Friday, May 28, 2010

The Pioneer Lady's Country Kitchen

It's book review time again...sort of. More like becoming reacquainted with a favorite cookbook of mine, The Pioneer Lady's Country Kitchen by Jane Watson Hopping.

I selected this cookbook a long time ago when joining a cookbook book club. Back when I seemed to have time to keep track of membership cards, book returns, and the like. I recall returning the book to the publisher and asking for a new one because the page edges were ragged. They did send out another one, just like the first. I apparently wasn't able to pick up that it was to be part of the book's charm and character from yesteryear.

But the real character of this book comes from inside. Jane Watson Hopping grew up during the Depression years in a farming community. They learned to cook with what they could obtain locally and with what was in season. The book is arranged by season which makes it all the more valuable when looking for new ways to prepare seasonal foods. Of course there are almost no commercially prepared ingredients which makes things healthy. And perhaps the selling point for me is that the cookbook is full of stories from a simpler time. Stories that remind me of the ones my grandmother and my mother told me from that era.

So in my renewed interest to aspire to eat healthier, cook seasonally, and use as few commercially prepared ingredients as possible, I plan on referring to The Pioneer Lady's Country Kitchen quite often. I leave you with Mrs. Hopping's final comments from the cookbook's introduction:

"Could it be that my tugging at the heart strings plays upon a universal need to touch base with our past, to feel our continuity with those who have gone before, to be reminded of our roots, of home, family, and the simplicity of a not-too-distant time?

If so, I do hope that the fruit of this book will bring warmth and pleasure into your life, good food, and a sense of strength and comfort."

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