Palette Meets Palate

The Art League of Ocean City unveils a new cookbook, which combines the worlds of visual and culinary arts, as a fundraising tool to support its efforts int he midst of the pandemic

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on countless local businesses and nonprofits, including the Art League of Ocean City, which was forced to cancel many of its crucial fundraising events that drive capital for its classes, programs and community-outreach efforts. 

“Our devoted drop-in painting class suggested publishing a cookbook filled with art and selling it as a fundraiser,” said Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League of Ocean City. “We thought it was a great idea and hope the public does, too. It was a clever idea, and we dedicated this book
to them.”

We Made It combines delicious recipes, beautiful artwork and genuine family stories of many local artists. Organizers hope it promotes artistic expression and an appreciation for the creative arts in the greater Ocean City community.

“HERE COMES THE SUN”
Painting, words and recipe by Laura Jenkins

I have come to love and enjoy painting the beautiful indigenous landscape of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where I am so fortunate to live. Born and raised here, the ocean and the marshlands have been ingrained in me and are frequently the subject of my work. I find they bring me peace.

Harriet’s Crab Dip

This crab dip recipe was my mother’s who learned it from her mother, so it’s been a family staple for holiday gatherings for as long as I can remember. It is quite simply the best I’ve had and many others agree! I have many requests to serve this at parties where the recipe is always requested. Bon appétit!

INGREDIENTS
1-2 lbs crabmeat
1 stick butter
2 8-oz packages cream cheese
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp chives, chopped
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Old Bay seasoning to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter and cream cheese in a saucepan and whisk until creamy.
Add all other ingredients and blend. Fold in crabmeat.

Bake in oven until hot and bubbly. Best if made one day before serving.

“BEFORE THE NIGHT CLOSES IN”
Painting, words and recipe by Marian Bickerstaff

I have enjoyed painting skies for a long time. They are a constant source of inspiration, a new one every day — a lifetime of paintings. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I miss family and friends so much, and some nights feel way too long. I am grateful for the social media posts by friends Conni and Dale Hall of early morning South Point sunrises and Susan Burch’s sunsets over the St. Martin’s River. Both have inspired me to paint the light in these dark days. This painting is titled “Before the Night Closes In,” — a phrase from an old Exile song.

5 Alarm Chili

The thought of certain food brings comfort, another way of bringing light into our lives. Eating a bowl of warm comfort food is like climbing into an old pair of pjs on a rainy day.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
6 cups diced tomatoes, canned or fresh
15 oz Great Northern beans, rinsed
15 oz black beans, rinsed
15 oz red kidney beans, rinsed
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper, crushed
Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
In medium skillet, brown meat, stirring frequently to crumble. Pour off fat and remove meat from pan. Set aside.

Sauté onion and pepper until soft (about 3 minutes), then add tomatoes, garlic and seasonings. Cook until tomatoes are soft if using fresh tomatoes.

Add meat and beans and simmer for 25 minutes over low heat. Serve with favorite toppings: diced avocado, chopped green onion and/or shredded cheese. For slight variety, add cooked cheese tortellini in lieu of toppings. Serves 8-10.

WIRE-WRAPPED JEWELRY
Jewelry, words and recipe by Helen Prah

My husband, John, and I spent 10 winters in Quartzsite, Arizona. I took classes in wire wrapping semi-gems in sterling and making pine needle baskets w/semi-gem stones as the center of each basket.

Nana’s Shrimp Jambalaya

This recipe is my family’s favorite. When our grandchildren were small, we camped at Frontier Town in Ocean City every summer for 17 years. I made this recipe for the first time at Frontier Town. We have retired from Pennsylvania to Ocean City. When our grandchildren visit, their first request is Nana’s Shrimp Jambalaya.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb shrimp, cooked and deveined
1 lb hot Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
16-oz can tomatoes, crushed
32 oz chicken broth
½ cup Kraft Original BBQ sauce
½ cup cooked rice

INSTRUCTIONS
In a frying pan, brown sausage. Drain and set aside. Then, sauté onion and celery. Add chicken broth, sausage, crushed tomatoes, BBQ sauce and cooked, deveined shrimp. Just before serving, sprinkle cooked rice on top. Serves 6.

“We hope this book will be a timeless masterpiece that will not only be helpful with meal ideas but will be displayed on coffee tables, for everyone to see the amazing art inside,” Thaler said.

For more information about We Made It, visit ArtLeagueOfOceanCity.org.