into a larger thick circle. Cut out scones with a circular crimped cookie cutter. DO NOT HANDLE SCONES A LOT OR THEY WILL BECOME HARD. Brush top of scones with a little egg wash and sprinkle a little white granulated sugar on top. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on rack. Serve the same day.

If available, serve with butter, jam and clotted cream.

You may substitute any dried fruit you wish to this recipe: cranberries, apricots, cherries, sultana raisins. Also wonderful with almonds or walnuts. Another delicious variety of this scone is ham and cheese. Omit the sugar and add one cup of diced ham, 1/2 cup grated cheese and 1/2 cup of sliced scallions into the dry ingredients before adding the liquid.

Poppy Seed Honey Dressing

This dressing is an old favorite for salads that combines

greens and fruit. Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl

or shake in a jar with a tight-fitting lid until smooth.

1.5 cups honey

18 tbsp (1 and 1/8 cup) cider vinegar or

other fruit vinegar

12 tbsp (3/4 cup) olive oil

6 small shallots, minced

12 tsp (1/4 cup) Dijon mustard

6 tsp (1/8 cup) poppy seeds

salt and gound black pepper to taste

Taste to adjust the seasoning.

Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Maple Curry Dressing

1 cup dark pure maple syrup

1 cup mayo

1 Tablespoon curry powder

Beat mayo, syrup, & curry powder together with electric mixer.

Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Blueberry Muffins

2 & 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten slightly

1 stick butter

1 cup milk

lemon zest

1 cup fresh blueberries

Mix dry ingredients together.

Melt butter & add to beaten eggs.

Add milk & lemon zest to this mixture.

Once mixed, add to dry ingredients & mix until combined.

Pour into greased muffin pan & bake at 375 degrees

for 20-30 minutes (ovens may vary).


(makes enough for about 6 servings of pasta)

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

pasta water

Place first five ingredients in food processor and mix, scraping down sides occasionally. When evenly blended, pour into a bowl and fold in the grated cheese and some of the pasta water.

This recipe freezes well but do so without the cheese and the pasta water. These can be added after the pesto has been thawed, giving it a fresher flavor.

Also, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled as well as substituting either fresh parsley or fresh spinach for some of the basil.

Grilled Pineapple

with tequila brown-sugar glaze

can be prepared in as little as 45 minutes

3/4 cup tequila

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 large pineapple – peeled, cored, and cut into 2 x 1 inch pcs

6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained

Stir the first 4 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves

Thread pineapple pieces onto 6 skewers, dividing equally

(Tequila mixture and pineapple skewers can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance. cover separately and chill)

Prepare bbq (medium heat)

Grill pineapple until brown, basting with tequila mixture and turning occasionally, about 10 minutes total.

Remove pineapple from skewers, serve hot or warm.

Makes 6 servings.

Grilled Peaches

can be made in less than 40 minutes

3 tablespoons white vinegar

3/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons freshly ground black peppercorns

2 large fresh peaches with peel, halved and pitted

2 and 1/2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the first 3 ingredients

Simmer until liquid has reduced by one half (it should become slightly thicker)

Remove from heat, and set aside

Preheat grill for medium-high heat

Lightly oil the grill grate

Place peaches on the prepared grill, cut side down

Cook for about 5 minutes, or until flesh is caramelized

Turn peaches over and brush the top sides with the balsamic glaze

Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes

Transfer the peach halves to individual serving dishes, and drizzle with remaining glaze

Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese

Makes 4 servings

Cranberry Comfort Loin of Pork

(1) 3-5 pound pork loin, patted dry

3-4 cloves of garlic, slivered

1 can jelly-style cranberry sauce

4-6 ounces Southern Comfort

3-4 Tbsp ground black pepper, salt and paprika – mixed

Poke holes in pork loin all around and insert garlic slivers.

Mix cranberry sauce in a bowl with 1/2 can of Southern Comfort, whisk until smooth, and pour into a zipper-style bag.

Place pork loin in bag, press out the air and seal the bag, place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning every hour or so.

Remove pork from bag after marinating; drain and bring to room temperature.

Place loin on rotisserie rod, coat heavily with pepper/paprika mix, cook at high heat on rotisserie until internal temperature reaches 140-150 degrees.

(Loin can also be seared in a cast-iron skillet and finished in a

350-degree oven.)

Remove from rotisserie rod, cover with foil, let rest, and slice thin.

Marinade can be reduced, mixed with sauteed onions and mushrooms and mixed with a beef or veal reduction to make a sauce.

This is great with root vegetables or squash. Makes super sandwiches, as well.