Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a review of a delightful, charming book

Recipes from a Very Small Island
by Linda Greenlaw and Martha Greenlaw

Having read all of Linda Greenlaw's other books and having enjoyed them a great deal, I ordered "Recipes from a Very Small Island" to sort complete the Greenlaw set! Well, not really...at least not totally. But I though "it's just a cook book".

So you might be able to imagine my delight when this book arrived and I started to look through it. First of all, the book is just lovely to look at. The photographs of the food by Joseph Deleo and of Isle au Haut, Linda and her parents by Sara Gray are beautiful.

Second, while I admit I have not tested any of the recipes yet, since it just arrived, they look very promising. Many are classics you might expect from a cookbook from 'a very small Maine island' like blueberry pie, chicken pie with herb biscuits, maple flavored baked beans and her mom Martha's famous lobster casserole. But then there are a number of interesting sounding surprises...crab madeleines, braised lamb shanks with dried apricots, grilled salmon with blueberry corn salsa....beef stifado.. Actually, there is not a recipe in this book that does not sound interesting and worth trying.

Another very nice part of the book is that each recipe is preceded by a brief introduction from either Linda or her mother Martha. Sometimes, it is just a few lines and sometimes it is an amusing little story about some incident with the dish in the past. Every one enhances the recipe that follows.

If you are a fan of Ms. Greenlaw's other books, especially "The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island", I think you will find the ten or so short essays throughout the book, filled with Ms. Greenlaw's ever present dry humor, a lovely addition. The subjects range from "The Beginner's Guide to Clambakes or How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Lobster" to an introduction to "The Pie Lady". Delightful....lol

I am sure this will be a treasured book in my library, not just for the food but for another of Ms. Greenlaw's charming views into life and family on a very small island on the beautiful coast of Maine.


  1. This sounds like a delightful book. Thanks for the heads up.

    btw, like your blog ;o)

  2. wow...my very first comment!
    you should get some sort of prize..a crown perhaps!

    i thought it must be a mistake when i saw a comment. it must be true what they say, that sooner or later, everything on the Internet is seen.

    obviously, this is a very new attempt at the blogging and i planned on working on it a bit more before i tried to entice an actual reader...lol


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