Where in Maine?
The folks here at the Phippsburg Congregational Church were delighted to see the photograph of our beloved church in your December issue. Our faith community was founded in 1765 and originally met in a meetinghouse across the Kennebec River, in what is now Arrowsic. Construction of our current church building was started in 1795 and completed in 1802 (not the 1820s, as you printed). Since your photograph was taken, we have added a new building, the Linden Tree Meetinghouse. The great English linden tree in front of the church dates to 1774 and was most likely planted by Mrs. Mary McCobb, who split off a portion of her estate to allow for construction of the church.
-Reverend Mark D. WilsonDelicious Donuts
Pastor, Phippsburg Congregational Church,
United Church of Christ
I am compelled to respond to the letter in your December issue challenging your inclusion of a donut recipe with your October article about Franco-American cooking. I fried up a batch of chef James Tranchemontagne's donuts (with maple frosting) using his recipe. They taste just like the ones I ate in Maine in the 1950s and 1960s while working on the staff for Camp Natarswi, north of Millinocket. Ranger Wilbur Smith and his wife often invited me into their cabin where Mrs. Smith fried up donuts. While she stuffed me with donuts and prepared even more "to go," we shared a lot of laughter along with the latest Baxter State Park gossip.
Donuts may not be uniquely Franco-American, but any recipe that takes me back to some of the great people I've known and the places I've been to in Maine gets my everlasting gratitude.
-Barbara LucasGenetic Threat
Describing new ways of using potato starch to make plastic as "back to the future" ["North by East," October 2007] is dangerously misleading. We are several decades into a Brave New World where plastics are being made by biotech corporations who splice foreign genetic material into crops. The dangers of genetic engineering are not hypothetical: Contamination of non-GE fields has occurred through pollen transported by water and wind; by birds, rodents, and insects; by spilled seed and unharvested seed sprouting the next year; and by means of farm machinery.
It is only a matter of time until the potato lobby decides that farmers should grow a GMO variety for non-food crops. In this Brave New Future, our only hope for truly sustainable green plastics in Maine is the formulation of stringent guidelines to protect health and the environment.