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Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite
Cook & Chatter: A Trip Down Memory Lane was an absolute delight to read. With a clear, simple theme of family, tradition, and wonderful food, this cookbook will remain close to my heart long after reading. The cookbook opens with a Foreword by Food Network’s Nancy Fuller, then goes on with notes about the recipes and traditions listed inside. From there, author Jill Peck Vona gives us helpful tips, such as placing water inside a measuring cup first so oil doesn’t stick, and continues with cute little stories about family and small-town living. The recipes are fun with no pressure — these are just family recipes to play around with and enjoy. Some of the included recipes are mouthwatering molasses recipes, cakes, pumpkin breads, pickles, blueberry muffins, an interesting recipe called Tomato Soup Cake, and Jell-O recipes that hearken back to the fifties and sixties era of baking and family get-togethers. Many of the recipes are handwritten, and there are pictures and cute little cooking quotes sprinkled here and there as well.
My family and I are huge fans of the Food Network and watch it continually, so I was excited to read the opening by Nancy Fuller. After that, I was really drawn into the theme of family life throughout Cook & Chatter: A Trip Down Memory Lane, and loved the recipes. As a vegetarian, I appreciated the Garden Burger recipe, though there certainly is a variety of all recipes here! I’m excited to try many of these, and hopefully will some day get the courage to make the Men’s Salad! There is a definite feel of family recipes, family love, and community — there’s even a one-hundred-year-old recipe included. Author Jill Peck Vona did a superb job collecting recipes, photos, and quotes and putting them together in a cohesive theme. I highly recommend the book to home cooks, bakers, and anyone interested in nostalgic recipes!