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These Lemon Cookies Are a Timeless Treat

Two Rivers Lunch, in Allagash, serves up an old family recipe.

Two Rivers Lunch lemon cookies
By Joel Crabtree
Photographed by Michael D. Wilson

At Two Rivers Lunch, in Allagash, Leitha Kelly has folded tender sugar cookies around dollops of lemon curd ever since opening the diner, in 1976. Before that, her mother made the same cookies. And before that, she says, her mother’s mother probably made them, and so on. Kelly’s daughter, Darlene Kelly Dumond, runs Two Rivers now, but Kelly, at 80, still bakes the lemon cookies, which have devotees ranging from the hunters who come in every fall to stock up before trips into the woods to the woman who moved away to California and had a batch shipped cross-country so she could share them with her coworkers. “You realize how important those simple recipes that were carried down from generation to generation are,” says Dumond, who learned to cook the diner’s repertoire by watching her mother add a “tad” of this or a “ladleful” of that. “They’re soothing and comforting and so good.”

Two Rivers Lunch is the last place to grab a square meal — and a round cookie — before entering the northernmost stretch of the North Maine Woods. 75 Dickey Rd., Allagash. 207-398-3393.