Savor a unique Maine dish by making the “Wassookeag Special” and share your own family recipes


If you’re a Mainer with a family recipe that has been passed down for generations, this is the perfect opportunity to share it.

The creators of the “Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook” have extended the deadline for submitting recipes for the popular cookbook sequel and are looking for recipes from all over the state, especially rural counties.

Last year, Islandport Press published the “Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook,” with 200 recipes submitted by Mainers to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the state. It now has 13,000 copies printed and was a finalist for New England Cookbook of the Year by Readable Feast, an annual cookbook festival.

Because the first Community Cookbook was so popular and well received, the creators have a sequel in the works, titled “Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2: 200 More Recipes Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State,” which is expected to be released in April. 15, 2022. The organization has extended its recipe submission deadline to October 15, 2021 – two weeks later than the original deadline – in hopes of receiving more revenue from rural Maine counties.

“We want to make sure that the 16 counties are well represented,” said Karl Schatz, one of the editors of the book.

“Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2: 200 More Recipes Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State”, to be published in April 2022 by Islandport Press. Credit: Courtesy of Karl Schatz

Since the primary sponsor and advertiser for the second volume of the cookbook is Real Maine, a program of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry that strives to connect consumers with farmers and Maine food producers, Schatz said this volume will focus on ingredients that are grown and harvested in Maine.

“In this volume, we take a look at some of the basic ingredients we have in Maine that make Maine food so special, things like potatoes, blueberries and lobsters,” Schatz said.

Family recipes can be cherished and held close to the chest, but Schatz encouraged the Mainers to send in their recipes so their family members can live off the cookbook.

Your family recipe can connect with other Maine families along the way. Maine has a long heritage of community cookbooks, and many family recipes are derived from those distributed by churches and school groups. Schatz said that by collecting recipes for the first edition of the Community Cookbook, they saw recipes from historic community cookbooks “passing from family to family.”

In addition, it is for a good cause. Like the first cookbook, this second volume will raise funds to help organizations fighting hunger in the state of Maine. Schatz said $ 2 from every book sold goes to one of 25 different organizations, including the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Midcoast Hunger Prevention Programs, and Maine Meal Assistance.

“We are just thrilled to continue to share people’s family recipes and continue to build community through food and cooking,” said Schatz.

Recipes can be submitted through a portal on their website,, or sent to:
Maine Community Cookbook c / o Rabelais Books

2 Main Street, Suite 18-214

Biddeford, Maine 04005

To get an idea of ​​what editors are looking for, Schatz said to check out this recipe which has already been submitted to “Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2: 200 More Recipes Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State.”

Wassookeag Special

From Randy Hatch, Bangor, Penobscot County

Elsie Mae Sharpe, in the middle, is pictured with her two sisters, Estelle Marie and Winifred Katherine. Credit: Courtesy of Karl Schatz

Wassookeag School Camp, located on Lake Wassookeag, was founded in Dexter in 1926 by my grandfather Lloyd Harvey Hatch, Sr. My great aunt, Elsie Mae Sharpe, Lloyd’s sister-in-law, was legendary for the meals made home that it served to students. The story goes that one day there were unexpected exclusive guests for a lunch, and “Aunt” did not have a suitable dessert. With the supplies on hand, she developed a dessert that has been enjoyed for years. When asked for the name of the dessert, she replied “The Wassookeag Special”.


1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup little butter, melted

1 egg

Enough milk to fill 1 cup when combined with butter and eggs (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Chocolate sauce

2 tablespoons of butter

3 squares of unsweetened chocolate

2 cups of sugar

Pinch of salt

2/3 cup hot water

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Whipped cream, for serving

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and lightly flour a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Pour the melted butter into a glass measuring cup. Crack the egg into the butter, then fill with milk until you have 1 cup. Add the vanilla. Incorporate the liquid ingredients in the dry. Pour batter into muffin cups and cook until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.

To make the sauce: Place the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. When the butter has melted, add the chocolate squares and stir until melted. Then add the sugar, salt and hot water. Boil, 12 to 15 minutes, until thick syrup consistency. Flavor with vanilla.

To serve: Heat the cupcakes. When ready to serve, pour the hot sauce on top and then the whipped cream.


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