Friday, March 17, 2023

Cookbook review: Grandma's Favorites


 I have SO many Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.  It's true that the majority of them are Christmas cookbooks, which I have trouble resisting, but many are books I've received for free in exchange for having a recipe published.  This year I'm hoping to share quite a few cookbook reviews with you all, so you can get an idea which ones you might enjoy adding to your own collection.  

Grandma's Favorites has been redone and now includes photos, 

but the edition pictured at the top of the post, the one I own, is still available on Thriftbooks.  One thing I particularly love about the cover of the edition I have is the inclusion of granny squares.  The strip of granny squares across the top above the title is lovely, and I also like the pretty granny square hot mats or pot holders at lower left.  I'd love to find a pattern to make some of these.

But on to the cookbook review!  The little note on the cover summarizes: "Can't-miss recipes for delicious family dinners, just like Grandma used to make."  Inside, the Dedication is "For everyone who craves the old-fashioned comfort of sharing meals with family & friends ... who know that the secret ingredient is love!" 

 The authors say: "Our most heartfelt thanks to all of you who shared their family's cherished recipes, saved on index cards and scraps of paper."  That sentiment really resonated with me, since in cleaning out the family homestead,  I have come across so very many index cards and scraps of paper with recipes scribbled on them.

Fun fact: Two of my recipes are actually included in this book -- a salad and a dessert.

The table of contents includes just six chapters: Old-Fashioned Breakfasts; Chill-Chasing Soups & Breads; Fresh-Picked from Grandma's Garden; Grandma's Best Supper Dishes; Fun Foods for Get-Togethers; and Something Sweet for You!

Old-Fashioned Breakfasts has a lot of great recipes for breakfast casseroles and other hearty breakfast main courses, as well as for  coffee cakes, muffins, pancakes, French toast, fruit dishes, some homemade jams and even Old-Fashioned Hot Cocoa!  I've made the Frozen Fruit Cups (only I used plastic cups rather than muffin tin liners) often in the past and they are good.  I used to make Butter Dip biscuits in the past also, but this method (using the exact same ingredients) is much easier than the one I used.  I think I will make these, using this method, to accompany a stew the next time our young friends come for lunch.  One of the main-dish recipes, Bacon & Sausage Gravy, looks over-the-top delicious.  Not sure I will be able to resist trying that one!

Chill-Chasing Soups & Breads is filled with recipes and hints for making those classic partners,  bread and soup.  There are at least a half-dozen different chicken soup recipes, as well as many other soups and breads like rolls, cornbread, biscuits, Irish soda bread, and quick breads.  There are several recipes for chili, a New England clam chowder, a creamy shrimp chowder, and a zucchini garden chowder (pictured below) which I've made several times and which we really enjoy.  All in all, this chapter would be a wonderful resource for fall and winter suppers.

Fresh-Picked from Grandma's Garden is a chapter filled with vegetable salads, side dishes, and even quite a few canning recipes for pickles, relishes and jams.  Veggie-Loaded Potato Salad, with cucumber, celery, radishes and green onions in addition to potatoes, with a flavorful mayo-based dressing, sounds really good to me -- or maybe I'm just tired of winter.  My own recipe for refrigerator carrot salad is in this section.  There's a Garden Vegetable Casserole which sounds easy and good, one for Fire & Ice pickles which I'd love to try,  and a couple of jams that sound so deliciously different -- Spicy Apple Pie Jam, and Blueberry-Lemon Jam.  

Grandma's Best Supper Dishes is just what it sounds like: a chapter full of homey supper meals.  Lots of pasta dishes as well as a mustard gravy chicken that sounds fantastic, a pork chop and apple bake, oven sausage & peppers, a fancier tuna noodle casserole, and several delicious-looking slow cooker recipes.  Milk-Baked Fish reminds me of my mother as she often baked haddock or other white fish in milk.  We loved it that way.  Granny's Hot Dogs and Potatoes sounds like a nice dish to have for supper at the cottage some chilly spring evening.  

Fun Foods for Get-Togethers is the next chapter, and it includes recipes for dips, snacks, spreads, sandwiches, beverages and other fun foods.  Deviled eggs, pickles, a cheese ball or two.  Betty's Deviled Ham & Cheese Ball sounds fantastic.  I'm probably odd, but I have always loved the flavor of deviled ham and can almost taste this cheese ball.  There are also burgers, salsa, and much much more.  

Something Sweet for You is a logical ending chapter to a cookbook of Grandma's Favorites.  There are pies, cobblers, cakes, brownies and other cookies, cream puffs, and much more.  My own recipe for double-good blueberry pie is here.  There's a brownie ice cream pie that sounds fantastic.  There are a number of delicious-sounding cookie recipes, including Granny's Cornflake Cookies, which has only three ingredients: corn flakes, butterscotch chips, and crunchy peanut butter, and requires no baking.  There are several nice cake recipes and even a recipe for homemade ice cream!  There's a recipe for pecan pie bars -- like pecan pie, but made in a jelly roll pan.  What a practical way to serve pecan pie to a large family or a crowd!  There's a recipe for cream puffs that sounds scrumptious,  and even a couple of canning recipes, one for canned apple pie filling and the other for apple-walnut maple conserve.

There are so many charming line drawings in this addition of the book, too.  Just a sweet country cookbook with all sorts of classic recipes as well as some truly innovative ones.  I'm glad this cookbook found its way to my bookshelf!

1 comment:

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