Cookbook Review: Eventide

I adore this book. Eye catching and very “Maine”, this book has the ability to grab your attention, no matter who you are or where you are from. It’s a delightful look at small town Maine’s seafood shack culture for visitors looking to explore Maine cuisine outside of the Old Port. It features Eventide recipes that are synonymous with the elevated and exclusive seafood dining experience you count on when you walk into the restaurant. It dives into complicated, day long adventure recipes (clambake, anyone?) and recipes that are easy to store and enjoy for months. It’s a celebration of Seafood Shacks (there is an actual list of off the beaten path shacks that make for the perfect road trip) and shows love to the generations of locals who willed and work these shacks into existence every day.

This book celebrates Maine and everything that makes this state so great. Hard work, love of community, and so much grit. It’s a salty adventure and I can’t get enough of it. I feel like the true testament of a great cookbook is that you not only find recipes that are fun and new but you find a collection of new staple recipes – dishes that you are instantly obsessed with and find yourself leaning on and making again and again. Eventide isn’t short on recipes that fit this description and I’ve pulled my personal selection just for you.

Flavored Ice. Regardless of whether or not you’ve had this or heard of it before, all you need is a love of oysters and you have every excuse to whip one (or three!) of these up next time you get oysters, from the slightly more complex Kimchi ice to a simple (and hot pink) pickled red onion ice, there is something fun and delicious for everyone. The book features nine tasty ices which, when stored in the freezer, last for 2 months! I always have excess mignonette sauce that I end up dumping so I love that these recipes make a lot and nothing goes to waste.

 

The Maine Clambake. What a fun adventure, truly. My partner and I trekked down to Cape Elizabeth, onto a beach, and hauled seaweed and salt water back to our truck in 5-gallon buckets. Creating our clambake vessel was an absolute labor of love and was probably the most labor intensive part of the clambake (it’s a clean/chainsawed-in-half oil drum!) When it comes down to cook times and layering techniques, Eventide spares no tip or trick. They really walk you through how to create a memorable clambake in your back yard, on the beach, or in your apartment (yes, they created a special small kitchen recipe too!)  

Dessert! My partner’s mom, Kathy, dove into the Eventide dessert section and one treat rose to the top of our list – Eventide’s Whoopie Pie. I don’t normally like whoopie pies. They are sweet in a way that doesn’t normally land with me. It's like there is an articial sweetener in most pies that I can’t handle. With that, I have to say – I love Eventide’s whoopie pies. I ate 3 in one sitting and surprised myself. They were light as air, full of natural flavor, and won me over like no whoopie has before.  

Cocktails, because of course. Tea with a Twist is the last recipe in the book. It’s a sweet and dangerous beverage probably because it tastes so familiar - it's like a Wawa Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade (Philadelphia knows what I'm talking about) with a hint of something magical. That something magical is a lot of vodka. This recipe makes a ton of tea so feel free to halve or even quarter this recipe when you try it. This was another creation Kathy made and after drinking far too much, this sweet tea was affectionately nicknamed “Kathy’s Jungle Juice”. 

This book is fun, beautiful, and a cherished part of my cookbook collection. A relic of the Maine seafood scene - from the Old Port to the quiet parts of Maine’s glorious coastline. I've found new summertime staples that I can't wait to create, year after year, and am confident you'll feel the same way. Enjoy! **chef's kiss**

Julia Bretz

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