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John Darling

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Member Since: Dec, 2011

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Grandma's Favorite Recipes
by John Darling   

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Category: 

Cooking/Food/Wine

Publisher:  KDP ISBN-10:  1466479205

ISBN-13:  9781466479203

90 great mid-western recipes handed down from one generation to the next, swapped with friends, or created on the fly by Grandma Duffy!

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 I remember waking up to the smell of baked goods browning in the oven and thinking about what a memorable Thanksgiving dinner my family and I were going to have. Then I would shake the sleep cob-webs from my six year-old head and realize that Thanksgiving and my birthday, that falls a few days after that holiday, were still some months away.


Now it was summer and I and my siblings were on vacation at Grandma's house in rural Michigan.

In those days my grandparent’s house was always filled with the odor of hearty mid-western food made from recipes that were the staple of this country while it was still in its formidable years. I spent a good portion of my early years eating the same basic foods that were eaten by the men who founded this great country of ours. Their mothers and grandmothers had handed down special family recipes from one generation to the other, they swapped more recipes over the back fence with friends, and they just plain made up others as they went along. This was how people added to their recipe boxes in the early years when there were few cookbooks about. 

My grandmother did it this way, too.

This book of 90 recipes is a compilation of many of those hand-written notes that she had gathered over the course of seven decades. Not one of these recipes was, to my knowledge and her memory, ever copied from a book. Grandma either took them down while talking to a friend or she made them up as she went. Some of the measurements are not text book, but then we always like to fix food to fit our taste anyway! 

Either way, the recipes presented here are good and robust and they are truly as American as food gets. Grandma and I both hope you enjoy them.


Excerpt

Dilly Bread Biscuits

1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp. soda
1 tbs. dill seed
2 tbs. minced onion
1 compressed yeast cake
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour

Heat cottage cheese. Place in bowl and add egg, soda, dill seed, and minced onion. Dissolve yeast in warm water, add to mixture and beat at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour and mix to a soft dough. Let rise to double in bulk in buttered biscuit tray. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.



Professional Reviews

5 Star Review!
I'm pretty critical of cookbooks. Too many of them, it's hard to figure out what purpose they serve. This cookbook has many "family favorites" for the author's family, though, that may well be comfort foods for you as well, and they are items that you probably aren't going to find in the looseleaf cookbook in the red-and-white plaid tablecloth cover, nor in the Joy of Cooking.

Of course, you could get this kind of recipe from a church cookbook, but the problem with those cookbooks is that many of the recipes are contributed by people who are lousy cooks, or who don't want to give the actual recipe they use, for fear that others will be able to cook as well as they can. Besides, those church cookbooks tend to have many duplicate recipes, and you have to guess which recipe is best. This cookbook save you all that hassle. If you are going to make Weimar cookies, this one recipe is the one to select.

That's not to say that the cookbook is perfect by any means. Two-egg Treasure Cake calls for 1/2 cup of Crisco. Would that be Crisco creamed shortening, or Crisco vegetable oil? The instructions say to sift the first four ingredients into "spry". I know that Spry was a vegetable shortening from Lever Brothers that competed with Crisco until about 1960 or 1970, but would the average cookbook reader? I don't think so.

I read a lot of cookbooks, pretty much ignoring the recipes, but simply using them for inspiration in using the ingredients I have on hand, or that are currently in season. This cookbook, though, I intend to actually try the recipes. I suspect Grandma made these recipes many times, and they have the benefit of decades of taste-tests.

This cookbook looks like a real winner.



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