Suzi and I are on the road. We are in Bozeman, Montana for a couple of days, then driving down to be with our daughter and boyfriend in Yellowstone National Park. Kelly is already in Yellowstone and baiting Suzi by claiming she has seen a moose. Suzi and I have been in pursuit of moose for years. We have traveled all across Maine and never seen one. Suzi is hopeful that Kelly has not scared all the moose [meese?] away.

Since I’m about to traipse through marshland in search of large mammals, I’m going to offer you some cookbook reviews that offer the best in summer cooking. Take a look at these books and get your grill — and your salad bowl — ready.


If you grew up in the 50’s or 60’s, then surely you had the classic icebox cake. Nabisco Chocolate Wafers were layered with whipped cream, chilled and then devoured as if a Paris chef had labored all day for dessert.

The Nabisco wafers have been a best seller for decades. People don’t eat them like Oreos, they use them for these icebox cakes and chocolate crust for pies. Of course, you can eat them all on their own. My mother would buy a package to make the icebox cake and then express horror when she discovered a third of the wafers had been eaten. I, properly under the 5th Amendment, professed innocence. My mother would take a Kleenex, wipe my teeth, and show me the evidence. Before there was DNA, there were chocolate crumbs.

There are 25 wonderful variations of icebox cakes in this delightful book. The cover has a picture of the Black Forest. For me, the grand entry is the Pistachio Chocolate, pictured at the end of this post. And in between you’ll find treats like:


Chocolate-Grand Marnier

Black and White Malted

Banana Rum

Black Pepper rum

Key Lime Pie

Lemon Caramel

These are highly evolved recipes. No, you don’t just buy cookies in the store to use. You make everything, everything. For the Key Lime Pie version, you make Key Lime Wafers and then Lime- Coconut Whipped Cream.

Banana Rum is a true afternoon’s work. You make Caramelized Rum Bananas, Vanilla Rum Pudding, Vanilla Rum Whipped Cream, and your own homemade Graham Crackers. That original chocolate recipe using Nabisco wafers could be knocked off in minutes. These recipes, vastly more elegant and intense, will take time. I believe, however, this is time very well invested.

You may not have enjoyed an icebox cake in decades. Please, don’t spend years more in depravation. Get a copy of Icebox Cakes, some whipping cream, and get to work. It will be fun and it will be delicious.