Let’s eat!

Who doesn’t love to indulge in great food every now and again—or even every day? I have my indulgences: A stinky cheese and ooey-gooey expensive chocolate accompanied with a crisp white wine. A beautiful salad or aged beef or lobster fresh off the boat. Blue cheese spread on a fresh fig and wrapped in prosciutto. Yum. For this year’s food-themed issue of Maine Women Magazine, we are focusing on such mouth-watering indulgences.

When I indulge in my version of great food, I like to have friends around. I love to prepare and offer food that my friends enjoy eating. Like Stella Austin, a home cook who has been preparing and sharing food throughout her life, I think food is a natural way to bring people together and to learn about each other. Read more about Austin on page 28. I have some good friends who I cook for regularly at our camp in Carrabassett Valley. I enjoy cooking there because I have more time to linger and experiment. Many of the meals I serve there are “first time” trials—and no one seems to mind. I have learned, though, that in order to enjoy the maximum amount of conversation and visiting, the meal must be a slow process with the main course being served a couple of hours into the visit. And we always have dessert!

Dessert is a popular indulgence, and we are featuring some wonderful sweet treats in this issue. Meet Elizabeth Hussey, a fourth-generation owner and operator of the well-known Reilly’s Bakery on Main Street in Biddeford. You can almost smell the bread baking as you read her story of growing up in the bakery her family owned since the beginning. Reilly’s has been a Biddeford fixture for the past 108 years, but Hussey is the first woman at the helm. She is certainly putting her touch and her personality in all the wonderful baked goods she and her team are creating. Read all about it on page 22.

April Sartuché creates art with her beautiful treats from her home studio in Casco. The 49-year-old owner of Aprilla Cakes charted a very different course that brought her to where she is now. Sartuché creates stunning cakes and cookies—including lifelike sugar succulents and edible moss Italian shortbread, dazzling shapes and cakes that look like birch trees, brightly colored bouquets and works of modern art. One might think her life has been all sweetness and love when, in fact, she was drawn to both Maine and to her individual style of creative baking by a desire to survive difficult circumstances. Learn more about her journey on page 18. I can attest to the fabulous work she does—having eaten way too many of the wonderful little chocolate cupcakes that are topped with a rich vanilla icing and a fresh chocolate dipped rainier cherry. Wow! We shared a delightful number of these and other treats in the office—definitely indulgent and highly recommended!

This issue of MWM is packed with lots of great food content and more. We’ve got fashion, books, parenting, things to do, poetry and art. Take us with you to enjoy the last (less crowded) beach days or keep us on the coffee table all month long. Look for our Women’s Work issue at the end of September and, until then, I hope you indulge!

Lee Hews

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