I love to cook and I love to bake. But I'm not flashy at either. I'm not daring to try exotic foods (much to my husband's disappointment). So when I try new recipes, I like to have familiar ingredients. When I saw the title of this cookbook, it appealed to me. Not only are many of the ingredients familiar, I love to learn how people did things "way back when."
Barton starts the cookbook with a short overview on pioneers and their rustic ways of cooking. Her recipes are broken into nine categories:
Soups and Stews
Sauces and Dressings
Breads and Biscuits
Candies and Drinks
Self-Care and Remedies
There are many recognizable recipes such as Friend Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Cherry Pie. There are also recipes for the adventuresome eaters, such as Baked Rabbit, Roasted Raccoon and Succotash. Okay, I jest on the succotash. I hated it as a kid, but may give it a go this winter.
Included are recipes I've never heard of: Brunswick Stew (in which the original recipe included squirrel tail, but since updated), Pacific Coast Clam Chowder (heard of Manhattan and New England styles, but then again, I'm from the east coast) and Sopaipillas. It would be interesting to see what recipes would be familiar to others, based upon the area of the country readers are from. For example, if you know what Spiedies and Salt Potatoes are, you know where I'm from.
I have only tried one recipe from the book and that was for Chicken Fried Steak. It turned out great. Even my little girl ate some and she's on a picky eater/non-eater phase.
There are many recipes in the book that appeal to me. I will give them a try, but I will have to wait until autumn/winter time. It is just too hot. Cooking is at a minimum at the moment. I am really looking forward to the breads: Apple Bran Bread, Belgian Molasses Bread and Herb Bread.
Sounds yummy to me!
Barton also makes this a little more than just a recipe book. She starts out each recipe with a little background of the recipe. Where it's originally from or how it was originally cooked is just a snippet of information included. My only peeve with the book is that Barton will quote Wikipedia in this recipe history. I believe, that because Wikipedia is used, the information cannot be 100 per cent reliable. I also did not like that she included the link in the one or two paragraphs. She should have included them at the end of the book.
But it does not take away from the recipes. This book would be great for the beginner cook or anyone who wants a little history in their kitchen.
Title: The Pioneer Cookbook: Recipes for Today's Kitchen
Author: Miriam Barton
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Leatherwood Press
Source: GoodReads First Reads Winner