Week two, day one started off with two of my family's favorite recipes: American Chop Suey and Brownies. I always remember how excited my dad would get when we sat down to dinner and the meal was American Chop Suey. When he was growing up his mom, my grandmother, would make Marjorie's American Chop Suey recipe, and when my parents got married my mom inherited the cookbook and began making this recipe as well. It become a well loved dish at our house.
For all of these reasons I was excited to bring this recipe into the Blue Elephant. It is a recipe with simple ingredients and simple directions and yet a dish that gives a warm, comforting feeling.
Some people say that the earliest brownie recipe originates from Maine. While it's not clear whether this is true, and it is not Marjorie Standish's recipe, the brownies that I made today did in fact turn out fantastic. I have never made brownies from her cookbook, and I was astonished to find that there was no leavening agent and there was also not a lot of chocolate. The brownies rose very nicely, however they are perhaps the lightest color chocolate brownies I've ever seen, and they almost taste like a mocha brownie.
Today was a cold and dreary day outside, and The Blue Elephant customers took comfort in food items such as the American Chop Suey. Perhaps, though, the best reaction to the Cooking Downeast project to date occurred today when a customer picked up a card on the table advertising the project to ask me a question about the specials. She then proceeded to tell me that she moved to Maine forty years ago and was given Marjorie's cookbooks, and that is how she learned to cook "The Maine Way."