Orr’s, Bailey fire department re-releases cookbook

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HARPSWELL — A slice of local history is back with the republication by the Orr’s and Bailey Islands Fire Department of a popular cookbook.

Originally released in 1976 to benefit the volunteer department, the cookbook – subtitled “Delicious Recipes from the Coast of Maine” – was updated this year.

Proceeds from sales go toward maintaining the Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, next to the Orr’s Island fire station. The schoolhouse is managed by the Fire department for community and other events.

The book contains more than 300 recipes, divided into categories like soups, salads and vegetables; appetizers and beverages; meat and poultry; fish and seafood; cakes, cookies, pies and desserts, and pickles and preserves.

“We have recipes showing the frugal Yankee nature, such as Aunt Vidie’s Cod Head Chowder – waste not, want not – or the What You Fish! Hash,” said Venise Minkowsky, a Fire Department board member and head of its Schoolhouse Committee, which produced the cookbook.

The book, which has pages devoted to the town of Harpswell and the schoolhouse, also includes helpful hints for all occasions. These include 100 baking and 75 household tips.

Copies are on sale at many local businesses, including the Store on Orr’s, the Fishnet Cafe, Island Candy Co., Land’s End Gift Shop and the Bailey Island General Store, all on Route 24.

The book can also be ordered by sending $12 for one copy, plus $5 for shipping and handling and $1 for each additional book, to OBIFD-Schoolhouse, P.O. Box 162, Orr’s Island, ME 04066.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.