Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyBorn in Chicago but raised on the East Coast, Andrews ( Mood Food ) here recalls the foods of summer, of ``happy, lazy, carefree days in the Midwest.'' At its best, the volume records the stick-to-the-ribs country cooking of an era when living in the heartland demanded sturdy, from-scratch menus for working the farm and withstanding the rigors of the plain. Included are recipes for such familiar comfort foods as cottage-fried potatoes and apple pie, as well as ``Sunday fare'' like sauerbraten with gingersnap gravy, ham steak baked in milk and mustard, and buttermilk pie with orange crust. But the book has flaws, including spotty instructions (a method for peeling tomatoes is buried at book's end, after many recipes calling for peeled tomatoes) and small inconsistencies--one recipe uses plain ``vanilla,'' while the very next calls for ``pure vanilla.'' Some of Andrews's pronouncements are simplistic, implying that today's Midwesterners and their gastronomic standbys are identical to those of her small-town youth. In actual fact, hardly anything is standard in Middle America of 1991--except, unfortunately, for fast food, frozen diet dinners and microwave popcorn. (June)
Library Journal - Library JournalAndrews's ``food from the heartland'' includes hearty farmhouse recipes, traditional dishes passed down from the early settlers, and ethnic specialties from the many different groups that have populated the Midwest. This is real food from real ingredients: corn-fed beef, Maytag blue cheese, freshwater fish, and abundant produce (the author refused to include all-in-one recipes based on canned cream soups). Well-written, readable headnotes offer cultural history, culinary background, and family anecdotes. Recommended for most collections.
- Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
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