Casting Bread and Cookee

from Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, & Wazzats by John Gould

CASTING BREAD: This refers to making yeast bread at seas or in the woods, as distinguished from making hot biscuits, muffins, johnnycake, etc. Of several explanations of the term’s origin, the most likely one comes from the way Cook worked. He would mix his wet ingredients in a bowl, and then cast them into the open flour barrel, atop the flour. With his hands, he would work in as much flour as the mixture would take up, and then he would cast the dough on his board for kneading.

COOKEE: An assistant to a lumber-camp cook. He serves at table, washes dishes, and aspires to becoming a cook. In the days of lumbering on snow, the cooked was the cock-crow; he awakened the men by hammering on his “come-and-get-it” — a swaddled or length of metal used as a dinner gong. He was expected to have some merry jingle to put the crew in good pre-dawn, sub-zero humor, and would call out as he banged, ” Wake up and hear the pretty birdies sing!”