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Jan 5, 2012 08:40 PM

New England Food Writer - ? 50 Years Ago?

Brain freeze....augggh! Have been trying for several weeks to remember a man who wrote a book about New England foods, at least covered it. Kenneth something? I am convinced that he was the first person to bring it to my attention that people ate bone marrow, and this was...indeed, maybe 50 years ago. Or maybe this should go in the New England section.

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  1. Can't help you with the book, but I can confirm that we ate, and loved, bone marrow -- this was in RI in the 60s. Loved it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob W

      Not so fast Bob W... I was eating bone marrow in the '40s. My mother roasted the bones frequently and yes, it was north of Boston.

    2. Kenneth Roberts? He was from Maine. He died in '57.

      9 Replies
      1. re: andieb

        Bingbinbbing, that's it. Now to do more Googling... Thanks!

        1. re: andieb

          Kenneth Roberts wrote a lot of historical novels.

          1. re: sr44

            Yes, but it seems he also participated in a Cb called Good Maine Food. I don't know if that is the book I read or if it was someone riffing on it, but the time frame is right. I may have to buy the (used) book to find out.

            1. re: lemons

              I think that book was by Kenneth's niece, whose name I'm not remembering. What's most annoying is that I have a copy, and can't find it! It was recommended to me many years ago by John Thorne, another damn fine Maine food guy, when we were corresponding on topics of regional cooking. Another literary lion from there who also did a lot of food writing was Robert P. Tristram Coffin; I have the first issue of Gourmet, which appeared at approximately the same time I did - January 1941 - and it has a fine article by Coffin.

              1. re: Will Owen

                A big thumbs up to John Thorne, whose discussion of ham marrow is in his book about 8 inches from this computer!

                1. re: Will Owen

                  The book is called "Good Maine Food", written by Marjorie Mosser, Kenneth Robert's secretary. The introduction and recipe notes are written by Roberts. The ISBN # is 0-89272-038-7. I picked up a new copy for sale in Bar Harbor in the late 90's.

                  1. re: Rusticfood

                    Yup; Amazon has it used. I'm thinking I'm gonna get it.

                  2. re: Will Owen

                    Have yuou read Mainstays of Maine, a collection of his pieces? I found to style not for me but the material lots of fun.

            2. There was a collection of his stuff, mostly chapters from his novels but quite a few food essays as well, called The Kenneth Roberts Reader. We had that when I was a kid, and I remembered the chapter that had a recipe for hot buttered rum. Years later, I was freezing my butt off up in Sonora, and all I could get for that HB rum was Trader Vic's batter. Then one day, in a junk store, I found a copy of that Reader - hooray! I paid the 50¢ they were asking, ran home with it, looked for the recipe … and Mr. Roberts said, "This recipe for an excellent batter comes from my good friend, Victor Bergeron"!

              In all fairness, homemade IS better, but the memory of my girlfriend falling out of her chair laughing lingers yet.