Tag Archives: cookbook

From the Wayside Inn: Maple-Bourbon Pork Roast Recipe

Longfellow's Wayside InnWhen we visited Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury Massachusetts recently for a mini-family reunion and to learn more about the Howe family who built the Inn–my brother picked up a copy of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn Cookbook.

The book, like the Inn’s kitchen, makes no attempt to recreate the Howe Tavern food of the 18th and 19th century, but rather focuses on the more modern cuisine that draws crowds to the several dining rooms at today’s Wayside Inn.

Wayside Inn Old Kitchen Dining Room

The Old Kitchen at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. Dining hearthside.

While we were there, we ate in the Main dining room, the small dining room, the Inn Keeper’s Room, and others. My favorite of all the dining spaces was “the Old Kitchen.” There you can sit near the fire and contemplate the labor involved in cooking over the open hearth.  This contraption was meant to be wound up and then as it slowly unwound, it would turn a roast on a spit.  The Inn has had to remove the handle because kids (and adults, too, we suspect) had a tendency to play with it.


Wayside Inn Old Kitchn Dining Room

The Old Kitchen Roast Turner

When my brother’s family delved into their new cookbook, and chose a roast pork recipe, they did not roast their pork over the hearth using a roast turner. But that might be a possibility.  Since the recipe is copyrighted, we give you his notes. Consult your own, or your library’s copy for the entire instructions for making Pork with Maple-Bourbon Glaze.

Contributed by P.W. Kaser

Drunken PigHere are  some personal notes  on the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn Cookbook‘s roast pork recipe which is a version of what we call out here in the West “Drunken Pig.”

Maple-Bourbon Pork Glaze for the roast pork recipe requires 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar, one tablespoon of Vermont Maple syrup, one teaspoon of maple extract, a stingy one fourth cup of Bourbon, and one tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in cold water.

(Set enough Bourbon aside so guests can use it to toast the cook.)

Sugar and water are mixed and brought to a boil. Cornstarch is added for thickener and cooked for a few minutes. Maple syrup, maple extract, and bourbon are stirred in.

(Watch carefully not to overcook unless you want to have strange candy form in your pot.)

It is best for the cook not to consume excess mix while cooking the pork but to baste the roast judiciously and soberly as it is roasted. We used a two pound roast and it came out golden brown and delicious.

pork roast

Notes and Speculations: I don’t know why in the  book, Vermont maple syrup is specified. Perhaps it’s just regional loyalty. As instructed we “gilded the lily” by adding maple flavoring extract to the real maple syrup. I can’t see that this would make much difference.

And why is the whiskey not identified as Kentucky bourbon? I haven’t seen any record of Bourbon being commonly quaffed in the Inn’s early decades, and as a broadly distributed commercial product it doesn’t seem to have achieved fame as a uniquely Kentucky delight until the mid-to-late 19th century, but the book claims to present a blend of new and old so maple-Bourbon pork may serve as an example of the best of both eras.

Ancestors of Oatmeal Cookies: Oatcakes

Scottish old house

My Scottish ancestors would have lived in this kind of house before immigrating to the United States. A sod-roofed stone house from old Scotland at Highlands Village, Nova Scotia

Visiting Nova Scotia, I was immersed in the Scottish culture of my ancestors, and of course that included FOOD.  In Pictou, at the McCulloch Heritage Center, I picked up a cookbook that shows recipes in both English and Gaelic.

I couldn’t wait to get home to try the most typical cookie/biscuit of Scotland–Oatcakes.  When we attended a ceilidh–a musical gathering–in Baddeck, there was a break during which audience members could buy a cup of tea and an oatcake.

tea cups and oatcakes

Baddeck Gathering Ceilidh intermission–tea cups and oatcakes

One of the musicians remarked that the Baddeck Gathering is the only place he knows of where the audience members are served tea in real cups rather than cardboard or Styrofoam! That makes it memorable, but it is the music and the oatcakes that I remember. I suspect that I will never again have an oatcake without thinking of the joyful, friendly weekly musical event in Baddeck on Cape Breton.

Baddeck Ceilidh

Baddeck Ceilidh

Have you seen the Gaelic language?  As I mentioned in my article about making a kilt, we tried a short class, just enough to convince us we would never have MacBeth’s ghost of a chance to speak the musical language! But we certainly enjoyed listening to the music that comes from that language.

By the way, the Gaelic cookbook from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, categorizes this recipe as “Bread”, but I think of it more as a cookie, or the ancestor of oatOatmeal Cookies.

Here’s what the oatcake recipe looks like in Gaelic:

Oatcake recipe in Gaelic.

Oatcake recipe in Gaelic. From Ás an Abhainn Mhóir: English-Gaelic Recipes from Pictou County

Have fun baking an oatcake using that recipe.

No? Okay, here’s the English version from the from the same cookbook, Ás an Abhainn Mhóir: English-Gaelic Recipes from Pictou County.

