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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Just a few ingredients


As Amy Clarke and I prepared the free community meal a few weeks ago, we talked about simple, few-ingredient recipes we like. A week later, I had a “four-ingredient dinner” with my friends, Grace Edwards, Sue Tippett, Karen Warren, and Xin Xin Tarren. We enjoyed salmon prepared with Grace’s four-ingredient marinade (olive oil, crushed garlic, cilantro or Italian flat-leaf parsley, lime juice), a grated carrot, chopped mint, lemon juice, and golden raisin salad I learned from Emily Oppegard, and Sue’s four-ingredient broccoli (broccoli stir-fried with tamari, olive oil, lemon juice).

The next day, Amy wrote to me, saying “I was making this pie when I realized it only had four ingredients! My mother has been making it as long as I can remember.”

I asked Amy why it’s called Cutler Point Blueberry Pie.

Amy asked her mother and told me, “When my parents, Bob and Nancy Sawyer, were first married and had little money, my mother’s parents paid for my parents (and me, once I arrived!) to go on vacation in Maine for a week each summer with them. Everyone went to a restaurant on Cutler Point one night (my parents can’t remember the name) where the lobster bisque and blueberry pie were just delicious. Grammy Thayer and Mom went into the kitchen to thank the chef, and he gave them the recipe for blueberry pie. So, whatever they called it there — it’s Cutler Point Blueberry pie to us!”

What simple, tasty few-ingredient recipes did you learn from your mother or grandmother? What is your favorite few-ingredient cookbook? World Eye Bookshop has these intriguing cookbooks: “Delish: Just Four Ingredients Fast” by Editors of Delish and “Fix-It and Enjoy-It! Five Ingredient Cookbook” by Phyllis Pellman Good.

I’d love to share more few-ingredient recipes on the Aug. 14 food page when I write about the Really, Really Free Market at the Free Harvest Supper. (FHS is on Sunday, Aug. 18, visit for information and to volunteer). Please send me your favorite few-ingredient recipes.

Attention, Jam-Makers! Norma Johnson from Montague wants to know if any of my jammer readers get good spreadability (without runniness or stiffness) without commercial pectin, and what techniques they use. Please send me any advice you have so I can share it in this column.

Two Upcoming Greenfield Com-munity College Food Classes:

Food Preservation & Storage: Learn techniques for preserving and storing food. Topics include: kitchen safety, food safety, canning basics, dehydration, cold storage and freezing, food selection, choosing and maintaining equipment, and awareness of local food resources. Wednesdays, 6 to 9 p.m., July 31 to Aug. 28. Franklin County Tech School, Turners Falls.

Wild Foods: Introduction to observing, identifying, harvesting and preserving native plants, herbs, and weeds for edible and nutritional purposes. Topics include turning common weeds, including invasive species, into value-added products, improving productivity of farms, gardens or homesteads. Mondays, 1 to 4 p.m., July 22, July 29, August 19, and Monday, Aug. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Greenfield Community College and Amherst (for field days)

Register through Community Education (not for credit) at:

Or register for credit at:

This week we’re eating. . .


By Amy Clarke, Greenfield (learned from her mother, Nancy Sawyer)

1 graham cracker crust — homemade is best

4 C. blueberries

1 C. sugar

2 heaping T. cornstarch

In saucepan, combine 1 C. sugar, 1 C. berries, cornstarch, and 1/2 C. water. Stir constantly over medium high heat until very thick and very dark purple. You barely should be able to tell the berries from the sauce. Remove from heat, add remaining berries, pour into crust, and refrigerate 4 hours or more. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. We don’t eat blueberry pie any other way!

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