There are some recipes that, to practice the art of being a Marblehead, well, you just have to know. Here are some, but not all.


Court bouillon: In a large enamel or stainless steel pot, combine:

6 cups of cold water
3 cups good dry white wine
2 finely-chopped onions
a bay leaf
one-half teaspoon thyme
3 0r 4 parsley stems
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 white peppercorns

Bring slowly to a boil, and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain the court bouillon and return to the pot.

Bring the strained court bouillon to a boil and place 2 or 3 1 1/4 pound lobsters head first into the boil fluid. Cover tightly, and cook briskly without boiling over for 12 to 15 minutes. Test one of the lobsters for doneness, and if cooked, transfer the lobsters to a dish. Reserved the cooking fluid

As soon as the lobsters are cool enough to handle, twist off the claws and tail, crack the claws in 1 or 2 places and remove the meat. Turn the lobster on its back, cut the soft underside lengthwise with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Remove the meat from the tail and from the body as much as possible. Discard the stomach and intestinal vein, but reserve the tomally (the green liver). Cut the meat into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.

Cut the shells into 3 or 4-inch pieces and return to the reserved cooking fluid. Bring to a boil, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes. Strain the shells and liquid through a sieve lined with dampened cheesecloth. Return the liquid to a clean pot, and reduce over high heat to 2 cups.

Force the tomally through a fine sieve into a medium-sized bowl and blend with three egg yolks. Add four cups light cream to the reduced stew base and slowly bring to a simmer. Slowly add some of the hot liquid to the egg yolk and tomally mixture, being careful not to let it become too hot or the yolks will curdle. Add the warmed egg yolk and tomally to the stew liquid. Add the lobster meat and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve with a crusty French bread. Serves 6.


(left) The Captain of the Muscobe, Joel P. Gleason, Sr. and (right) The proud and mighty Muscobe.

1-1/2 to 2 pounds of fish (Haddock preferable, or cusk)
1/2 stick butter
3 onions, sliced
3 potatoes, cubed (leave skin on)
1 bay leaf
chopped parsley
salt pork (if desired)
2 bottles clam juice
2 cans evaporated milk
salt & pepper

* * * * * * *

Boil potatoes in saucepan, apprx. 10 minutes, but do not cook thoroughly.
Sautee onions in butter in large, deep pot until soft and transparent.
Add potatoes, bay leaf, salt pork and sprinkle in parsley.
Add clam juice - simmer 5 minutes over medium heat.
Lay fish over ingredients in pot; cover & cook 10 minutes.
Add evaporated milk, salt & pepper.
Lower heat and simmer at least one hour. (It's even better the next day.)
Serve in individual chowder bowls & sprinkle on a little paprika.

Next time, for variety, instead of salt pork, crunch up & add one or two
pieces of very crisp bacon.

3. THE ORIGINAL "Lily Pad-Shaped"

Sift together:

7 cups of flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespooon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon each: clove, fresh nutmeg, allspice

Combine ingredients in 3/4 cup of hot water with 1/4 cup of rum.
Combine 2 teaspoons baking soda with 2 cups of very dark molasses
Cream (mix together thoroughly) 1 cup of shortening and 2 cups of sugar

Add sifted ingredients, the water-rum mix, and the molasses mix to the creamed mixture.

Chill the dough.

Roll out 1/4" thick on floured board, cut with a 4" diameter cutter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

One may vary the rum to water ratio as the mood or season dictates.

HISTORICAL NOTE: Named for Revolutionary War patriot, Joseph Brown, these large cookies were said to be the size of the frogs in "Black Joe's" Pond. Marblehead's early fishermen used to take the cookies with them on long voyages to the Grand Banks as a standard part of the ship's provisions. The ingredients of rum and seawater acted as preservatives. They are now a cherished Marblehead tradition with "original recipes" circulating rapidly for historic authenication by native Marbleheaders. The cookies were first made in the 1800's by Lucretia Brown, Joseph's wife. While today the cookies are mostly round, in the beginning they were described as "lily pad" shaped.

Time 1.5 hours

Butter for greasing plan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sups buttermilk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups raisins or currants
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment or waxed paper.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds.
3. Pour batter into skillet. Bruch top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.

If you like, cut some tart apples into slices and slice some good, aged cheddar cheese and serve with the soda bread.

Time: 5 to 7 hours

7 to 8 Habinaro chilis
6 Sabrenno chilis
6 Red chili peppers
Jalapenos to taste
A lot of ground chili pepper
1.5 pounds of not lean hamburger
.5 pound of ground pork
One cup of fresh salsa
One large onion
Garlic (optional)
Salt and black pepper
Up to 2 quarts of water

All chilis should be only cut once in half and once more in half, that's it. Leave all seeds on.

Brown hamburger and pork in a large skillet. Remove most of the grease.
Add onion, salt and black pepper as you brown.
Generously coat browned meat with ground red chili pepper until completely coated and covered. (More than you may think is wise to add.)
Add all chili peppers
Add Salsa
Simmer for 5 to 7 hours, adding water continuously as chili thickens. Keep your eye closely on the pan so it doesn't burn. If you have to stop the simmering and resume later that's okay. But the full time will render postitive digestive results if you know what we mean.

Serve with fresh bread and butter, and lots of ice water for drinks. When first tasted the usual comment is, "Are you nuts?" But as you courageously proceed you will see what we love about this Marbehead traditional dish, concocted to commemorate the famous fires that burnt Marblehead to the ground ... twice.

Serves two generously.


20 minutes to make, 20 minutes to bake


1/2 cuo eggs whites, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 box Odense Almond Paste, grated
2 cups powdered sugar
14 oz package sweetened flake coconut
Optional: Melting chocolate, to drizzle over cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookies sheets with parchment or foil. In large bowl beat egg
whites and extract until firm, but not dry. In separate bowl beat Almond Oaste, sugar and coconut until the texture of small crumbs. Gently fold mixtures together. Drop tablespoons of dough 1 inch apart onto cookie
sheets (small scoop with wire release works well). Bake for 18 minutes, or until lightly browned on bottom,
and firm to touch. Cool cookies on wire racks. Leave plain or decorate with chocolate if desired.

Yeild: approximately 35 cookies



2 cups oats groats
3/4 cup dates
1/2 cup dried raisins, chopped
1/2 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 apples, coarsely grated
(optional, use only if prefer a chewier, heavier cookie)
1/2 cup raw cashews

Place oat groats in a food processor and grind until fine. If you don't have a food processor, use a blender and add a little maple syrup to help the dough turn over. Transfer the groats to a mixing bowl and add dates, raisins, almonds, and apple (optional) and mix the batter well. Set aside. In a coffee grinder grind the cashews until they resemble a silky flour. On a mesh dehydrator sheet shape the batter into the desired cookie shapes, using the cashew flour for easier handling of the batter. Keep in mind that the thicker you shape the cookies, the longer they take to dehydrate. Dehydrate the cookies at 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) until they reach your preferred texture, around 12 hours. They don't need to be crunchy all the way through.



1 can of organic tomatoes
1 large jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seed to reduce heat)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Blend ingredients together to achieve the desired consistency. | Search | Ask | Archives | Online Store | Contact Us
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