Last year about this time, Elaine Wallace was in Kansas boxing up her cookbook collection. At the same time, our family friend Del was getting ready here in Illinois to go pick them up. Two wonderful and amazing people who I still can never thank enough.
Elaine wrote me out of the blue and offered her collection of close to 900 cookbooks after she read about the flood of The Culinary Cellar. I was so thrilled and grateful, but not able to drive to Kansas. When our friend Del, who loves road trips offered to go pick them up, I was happily dumbfounded that someone would do that! Read the full story here.
There has hardly been a week gone by where I haven’t gone down to the Cellar to bring a few of Elaine’s books upstairs, and could enjoy reading them for hours. Since there are so many, it will take a long time to go through them all, so I decided why not just write about some a little at a time. For the next week, I’ll show you some that I have enjoyed. There will be a mix of old, newer, vintage, and classic. Elaine and I must have been connected in some cosmic way because every book she sent was either ones I had lost in the flood and now I have back, or other books I didn’t have, that I would have bought myself. I tried to find ones for this week that are good for summer cooking or baking. Let’s start with this one. How can I resist a cookbook with the words “Summer on the Vineyard,” plus a dog on the cover who looks like our beloved dog, Sam, who died of old age years ago. He was such a good boy.
The Black Dog is a restaurant and tavern in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. It has grown from a small local establishment to a destination of celebrities and even a former president. It began in 1971 by Captain Bob Douglas who named the restaurant for his beloved black dog. People line up starting early to enjoy the bountiful breakfasts with such offerings as andouille omelets, banana blueberry pancakes, cranberry almond scones, or my favorite, “Jack Went Fishing,” an omelet with smoked bluefish and cream cheese.
A famous lunch favorite is quahog (clam) chowder that has been on the menu since the beginning. Or how about a watercress mushroom soup, a huge variety of salads and pastas, or a jalapeno shrimp quesadilla with a roasted corn salsa. Dinners include a pan-seared codfish with a creamy lobster sauce; flounder stuffed with a scallop mousse; beef, lamb, and chicken dishes; in other words everything sounds incredible in this cookbook. Oh wait, almost forgot desserts: fudge bottom pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, blackout cake, or blueberry bread pudding with a lemon sauce. Are you ready for a summer road trip yet to the vineyard? Yeah, me too.
Buy this book.