Welcome to Cook & Tell, a foodletter about cooking, family and life on a Maine island.

Almost half a century ago, my mom, Karyl Bannister, began Cook & Tell as a weekly column in the local newspaper. A few years later, she launched a monthly cooking newsletter by the same name which she wrote, illustrated and published, working her way into the hearts and kitchens of thousands of home, hobby and professional cooks all over the world.

Would you believe she did this for nearly 40 years, all without the internet?

Face it, we all like food. Some of us actually like making it. And some of us might even like whimsical sketches and entertaining stories.

My mom passed away from Alzheimer’s during the pandemic. Here, in this digital reboot of Cook & Tell, where cooking is immortal and timeless as love itself, I keep her spirit alive. Here, where our stories and words intersect, you’ll find vintage recipes and stories, with occasional “Orts” from me.

What you’ll get:

  • Small Bites: stories from a tiny Maine kitchen, complete with Karyl’s whimsical illustrations

  • Printable Recipes & Vintage Issues: from the Cook & Tell archives

  • Orts & Reports: stories and recipes from me

  • Meals Across the Miles: community chats and reader recipe swaps

  • Chocolate Chit Chat: throwback recipes focusing on—you guessed it—chocolate!

  • Shot in the Kitchen: interviews and photos from the kitchens of featured readers

Is it free?

Yes! These bi-monthly stories and recipes are free to all readers—all in a space without ads, inexplicable algorithms and annoying pop-ups.

To give you the flavor of this foodletter, check out some of our readers’ favorite issues:

Here’s a little more about me.

And you can always send me an email.

Subscribe to Cook & Tell

a foodletter about cooking, family and life on a Maine island


Storyteller. Island runner. Curator of ghosts and recipes. Words to flavor and savor.