This menu takes several weeks, and even several camp kitchens to bring together, for an insane meal on the dock. We push simple, low, weather-silvered tables together for in impromptu buffet, using vintage plates to warm our laps.
My first year in New Hampshire was a revelation in language and temperature ~ everything good was “wicked,” and everything possible happened in the sky. It’s tempered my soul in the best way, forcing me to live with the harsher elements, at first to get my food and family on, though I’ve stayed for the beauty and culture of the island.
We gather all the ingredients from local farm stands, like Picnic Rock, which has been run by the same family since 1831. We love to heat their maple-glazed pastry sticks in the oven at 250’ for 3 minutes for an afternoon indulgence. Each of these recipes are a sure-thing, but you’ll need to cook with your nose, listen for sizzles, taste and adjust here and there. They respond best to loving attention, which of course goes right into the bellies of your beloveds. No matter where you live, eating outside with neighbors on pretty plates, beautiful silver, cloth napkins and cheesy tourist mugs creates an instant vacation.
From my family to yours. xx, Maya
More about Maya Jundis Hackett is at urbanorganica.com.
I Love D Toffees
Slowly heat 1 cup of local honey, 1 cup of fair trade organic chocolate, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of butter, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla. Stir constantly as it comes to a boil, and make sure everything comes together nice and thick. For harder toffee, cook longer, and for softer, take off the heat shortly after the boiling point. Pour onto a large buttered glass dish to cool a bit. Let the kids use simple cookie cutters, or just cut into squares.
Caramel Pear Cake (Gluten Free)
Preheat oven to 350’. Beat 1 cup sugar with 1 T vanilla and 4 eggs. Stir in 2/3 cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 3/4 cups fine almond meal. Pour caramel into the bottom of the cake dish. Fleck with a pinch of sea salt. Spread thin-sliced wedges of 5 pears in a spiral on the caramel. Pour batter over the top and bake for 30 minutes. Invert onto a dish right away, as the caramel will get hard. Serve hot or cold, it’s totally different each way, but you’ll have to make two to find out.
These trees have too much fruit and too little fans. Make them all into rolls & you have a midnight snack that tastes of Autumn all year. Simmer 10 ripe quinces in water for 70 minutes, or until you can easily pierce with a fork. Cool, peel, slice and mash thru a food mill. Measure, return to the pot and cook with equal amounts of organic sugar. You’ll want to stir constantly as the quince dries, making sure to keep it from sticking to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to spread a 1’ layer into your baking dish. Cover with a clean towel & let dry for 10 days. It will shrink some. Flip it over, cover & let dry another 10 days. Cut into dominos, and roll in coconut sap crystals, powdered sugar or brown sugar.
Wild Rose Hip Jam
Gather your baskets and your littles in search of a wild rose bush with 3 pounds of large, vivid red hips. We don’t have any on the island, so this is a main-land thing. Rinse and split each fruit lengthwise to remove the hairs and seeds. You should have about 2 pounds of fruit. Place into your preserving pan, cover with 3 cups of sugar, place the lid on and leave overnight to get cozy. The next day, cook slowly for 30 minutes on medium heat. Do this again the next day, and then again. Pour into sterilized jars, one to a family. Label them, “vitamin C, to be had with toast + butter. you’re welcome.”
Savory Goats Cheese
There’s a mother and daughter here that, like me, began with two goats. Now they have 150. Their goat cheese is lovely, and I can’t help but toss the rounds into jars of olive oil, mint and thyme. After a month, they are sublime.
For each family you’ll need a head of soft lettuce. Mix up the colors and textures to match the fall. If there are edible flowers, grab those, too. Toss the salad with the Savory Goats Cheese and accompanying olive oil, equal parts white wine balsamic or lemon juice, and a handful of crushed hazelnuts and Toasted Pepitas.
Field Poultry with Mustard Sauce
large rabbit + strips of bacon for each slice
organic dijon mustard
layer pieces with thyme, 1 bay leaf, 4 crushed garlic cloves, a little rosemary, 1 sliced onion
baste generously with olive oil. cook slowly for several hours. discard herbs and onion.
brush with mustard, crown with generous sprig of thyme, wrap in bacon.
arrange in an oiled gratin dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, 375’ 30 minutes.
deglaxe dish with white wine + 1 T white vinegar
Island Nut*Stuffed Cabbage
Take a large, 2-3 lb. cabbage. Remove outer leaves, separate & rinse. Blanch in boiling water for two minutes, then shock in a bowl of cold water. Spread on a towel to dry.
Nut Stuffing: In a large bowl, mix together 1 C each of cooked brown rice, fresh bread crumbs or almond meal, chopped walnuts, finely-chopped mushrooms, finely chopped onions, and grated carrot. Add 2 C grated cheese, 1/2 C minced pepper, 5 beaten egg, 2 T tamari, 2 T Dijon mustard, & 1/2 t. each, thyme and sage.
Spread a clean cheesecloth on the table. Starting with the largest leaves, layer with spoonfulls of stuffing, re-creating the cabbage. Pull up the cloth corners & tie tightly up top. Place into a pot slightly larger than the cabbage, (creating the island) above a few carrots, a chopped onion, several peeled garlic cloves, a bay leaf & some salt. Cover with water, bring to a boil, lower, and simmer covered for three hours.
Serve large spoonfuls in bowls with broth and a slice of toasted bread.
Baked Pumpkin Cheese Soup
Preheat oven to 375’. Cut a ladle-wide lid into a pretty, 6-lb pumpkin. Have your kitchen helpers remove the fibers, separate and rinse the seeds. Lay them on a towel to dry. Place the pumpkin in a deep dish, Layer the inside with chopped 4 cloves of garlic, small cubes of dry bread, shredded Gruyere or Cheddar, a rosemary stem, sea salt, and pepper. Cover with thin heavy cream and replace the pumpkin lid. Cover with foil and bake for about 2 hours. Remove the foil & gently scrape the flesh from the sides, slightly mashing the ingredients together.
Roast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan over medium-high heat. Add a bit of salt, a pinch of cayenne, and a Tablespoon of maple syrup. Cook until dry and toasty.
Roasted Root Vegetables
potatoes, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, leeks, turnips, parsnips
Scrub mixed roots, cut to even size & pile single-layered into a casserole with plenty of olive oil, whole peeled garlic cloves, sea salt & pepper. Roast at 375’ for 45 minutes, toss & cook for another 15-45 minutes, as liked.