Call For Recipes: the Rabbit Island Cookbook

Three miles of open water, two local farms, one Coleman stove, a campfire, a dutch oven and a set of stainless cookware definitely up the ante when thinking about how to eat intelligently. We’re making a cookbook–part grocery list, part menu, part primer–but here’s the thing: we’re not cooks. Help!

The book will be designed in NYC and put together at the self publishing department of McNally Jackson. Ingredients for recipes will be gathered on the island and from the nearby Keweenaw Peninsula: Produce will be purchased from the Hughes Farm in Calumet and Chip Ransom’s Farm in Houghton; dry goods and staples will come from the Keweenaw Co-op; berries will be gathered on the island shores; trout and salmon will be caught in the lake, Gods be willing (they usually are). These are our limitations and we’re excited to experiment with them and come up with a simple but interesting menu.  

For recipe ideas we’re starting with available local ingredients and cooking methods and working backwards. The book will be divided into three sections correlating to daily life on the island: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We’ve asked some friends for recipes and advice and so far Noah at American Spoon, T.J. from Pinch Food Design, Kelly Geary of Sweet Deliverance, Seema of Simply Seema and Patricia Hughes of the Hughes Farm have voiced interest. We’ll also be including local plates such as lake trout with thimbleberry glaze, one of Scott H.’s creations (our neighbor in Rabbit Bay) and hopefully a variation of the traditional U.P. pasty.

But we could still use some more ideas. If you’re interested in submitting a recipe for the project we’ll publish it and also photograph it being prepared this summer to be included in future editions. Recipes can be anything you like–a dutch oven stew, a simple vegetable dish, a berry preserve, a drink, etc.–so long as it can be created within the limitations we face as noted below. Get in touch with any questions or other ideas and include the title of your recipe, the ingredients (to be chosen loosely from the list below), and the instructions for preparation. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, though it does need to fit on one page. Less packaging is always better than more. Less stove time is better than more.

We’re also looking for a Rabbit Island Resident Chef for the end of July and early August. You’d be put in charge of everything food and would help plan a garden, curate kitchen supplies and organization, direct the building of a wood-fired stone oven for baking, and whatever else you were interested in undertaking. It will be an adventure. If you can’t make it out but have knowledge to share we’d love to hear it as well. Just get in touch! 


Ingredients Available:

Vegetables (See farm websites below for availability)

Pantry Staples (rice, grains, flour, sugar, barley, oils etc.)

Thimbleberries, Wild Raspberries, Wild Blueberries, Choke Cherries

Lake Trout




Cooking Methods:


Coleman Stove

Dutch Oven

Wood Fired Stone Oven (future project)

Food Sources:

Hughes Farm in Calumet

Chip & Cindy Ransom’s Farm in Houghton

Keweenaw Food Co-op (a typical variety of coop goods available)



55 degree fridge (i.e. Lake Superior)


The Pleasures of Eating, by Wendell Berry