A Maine Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2014 by Cathleen Miller

For most of us, Thanksgiving conjures up visions of food: food made by our mothers and grandmothers in our childhoods. We spend this holiday trying to live up to (or surpass) the meals of our past. Whether you are a traditionalist or a having a Friendsgiving party with people of many backgrounds, our cookbook selection holds some delicious (and interesting) ideas for your Thanksgiving and post-turkey meals.

From Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cookbook (1884), here are some of the basic traditional Thanksgiving staples:

Turkey, plus the all-important stuffing and gravy.

A variety of pies

For some new and interesting side dishes, I consulted Meg Wolff’s A Life in Balance (2010), which offers “plant-based recipes for optimal health.”

You might enjoy a side dish of Beet Slaw or Sweet Turnips:

Perhaps you are looking to re-create some of your mom’s favorite recipes?
Turn no further than the Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook (1959), which offers “slick tricks with vegetables” and some delicious apple-based desserts.


For those adventurous readers looking for a non-traditional Thanksgiving feast, you might enjoy a selection of vegetarian options from Barbara Damrosch & Eliot Coleman’s garden to table cookbook The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook (2013).

A nice appetizer

A simple, delicious main course

After all that food, you might need a good digestive tonic tea. Deb Soule’s most recent book How to Move Like a Gardener (2013) offers a simple tea that will help to nourish your body and keep your belly happy after any meal.

Finally, you’ll need some ideas for all that extra turkey.
Here are some traditional ideas from Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook.  

Perhaps a more modern inspiration is what your heart (or belly) desires.
Try Kathy Gunst’s Greek-Style Turkey-Lemon-Rice Soup.

There you have it–our round-up of recipes for this foodie holiday. Whether you’re preparing a meal for one or thirty, we hope you feel your appetite for good food and wonderful cookbooks whetted.

If you’re needing a good Maine cookbook, stop by Longfellow Books on Saturday to meet some local authors (including Monica Wood), and check out their wonderful selection of cookbooks.

Our newest social media site

November 14th, 2014 by Cathleen Miller

Cuff: Dress Up by Allison Cooke Brown (2007)

This afternoon, we had a great meeting with UNE’s social media strategist about managing all of our outlets. I thought I’d walk away with some ideas for enhancing what we do now; I didn’t think I would add another place to post.
But we remain flexible as things transform around us, so I’m pleased to introduce our new tumblr account.
Please check us out there: http://mewomenwriters.tumblr.com/

And if you’re not already following us on twitter, we’re @MEWomenwriters.
Oh, and we’re on facebook too.
And we’re trying out instagram.

The Last 2014 Writing Class at MWWC

November 5th, 2014 by Ann Morrissey

Maine Women Writers Collection just finished its last writing class for the calendar year of 2014.  David Kuchta taught a full class of 16 registered students in his Gathering of Writers.  That is the maximum number of students that we can handle in the May Sarton Room of the Portland campus where the classes are held.

David is an old hand at this and has taught many a class for MWWC.  His classes are so popular that fully half of this class was students who have attended a prior class.  His repeat students are always glad to see familiar faces and to catch up on each others’ writing.  David is wonderfully flexible about whatever his students want to write about and his only class rule is that what you read must have been written in that night’s class.  A typical class has a topic, he brings examples, and then has some prompts for our writing.

People write about the darndest things, — a detective story in progress, a memoir, young adult novels about teenage worlds of terror, sexual passages in the straight and gay worlds.  And of course, some students follow the weekly prompts.  I’ll tell you honestly that the writing is wonderful.  We are very forgiving because we know that each work read is a first draft.  As writers we know that the major element of a first daft is to catch the ideas that will remain in the story.  And what ideas people have!  Sometimes the class erupts in laughter, or simply smiles in appreciation — or very often — thinks how they could use a similar method in their own work.  My own opinion is that David doesn’t push people into the pond but makes it safe for them to jump in!

David’s students are quite appreciative of A Gathering of Writers:

  • Molly Elmali: “I like it very much.  My writing got better, and I liked his prompts.”
  • Laurie Hause: “It was a great experience, an excellent value, and a surprising source of strong new friendships.”
  • Unnamed Student: “We feel like a community that creates a safe place in which we share new work.”

David has only one rule for writing.  “Don’t lose the reader.”  So every week we try our best to not lose the reader no matter what our topic.

We are sorry that class has ended.  “Can you believe it has been 8 weeks?   It has gone so fast.”  One student wondered “But what do we do in November and December?”  David will organize a new Gathering of Writers right after the new year.  Please join us!  Whether or not you have taken the class before, you will learn and be supported.

What is the saying–You never step in the same river twice?  A Gathering of Writers will bring you David Kuchta — as good as ever!  And you will bring a different you to the class, a self even more capable of doing your best work in the community of writers that MWWC has developed.