A array of old Maine cookbooks. Credit:

Fiddleheads. Needhams. Bean-hole beans. Blueberry pie. Those iconic Maine treats are just some of the recipes that are likely to be included in a planned cookbook, “The Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook: 200 Recipes Celebrating Maine’s Culinary Past, Present, & Future,” due out sometime in 2020, Maine’s bicentennial year.

Writer Margaret Hathaway and photographer Karl Schatz announced the book last week, and are accepting submissions from Mainers all across the state, asking for their family recipes both old-fashioned and new-fangled, as well as accompanying photos.

“Maine has this long tradition of community cookbooks. Towns and organizations and churches would do them as fundraisers, or to celebrate something, so this project totally draws inspiration from that,” Schatz said. “The idea of doing a collection like this for the Bicentennial really seemed like a no-brainer to us.”

Schatz said he and Hathaway envision a book that spans the gamut from recipes from indigenous people to recipes from new Mainers recently arrived from other parts of the world.

“There is a Native food tradition that predates statehood, and then there’s a burgeoning population of new Mainers that are bringing their own food traditions and co-mingling it with established traditions,” he said. “And then there are all the classic recipes that so many people are so familiar with. It’s blueberry pie and lobster rolls, but it’s so much more.”

Don Lingren, an antiquarian bookseller who owns Rabelais Books in Biddeford, which specializes in rare books, manuscripts, ephemera and other materials related to culinary history, will write a foreword for the cookbook.

“The Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook” will be published by Islandport Press in June 2020, and is partially cosponsored by the Maine 200 Bicentennial Commission. The deadline to submit recipes is Jan. 10, 2020, the same day that a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of the book will end. Schatz said that the preferred method of submitting recipes, photos and stories is online at maine200cookbook.com, but the authors will also accept mailed recipes and physical photos.

“We want to get as many recipes and photos and stories as we can, and then pick out the 200 of them that will best tell the story of where we’ve been, and where we might be going,” he said.

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SUNDAY PICNIC: This wonderful family photograph of a roadside picnic in Robbinston, Maine, ca. 1932, was submitted by Amy E. Waterman of Brunswick. What delicious treats were in their picnic baskets? What were the recipes they might have packed for their trip? We can’t wait to hear from Mainers all over the state, from Robbinston to Rockport, with submissions of their family recipes, and family photos of cooking together or eating together, like this one. Submit your family recipes, recipe cards and photos at https://maine200cookbook.com. You can pre-order the cookbook through our Kickstarter campaign at https://maine200cookbook.com/support. For a $50 pledge of support, you can get a copy of the book, AND ensure that your family photo submission is included as part of this historic celebration of Maine food. … #maine200cookbook #letsgetcooking #maine #bicentennial #maine200 #mainebicentennial #food #cookbook #mainehomecooking #mainecooking #mainefood #mainerecipes #mainehistory #mainefoodhistory #communitycookbook #communitycookbooks #mainecommunitycookbook #mainebicentennialcommunitycookbook #maine200recipes … #family #picnic #familypicnic #history #1930s #antiquecars

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Hathaway and Schatz have together written five books on Maine food, including “The New Portland, Maine, Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Coast of Maine” and “The Food Lover’s Guide to Maine.” They own and operate Ten Apple Farm, a working farm and guesthouse in Gray, where they live with their three daughters.

Schatz said he and Hathaway very purposefully announced the cookbook just before Thanksgiving, with the hope of capitalizing on a holiday that is centered around food.

“This is the time of year that everyone is bringing out those old family recipes and really focusing on food, so hopefully we can capture some of that enthusiasm,” Schatz said.

The Maine Bicentennial Committee announced two other new initiatives in the past few weeks, including the creation of two bicentennial commemorative coins, which went on sale Monday. The coins come in a limited edition in nickel ($25) or an unnumbered edition in brass ($17), and both feature an image of a moose and Mount Kineo on one side, and of boats in Monhegan Harbor on the other.

The committee also announced the formation of a State of Maine Bicentennial Band, made up of musicians from all over the state, and which will perform at the bicentennial parade on May 20, 2020, in Lewiston and Auburn. More information can be found online at maine200parade.com.

For more information on “The Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook,” visit maine200cookbook.com, or send mail to Maine Bicentennial Cookbook, c/o Rabelais Inc. Fine Books on Food & Drink, 2 Main St., Suite 18-214, Biddeford, Maine 04005.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.