Vintage Recipe: Frugal Portland, Maine Duchess Potatoes

While the world is abuzz about the Duchess of Sussex “stepping back” from her royal duties (seriously, though, I didn’t see that coming and apparently neither did the Queen!) I’ve stepped back in time and from the fancification of Duchess potatoes with this simple, frugal 1915 recipe found inside a Portland, Maine elementary school book. All that is required to make these tasty little puffs are three ingredients plus salt and pepper for seasoning.

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A Chairlift into the Clouds, a Carousel Ride into the 19th Century & More!

What a weekend! This is a long post loaded with pics and videos. 

Early Saturday morning our first stop on the way to Sunday River for the fall foliage chairlift ride was breakfast at Sunday River Brewing. Wayne ordered the S.O.S. and I ordered the corned beef hash omelette which was delicious. 

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Be a Rebel. Eat a Potato!

I’m naughty, according to many “experts”. I eat a lot of potatoes! Potatoes have an unscientific and undeserved bad reputation among many who recoil at consuming carbohydrates. When I wrote my first vintage diet book I received some feedback from people stating that the wholesome foods I mentioned in the book, like potatoes, make people fat! They will give you diabetes! (Fact: the American Diabetes Association states you CAN have potatoes even when you have diabetes!)

The humble potato, instead of being branded as bad for you or any weight loss program, should have rock star food status. It’s subversive yet secretly healthy! Potatoes in raw form are inexpensive, simple to prepare, delicious and readily available at most grocery stores. They are also a Maine diet staple. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

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Vintage Inspired Recipe: Old-Fashioned Maine Needhams Potato Candy

If you’re not from Maine, you might think the above photo is of a homemade Mounds candy bar, and you’d probably be shocked to learn that they contain mashed potatoes in the coconut centers! You’re looking at a delicious traditional Maine candy called “Needhams” which have also historically been called “potato candy” or “potato fudge”. However, if you are from Maine and familiar with Needhams you may be surprised to discover that the modern version has gone far astray from yesterday’s healthier and more wholesome homemade versions dating as far back as 1924.

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Saturday Road Trip to Sunday River, Newry

Wayne and I left early yesterday morning to head over to Sunday River Ski Resort to take a scenic ski lift ride. It was another great addition to our Autumn in New England Honeymoon Weekends!

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New England Honeymoon: Apple Picking & Diner Food

We aren’t going on a traditional honeymoon. In lieu of traveling someplace for a week or so we’re enjoying fall in New England which is living our dream. Today we went apple picking at an organic orchard in Hiram, ate at a new-to-us airport diner in Limington and explored antique shops in Cornish.

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Foggy Morning Breakfast By the Sea

Wayne and I enjoyed a wonderful al fresco breakfast at Inn By the Sea in Cape Elizabeth this morning followed by a walk along the gardens and path to the beach.

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Recipe: Smashed Red Potatoes with Pizzazz

My love of mashed potatoes started back when I was a little girl eating the “Little Jack Horner” from the Fort Lee Diner’s kids’ menu in the late 60s/early 70s. It was a slice of rare roast beef Au Jus with a small mound of creamy whipped potatoes served by my favorite waitress with the large bouffant. My appreciation continued as a young adult during road trips (the most noteworthy one being out to Seattle and back) with truck stop fare for lunch. They always seemed to have the best mashed potatoes. The cafeteria at the University of Maine in Orono used fresh Maine potatoes for theirs.

My own recipe for smashed reds combines Maine red potatoes, Meyer lemon from California and British clotted cream for a harmonious side mash or meal!

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Road Trip to Burlington, Vermont

Wayne and I took a road trip to visit with some friends who live in Richmond, Vermont. We spent the afternoon in Burlington where I lived for three years while in graduate school in the 1990s. It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty years since I was last there! Wayne also went to University of Vermont and managed, then co-owned a legendary restaurant (to Burlington and Portland, Maine locals), Carbur’s. We did not ride in the play VW Bus pictured above which was at Ben & Jerry’s in downtown Burlington.

The Vermont foliage wasn’t peaking the way it is in Maine and parts of New Hampshire, but we saw so many beautiful and interesting things:

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