I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved lighthouses. Growing up in Massachusetts, and spending plenty of time on the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, I guess that’s no surprise. So when I was asked to review a cookbook that focused on recipes from some of the country’s beautiful landmark lighthouses, I eagerly accepted the opportunity.
The American Lighthouse Cookbook: The Best Recipes and Stories from America’s Shorelines, by Becky Sue Epstein and Ed Jackson is just as much a history book as a cookbook. Divided into eight regions (the Northeast Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast Atlantic, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Gulf Coast, Hawaii and California, Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and the Great Lakes), this book gives you a taste of various regional cuisines along with facts and stories about each lighthouse. As you might imagine, the recipes focus on seafood dishes, but there is actually a wonderful variety of recipes.
I decided to test out a recipe for Cranberry Nut Bread from the Bass River Lighthouse in West Dennis, Mass. (that’s on Cape Cod for those who aren’t familiar with the area). Cranberries are synonymous with Massachusetts, so I knew this was going to be good. And I was right. The recipe formed a perfectly shaped, slightly dense quick bread that was just amazing warm from the oven.
I was given permission to share this recipe with my readers, and I know you’re going to love it. If nothing else, be sure to bookmark it and give it a try next fall when everyone is craving the sweet-tart taste of cranberries.
Cranberry Nut Bread
from The American Lighthouse Cookbook: The Best Recipes and Stories from America’s Shorelines
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. AP flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. milk
1 c. walnuts, toasted
1/2 c. dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard-sized loaf pan. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar. Mix in the butter. In a separate bowl, blend together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Alternately add the flour mixture to the milk and egg mixture. Fold in the walnuts and cranberries. Power the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 50-60 min. Bread is done when a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Another thing I like about the book is that it’s not just a grouping of random recipes. Each lighthouse has recipes that together form a complete meal. If you want to find a unique menu for dinner with friends, chances are there’s something in The American Lighthouse Cookbook that will sound delicious and take all the thinking out of planning your meal. It’s a really unique way of setting up a cookbook, and I see myself referring to this one quite a bit when the weather warms up and I’m feeling more like fish and vegetable recipes.
The introduction of the book states that it “couples food with the romance of the seacoast, adding a dash of history and wrapping it in the very current ‘eat local’ movement.” I am definitely looking forward to taking that to heart because it features a delicious breakfast from the Saugerties Lightouse — less than half an hour away from here. Ah yes… Saugerties Lightouse pancakes, New York cherries with granola and yogurt, oven-roasted bacon, scrambled eggs, and fried potatoes with cheddar cheese and scallions. Sounds like a perfect Sunday brunch if you ask me!
I received a free copy of The American Lighthouse Cookbook: The Best Recipes and Stories from America’s Shorelines. The opinions expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone. I received no further compensation for writing a review of the book.