Scottish Oatcakes

Serves 18-24
Prep time 1 hour, 25 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 37 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Meal type Bread
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
From book English-Gaelic Recipes from Pictou County


  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water


1. Combine all dry ingredients and add butter.
2. Cut butter into dry ingredients.
3. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and mix and cut in with knife, adding more water if needed.
4. Mold with hands and roll into long wedge.
5. Chill dough.
6. Slice chilled dough about 1/2 inch thick
7. Place cakes on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Preparation time includes an hour in refrigerator to cool.

I cheated and added 1/2 tsp vanilla for additional flavor.

I shaped the dough before chilling into a log approximately eight inches long and two inches high.  It flattened on the bottom as it cooled, and I did not try to make it round.  I don't know what size cookie the cookbook writers had in mind, but that made a fairly large cookie, so you could easily make the log longer and narrower for more cookies.

I placed the cookies a little too close together, because they did spread a little bit.

(As you see, I'm calling it a cookie, even though they call it a bread.  Anything with a cup of brown sugar is a cookie in my book!)

Did you know that other than the Scots and some other far-northern peoples, oats were not regularly used for food until the 19th century? The oatmeal cookie, that seems so traditional, is actually a newcomer in the United States. Unless you count oatcakes, which were surely baked by early Scottish settlers like my Anderson and Fife and McCabe ancestors. Read about how recently oatmeal cookies emerged as a favorite in the U.S., and get a couple more recipes at Revolutionary Pie.

oats for oatcakes

Oats drying by a stone house in Highland Village, Nova Scotia


All photos used here are my own. Please ask before reusing.


Wild Foods: Berry Foraging in Field and Forest

Foraging Out on the Farm

People in small farm communities up through the 1950s or 60s were not far from our hunter/gatherer ancestors.  We’ll talk about the hunting part on another day, but today I’m thinking in two articles about the gathering wild foods.   Yesterday Grandma Vera Anderson and I went to the woods for mushrooms.  But we could find plenty of other edibles out in the woods or the abandoned fields of the farms. Bre'r Rabbit book coverOf course the wild foods included blackberries and raspberries hiding shyly underneath Br’er Rabbits bramble bushes.  And I’m pretty sure that my Daddy would have wanted to read me a story about Br’er Rabbit as a preface to berry hunting.  I remember going out on the Anderson farm with my Uncle Bill and Uncle Herb and my Dad and some other folks and coming back with berries for cobbler and pie. My brother remembers a different berry hunting story.

Foraging to Earn a Pie of Grass

Contributed by Bro Kaser

My father, Paul Kaser, never believed my mother made enough pies. Once when we lived in a rural area, a neighbor woman came to borrow a rolling pin. I distinctly remember my mother saying as she handed over the implement, “I can’t tell you how many hundreds of pies I’ve made with that.” I remember it distinctly because of what my father said when the woman had gone on down the road, “Oh, Harriette, shame on you. You told that poor innocent country woman you’ve made hundreds of pies and she believed you. What did you do with all those hundreds of pies? I never saw them.”

Foraging for Blackberries

Photo by Memphis CVB at the Jones Orchard

Once, when we had a blackberry bramble patch out back, Mom said to my pie-starved father, “If you and Billy go out there and fill these five cartons with berries, I’ll make you berry pies.” We went out, I’m sure with the best of intentions. If you’ve ever picked blackberries on a hot day, you know that it’s as sticky, jaggy experience that leaves your hands red and itchy. But a berry pie is a soothing reward. We picked until our fingers were anointed with stains and our hands were red with scratches. We picked and picked, but we could not get enough to fill the last two cartons. Finally my father said, “If you want that pie, you’d better do what I do.” He stuffed his last carton with grass and covered the top with a layer of berries. I filled my last box similarly, figuring we would show them, then sneak them away while she made the pies from the full baskets. My mother took away all five cartons before we could pull the switch. That night two pies were presented. “The one over there is for you and Billy,” she said coolly to Dad. “I didn’t have enough berries for that one and had to supplement with the grass you picked by accident.”

A Berry, Berry Good BLACKBERRY Pie

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 1953 Although Mother Would not have needed a recipe, this is the way she would have made her blackberry pie. If you have more blackberries than grass in your bucket after picking wild foods, you may want to try this pie. This recipe is adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook,1953 first edition, a relic of her home economics teaching days. Even the reproduction issue of this edition is now out of print and available only through independent sources. This recipe includes the finishing detail of how mother glazed her fruit pie crust for a beautiful crust.

Berry Pie

  • 2/3-1 C sugar
  • 4 T flour
  • 3 C fresh berries
  • pastry for pie crust
  • 3 T milk (for crust)
  • 2 tsp sugar (for crust)

Mix flour and sugar, clean berries, pour sugar/flour mixture over berries. Put pastry in bottom of pie pan, fill with berry mixture. Cut slots in top pie crust and put over berries. Moisten the edge of the bottom crust with water, and seal the top crust to the bottom crust around the edge. Brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle sugar on top for a sparkly glaze.

For those who would prefer their wild foods a little tangier instead of the sweetness of pie–read about digging up weeds.