Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cookbook Corner: Country Suppers - Simple, Hearty Fare for Family and Friends

My Mom discovered this cookbook when she and Dad lived in Brandon, Vermont. She sent me a copy hoping that I too would be able to share in the flavors of small towns, country houses and warm fires on cold, snowy nights.

The illustrations in the book are by Warren Kimble, Brandon's resident artist. I know that I think of Vermont every time I have a dish from this cookbook!

What To Expect: A 9 page introduction on stocking your cupboard, 245 pages of recipes and 2 pages of mail-order sources (so you can bring a bit of Vermont to your table). As the title says, this book is full of hearty food - perfect for fall and winter meals, especially when you have people over to share with.

Also throughout the cookbook are sections called Country Tips and Tales, these are funny little bits of wisdom like "Dandelion juice rubbed on a wart will make it disappear, said by some old wives". This was after a recipe for Dandelion-Stuffed Chicken Breasts, p. 54-55.

Of course being a true Vermont cookbook, there is a section devoted to recipes using maple syrup. This book also really focuses on ingredients that are abundant in Vermont.

Best Recipes:
  • Herb-Crusted Roast Beef, p. 10-11
  • Vermont Boiled Dinner, p. 14 (AKA Corned Beef and Cabbage - just in time for Saint Patrick's Day)
  • Beef and Cheddar Pie, p.18 - This is by far the family's favorite recipe. If you try it, double the biscuit dough crust - it just doesn't make enough following the recipe.
  • Smoked Ham Hock and Pea Soup - Lydia and Mom would not like this, but Dad and I love a good pea soup.
  • Buttermilk Bread, p.116
  • Spiced Apple Butter, p.206 - I love apple butter on English muffins with coffee.
  • Almond Pumpkin Cake, p.214 - This sounds delicious, but I haven't made it yet!
Complaints: No pictures of the food and this is not a book for 2 eaters (unless they are very hungry or you want a lot of leftovers).

Deliciousness Scale: 4 spoonfuls of yum out of 5 - thanks Mom!

Details: Country Suppers - Simple, Hearty Fare for Family and Friends by Ruth Coustineau, ISBN 0688152236

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