new digs for Rabelais

Rob Evans on Chopped

Rob Evans
Our good friend and neighbor, James Beard award-winning chef Rob Evans of Hugo’s, won his episode of Chopped last Tuesday  10/11 at 10:00 on the Food Network. We are bursting our buttons with hometown pride!

Rabelais heads to Toronto!
Tales cover
We will be exhibiting at the Toronto International Book Fair from October 28 thorough the 30th.  If you or anyone you know will be in the area during those dates please come out and see us.  You can get more information here.   If anyone’s got eating recommendations

we’re looking for ideas.

We plan, we toil, we suffer-in the hope of what? A camel-load of idol’s eyes?  The title deeds to Radio City?  The Empire of Asia?  A trip to the moon?  No, no, no, no. Simply to wake just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs.  And, again I cry, how rarely it happens!  But when it does happen-then what a moment, what a morning, what a delight?.

J.B. Priestley

Chicken eaten squash

Here in the Northeast we had a little hurricane, Irene, this Fall. Maybe you heard about it?  Apparently all that water wreaked havoc on our trees. Our Fall foliage display is not what it could be. Many of our Maples have already dropped the majority of their leaves in a muddy brown color.  Driving to the store yesterday was the first time I saw color on the side of the road. Consequently, I have not felt like it is really fall.  Then when the temperature dropped below thirty degrees last week I was jarred out of my Indian Summer reverie.  I rely on my seasonal indicators.  It’s already early October and I wouldn’t know it except for the appearance of Halloween decorations on some of my neighbor’s houses.  Well, I guess all the apples I have been eating are some indication…

Thirteen chicks have turned into a dozen pullets.  We are proud to have lost only one along the way.  Mother Hen has abdicated all responsibility for them.  After just a couple of nervous days they have found their footing and are now roaming the property fearlessly.  We wait to see how many present as roosters.   Likely there will be some Coq au Vin this winter.  Raleigh keeps an eye on them, as do the older flock members.  Young and old are now integrated and there is some semblance of order on the farm.


Change is afoot. If you’ve been in the store any time in the last year or two you have noticed all the boxes cluttering the store.  Rabelais’ collection of Antiquarian Books has increased at a pace that has outgrown our current space. So in the New Year Rabelais will be moving to a larger space.  We are so excited about our new location. It has been all we can do to keep it a secret this long.  Rabelais’ new home will be a loft in the North Dam Mills in Biddeford.  Our new digs will accompany a slight change in the ways of Rabelais.  The focus of the business will shift predominantly to rare books,  imports, and really special American releases.  We’ll finally have enough shelf space for most of our books, and we will be building a test kitchen in which to cook from the tens of thousands of recipes in our collection.  As soon as we have made some progress on the new space, pictures will go up on the blog/website.  Fear not! We will be at 86 Middle Street through the holidays and a bit beyond, so we hope to be your source for holiday gifts again this year.


naturalist at the table

Strange Food, Old Books. Our friend Andrew Zimmern remains the king of weird food, and his show Bizarre Food has brought oddball ingredients and strange techniques into American living rooms, if not its kitchens. But before Andrew, and even before Calvin Schwabe, author of Unmentionable Cuisine, there was E.G. Boulenger, Director of the London Zoological Society’s Aquarium. In 1927 he published  A Naturalist at the Dinner Table. The book encouraged acquiring only the best ingredients for fine dining, and emphasized the adventure involved in pursuing these ingredients. Four of the book’s eight chapters are given over to fare of the sea, and the final chapter devotes itself to what we might today call “bizarre food”: insects, baby mice, bats, salamanders and more.  We currently have a review copy, with a signed letter from the author excusing himself from an evening’s engagement because of, what else, a bit of stomach trouble.

naturalist letter


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