Harvest Maine: Autumn Traditions & Fall Flavors by Crystal Ward Kent

HarvestMaineCover1Harvest Maine: Autumn Traditions & Fall Flavors by Crystal Ward Kent

(American Palate, 2014)

If WMUR TV’s storyteller Fritz Wetherbee could sit next to you on a porch and narrate all that happens in autumn in Maine, the result would be something like Harvest Maine: Autumn Traditions & Fall Flavors by Crystal Ward Kent. Covering the highlights of this season, including the country fair, a pumpkin festival, a traditional hunter’s breakfast, an apple farmer making cider, and stories of a lovesick moose and a bear preparing for hibernation, Kent gives us snapshots of a dramatic place at a dramatic time. Her rich writing is both entertaining (“Most people dream of winning the lottery, but in Maine, that lottery might not be for cash but for moose”) and informative (scientific advances in potato farming). Her descriptions bring your senses right into the moment (“The smell of wood smoke floats on the air . . . a night like this calls for hearty, comforting food”), and she shares Maine life during this season with a storytelling quality that makes you want to lean in to hear every detail.

Kent captures this special way of life. Harvest Maine features traditional recipes, many from the author’s great-aunt, who was a Maine native. Recipes include apple, squash, and pumpkin pie; apple pan dowdy; cranberry pudding—using Maine cranberries, of course—and classics such as baked beans and corn bread. There are also tips, such as “How to Get the Most from a Nature Walk” and “How To Make Your Own Cider.” The magic of this book is Maine itself, where, as one sportsman says, “time seems to have stopped here.”

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