Don’t think that just because summer is officially winding down, you can’t put this summer-themed cookbook by mother and daughter team, Martha and Linda Greenlaw, to good use. Luckily, for those of us living and gardening along the coast, fall’s mild temperatures continue to sustain the growing season a bit longer. This may be when bumper crops of squash, beans, potatoes and blackberries are harvested. And if you’re in need of some new ways to fix them, the Greenlaws have suggestions. Many of the recipes have been borrowed from island neighbors of the Greenlaws, “the women of Isle au Haut, who I am proud to say are very strong and self-motivated,” as Martha writes in her introduction. And of course in that category, daughter Linda is a shining star, accomplished as an author, swordfish boat captain, and fisherman; currently featured in the television series, Swords: Life on the Line.

Being strong and self-motivated may be the ticket to success in the kitchen—having the confidence to cook for others, tackle new recipes or tricky procedures, or feed a roomful of hungry people. But surely there are logistical challenges as well to being a good cook on an island. With fewer stores, meals have to be planned, provisions secured ahead. Very few of the Greenlaws’ recipes are impromptu-worthy. One recipe I found myself salivating for was blackened swordfish (of course!) with blueberry chutney. But here on Vinalhaven, even in the most optimal of situations, can I secure “fresh domestically-harvested North American swordfish steaks”? Say I’m lucky with that; then, will I find the fresh ancho chili pepper and the fresh cilantro since mine already flowered and went to seed? How deep a larder one has depends on what you can find on island (store inventories are always in flux), how often you go to the mainland, what items visitors can bring from away, how productive a garden you have, and your access to local produce and seafood.

As a suggestion for future books, it would be useful—for other island cooks at least—to have the recipes include options. Can just parsley suffice in the absence of cilantro? What about jalapeno for ancho? Tuna if not swordfish?

The Greenlaws evince a lot of enthusiasm—for food, friends, family and food-oriented events. As with their first cookbook, Recipes from a Very Small Island, anecdotes by the authors describe summer life on Isle au Haut. It sounds pretty delicious. Eat well, be happy. The recipes featured here aren’t really what everyone eats all of the time; that would be expensive, time-consuming, and a lot of work. But for special meals, there are a lot of good ideas here.