cover image Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm

Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm

Annemarie Ahearn. Roost, $35 (240p) ISBN 978-1-61180-332-7

After stints in Europe and New York, Ahearn moved to rural Maine; in 2009 she opened a cooking school where she stages the monthly seasonal suppers featured in this cookbook. The April menu incorporates locally foraged periwinkles, “cobalt blue when wet and often spotted with a baby barnacle or two,” and braised rabbit; the September menu features fall greens with Irish blue cheese, and chicken braised in red wine. The author’s distinct voice relays recipe instructions and explains both what to do and why to do it. New England traditions pop up, such as brown bread baked in a can to pair with smoked mackerel and pickled cucumbers, and maple syrup as an ingredient in chocolate bread pudding. Occasionally things get overwrought: it’s a nice touch to include drinks with the menus, but the recipe for a pint of stout that basically says to pour it into a chilled glass feels like a waste of a page, and it’s a stretch to liken grilled lamb chops to an Argentine asado (which is a whole roasted animal). The author’s strong connection to the land smooths any bumps, however, and is likely to appeal to both locals and those “from away.” (May)