Lack of time and a niggling worry about revealing trade secrets: two reasons chef Cary Hanson never got past the registration page of her Cleonice blog while the restaurant was in operation. Now that the Ellsworth eatery has closed its doors, though, Hanson has opened the company's recipe book to the fans who kept her and her husband, chef Rich Hanson, going so long. "In an effort to bring a little bit of Cleonice to your home and keeping the spirit alive, I'd like to share some of our recipes, and maybe some Cleonice stories," Hanson explains in her inaugural post, before launching into the tale and recipe for a Tunisian Spiced Lemonade.
Hanson is thorough with her details, offering a method for extracting additional flavor from ingredients, suggesting a variety of sweetening agents, and including links for some harder to source items like Damascus rose blossoms or hibiscus blossoms. She may even drag a tear out of devoted followers with notes like the following:
When I taught our wonderful Meg how to make this I stirred it with Cleonice's (Rich's mom's) wooden spoon. For years she would go in search of that particular spoon because that was the only correct way to make it.
Are you dying to know how to make Chicken Arthur Avenue, Paella Cleonice, or the House Marinated Olives? This could be your chance to find out, as Hanson solicits requests in the comments. "Thanks all, now I should take suggestions on the next one. Anyone have something they are wishing they knew how to make at home?" It's a rare opportunity for food lovers, and a unique gesture on Hanson's part, keeping alive her connection with her community.