Of the many blessings to celebrate this holiday, gratitude for our friends, cooks, and volunteers who help neighbors in need within our community certainly tops the list.
Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect on the past year. It is a time to be able to see beyond the struggles, conflicts and negativity that are so often reported on the evening news. A time to be grateful for the good in our lives. The holiday gives one comfort and time to consider those things that hold promise. Once we start focusing on the positive, we will find that it is contagious and leads to contentment and good health.
For me, one individual comes to mind when I think of positivity and promise: my friend Art Baur. I had the privilege of meeting Art and his wife, Elaine, three years ago. I don’t believe I have ever met anyone who displays such a zest for life. Hailing from New York, he and Elaine relocated to Harpswell into the former Sunset Farms restaurant on Basin Cove in 2014.
Art loves to engage with all that Maine has to offer. He loves long-distance biking; enjoys hiking, camping, skiing and boating; and his No. 1 passion is golf. As for growing fruits and vegetables? He captures the concept of gardening with skill and precise detail. The results are a remarkable bounty every year.
Art also has a talent for cooking, so without hesitation, I asked him for his recommendations for side dishes that go beyond the traditional offerings. What follows are two delicious additions that will complement any Thanksgiving menu.
ART’S PUMPKIN OR BUTTERNUT SQUASH CASSEROLE
1 1/4 sticks butter
1 1/2 pounds raw butternut squash or pumpkin, sliced 1/4 inch thick
One very large onion (or two smaller onions) sliced 1/4 inch thick
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a larger casserole dish with some of the butter to prevent sticking.
Start with a layer of squash or pumpkin. Cover with a layer of onion. Add 1/4 of the butter in pats over the layer. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and then some salt and pepper.
Repeat these layers until all the ingredients are used. The top layer should be just pumpkin or squash.
Top with chopped tomatoes.
Bake 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until squash is soft.
Corn pudding complements any Thanksgiving menu. (KATHY D’AGOSTINO PHOTO)
1/2 cup butter, melted then cooled
2 eggs, beaten and mixed with butter (when butter has cooled)
1 16-ounce can white corn (drain off liquid)
1 cup sour cream
1 16-ounce can creamed corn
1 box corn muffin mix (like Jiffy)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease 7-by-11 dish.
Mix everything together and spoon evenly into the greased dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!
Cooking at 43° North, a program of Harpswell Aging at Home, brings Harpswell residents together for cooking programs, in person and online. Watch the Anchor calendar for listings.
HAH always needs cooks for its Meals in a Pinch program, which provides nutritious meals to seniors in need of emergency assistance. For more information, contact Julie Moulton at 207-330-5416 or email@example.com.