Kitchen Memories: A Legacy of Family Recipes from Around the World

Kitchen Memories: A Legacy of Family Recipes from Around the World


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Kitchen Memories: A Legacy of Family Recipes from Around the World by Anne Snape Parsons, Alexandra Greeley

Memories of grandmother’s cooking are warm, inviting, sustaining and comforting but most people have not taken the time to preserve their family’s favorite recipes. As a result, many treasured recipes are lost to the fast-food generation 'overtaken by pizza delivery, eating out and convenience foods. Kitchen Memories aims to slow that trend down with a lovingly compiled collection of 120 family recipes from 25 countries' handed down from one generation to the next and gathered from families and cooks. The authors, leaders in the Slow Food movement, have interviewed hundreds of people who have shared their most precious recipes, the ones they want to pass on to their children and grandchildren. The process of talking about family recipes triggered many happy memories for the book’s contributors, and as such, each recipe includes detailed homespun cooking tips and sidebars rich with personal stories of family and food.

Twenty-five countries are featured including the U.S. and some of its distinctive regional and ethnic cuisines. Pages at the end of the book are provided for cooks to preserve their own favorite recipes, thoughts, tips, photos, and memories. The authors have tested all 120 recipes. A helpful glossary and appendix offering a brief sketch of each culture are included.

Here is a sample recipe:

Sample this recipe from Kitchen Memories:

Bolivian Corn Casserole HUMITA

Karla Montano and her sister, Vivian Lawson, own and operate a restaurant called Luna Maya, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Although Montano has always been the passionate, creative cook in her family, she believes cooking for large family gatherings requires easy-to-make, simple recipes that taste fabulous. Therefore, the old family standbys are always appreciated. Humita is a traditional Bolivian dish consisting of fresh corn and cheese. To be truly authentic, it should be steamed inside a corn husk. However, there are many variations, depending on the region and the cook. Montano says that using fresh corn provides a better flavor, but when corn is out of season and you are pressed for time, frozen corn kernels are an acceptable substitute.

Masa mix—a corn flour product for making tortillas, tamales, and other products—is readily available in many supermarkets: check where flour products are displayed. The filling calls for a crumbly cheese such as the Mexican queso fresco or the Italian ricotta salata. If neither of these is available, try the mozzarella, grated. For a richer filling, increase the amount of cheese. For an effect resembling crème brûlée, sprinkle sugar over the top layer and let the heat melt it into the mixture.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup masa mix
1/4 cup cornbread mix
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon mild ground red pepper, such as New Mexico Red or paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chipotle powder, or other chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (2-pound) bag frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, melted
1 pound grated crumbly cheese, such as queso fresco

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 3-quart ovenproof baking dish. Mix the sugar, masa mix, cornbread mix, salt, ground red pepper, cinnamon, chipotle powder, and ground cumin together in a large bowl.
Put the corn kernels in a food processor, and process until finely chopped. Mix the corn with the dry ingredients. Stir in the butter until fully incorporated.
Spoon half the mixture into the baking dish. Spread three-quarters of the cheese filling over the mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture over the cheese. Top with the remaining grated cheese.
Bake about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve hot.

Serves 8.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933102450
Publisher: Capital Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/31/2007
Series: Capital Lifestyles Series
Pages: 365
Product dimensions: 7.08(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Anne Snape Parsons grew up in a large close-knit family in Bothwellpark, Scotland. While literature and cultural pursuits were important, the core of her family's activities was food--food as the binding power in family and friendships, food as the intersection between generations, and food as the bridge between cultures. Ms. Parsons has an MA in English Literature, is currently writing two cookbooks, Seashore Suppers: Edible Reading from the Barefoot Book Clubs of the OBX , and Cooking, Conversation, and Conviviality: A Year of Slow Eating Events, and is researching material for a civil war journal. Ms. Parsons is a leader of the Slow Food Convivium of East North Carolina, is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the Culinary Historians of Washington, and writes travel articles and a monthly food column for Tidewater Women called "Around the Table," and food and people articles for the North Beach Sun.

Alexandra Greeley is the former food editor of Vegetarian Times and a well-established Washington, D.C., area food journalist and restaurant critic. Her work has been featured in Gastronomica,, Fine Cooking, Chili Pepper, On The Grill, the New York Times, Long Island Life, the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, and Newsday. In addition to the recent Vegetarian Times cookbook, she is the author of Asian Soups, Stews & Curries; Asian Grills; and Good Enough to Eat. She has written several mini Asian cookbooks for Periplus publishers in Singapore, written text and edited the recipes for a book/CD package entitled Mexico!, was a staff writer for Time-Life's cookbook series, "Great Meals in Minutes," and was the food editor/writerfor the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Greeley is a member of the culinary groups Les Dames d'Escoffier and International Association of Culinary Professionals and is the Washington, D.C., co-leader of Slow Food USA. She lives in Reston, Virginia.

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