By Christina Shepherd McGuire
A beautiful hardbound copy of New England Farmgirl: Recipes & Stories from a Farmer’s Daughter (Gibbs Smith, 2015) by Jessica Robinson brought me back to the summer roadside stands of my childhood in Connecticut. As you open the first page, imagine that you’ve just closed the door of your rusty old pickup and are traveling north over New England’s backroads and covered bridges in search of local fare. Each chapter—such as A Fruitful Harvest, Homegrown, or Yankee Backyard Entertaining—comes with a foreword full of fond family memories, New England artisanal finds, and timeless kitchen teachings to pass on to children. Even if you’re not a New Englander or never plan on visiting, you can still relish Robinson’s farm tales and seasonal recipes. Entertain guests with her Blackberry and Blueberry Spiked Lemonade, add late summer’s fresh corn to her Sweet Cornbread recipe, or indulge in her Apple Cider Donuts this fall. The Pop’s Baked Beans and Roasted Chicken recipes lend downhome twists to comfortable dishes. Step into New England Farmgirl and you’ll find yourself daydreaming of dusty fall roads and savory kitchen smells.