Monday, January 28, 2013

You can cook up some Yankee yumminess with my cousin.

My mother grew up in a late-1800's farmhouse with a big barn in the back and woods that hid trails weaving up to a ledge where you could look out over the river and see the city across the water.  

Listening to her tell stories about her childhood there is one of my all-time favorite things.

As a little girl, we spent summers in that house.  
It is still a magical place to me. 
Just ask my husband and kids.  They probably plug their ears now when we drive by, so they don't hear the five bazillionth time I say, 
"I wish we could buy that old house..."  

The old house on Route 9 holds a lot of memories.  
My uncle pranking my mother mercilessly.
Ponies and chickens running around (they may have been confined, but in my imagination they are running around, ok?) 
My Bampa coming in with the smell of cucumbers and soil and Ivory soap on him after a morning spent in the garden. 
My Meem in the kitchen with the tin roof, light sparkling from a crystal in the window while she drinks coffee and reads the paper. 
My mother hanging on to the underside of a horse she tried to ride without the saddle properly strapped on.  (true story) 

And Cousin Jackie. 

He was another big brother to my mom...  Her cousin, who came to live with them as a teenager.  
I met him when I was little, and I remember he had eyes that danced. 
He is a part of the story in that house. 

Last week, his son Jim stopped by the yellow couch!  He's right here in the area cooking up a storm, like the generations before him.  He's from a long line of Yankee Chefs!  

So the other day my 4-year old asked me if we could make bagels. 
I told her, "Sweetie, people don't make bagels.  I'm sorry.  We have to buy them."   
(Please don't tell my cousin Jim I said that....  He posted a way-cool recipe for homemade bagels on his blog and on his Bangor Daily News blog, so now I have exactly zero excuses.)

Since what the heck is better with coffee than bagels, I had to share.  I know you'll enjoy meeting him.

Maybe you also thought bagels had to be purchased...? (if I'm the only human being on earth who didn't dare to attempt making a bagel, please go easy on me in the comments).


  1. I sooo remember going to their house in Brewer. Aunt Marion and Uncle Woody would let us trapse up the mountain and cut down our own Christmas tree when we were little. I still am told stories about Uncle Woody by those who remembered him. Mostly about how a rough and "monkey Greased" man who just got done working on lawn mowers would go into his shop and work the most delicate repairs on very fine stringed instruments. In fact, "Uncle Jackie"(Dad)and I went their to get my first violin when I was about 8 years old. That old farmhouse certainly holds memories for all of us and it certainly would be glorious to stop by there, walk in, sit down and have a cup of coffee again with the Baileys.

    1. How special, to find your trees up in those woods! And I agree about Bampa. He had so many gifts and the stories of violinists in the family could probably fill a whole book - I hope to know even more of the stories one day.