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Two Winnipesaukee women are 'Hungry for Summer'

June 09, 2010
After five years of compiling recipes from hundreds of residents on over 30 islands on Lake Winnipesaukee, Jeannette Buell and Daryl Thompson of Gilford finally polished off and published their original cookbook.

"Hungry for Summer: A Unique Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Island Residents of Lake Winnipesaukee" stays true to local experiences on the lake and family traditions.

It provides stories, personal photos, and snippets of contributors' lives, and the secrets or memories behind their recipes passed down on the islands for generations.

"You get a sense of what island life is like, and how dear it is to families. We want readers to get the feeling of living on the lake. At summer homes, people have company all the time," said Buell.

Thompson said "Hungry for Summer" is much more than a cookbook and not only focuses on recipes, but on a certain lifestyle within the region.

"Some have read it cover to cover so far. It's filled with stories, and it's a good read," said Thompson.

Buell, having lived in the Laconia and Gilford area all of her life, and Thompson, an island resident since birth, wanted to celebrate life on the lake, and represent it through its resourceful cooking.

Buell, a hairdresser, said she was doing Thompson's hair one day, and when a conversation popped up about entertaining guests on an island and the challenges that sometimes come with it, the dream was born.

"We wondered if anyone else had an easier way of doing things and preparing for guests," said Buell. "It's not as convenient to run to the store and get ingredients. Many recipes come from substitutions within the pantry. It's a spontaneous lifestyle."

Thompson said not only is it helpful for the reader to stock up on items that may come in handy when an unexpected guest arrives, but that there is beauty in celebrating the lives of summer residents and family memories.

At first, the two friends thought of creating a board game of some kind, but their thoughts always came back to family meals, and the book evolved.

"We thought collecting recipes from islanders would be easy, but we've been doing this since 2004," said Thompson.

Eventually, they were forced to go dock to dock to retrieve recipes from hundreds of island residents, since flyers were not doing their job. After four years, the recipes and stories were compiled, and by the fifth year, Outskirts Press in Colorado sealed the deal.

Family recipes call for memories, which fill up over 200 pages, along with frozen cocktails and old-fashioned meals and desserts such as the laborious Mark Island Bean Hole Beans, Husband Stealing Huckleberry Pie, Grandma's Molasses Cookies and Hot Diggity Stew.

All 300 recipes have also been "kitchen tested" multiple times for taste and accuracy by Buell and Thompson, who added in a handful of their own personal recipes as well.

Buell and Thompson said while collecting recipes, it became evident that the island style of living is unique in its own, and that residents and visitors have a soft spot in their hearts for the lake, which is why their recipes are viewed as valuable keepsakes.

Thompson said they have a few contributors from California and other states who spent their childhoods in the region and decided to contribute. She said she also found it touching to put faces to the names of the submitters during their first book selling and hopes to meet more along the way.

"Hungry for Summer" is avaliable for order on www.winnicuisine.com and at local bookstores and select gift and garden shops.

Both Buell and Thompson will also be sharing their book at the Gilford Library on Thursday, June 24.

Garnett Hill
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Martin Lord Osman
Garnett Hill
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