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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Quarantine Cookbook is a nonfiction cooking/food guide written by Beth Carter. The author’s comic muse has been hiding from her lately and making writing her typical literary fare, humorous women’s fiction, and romantic comedy rather more difficult to pen. And since she’s been actively cooking and posting her recipes and pictures online, Carter decided that the best thing she could do to help others get through the pandemic was to share her favorite recipes, many of which were handed down to her from family members. Most of them are perfect for those evenings when the pantry is somewhat barer than it could be, in fact, a number of them need only 5 ingredients or less -- and the ingredients are often staples most can find lurking in the pantry or freezer. Carter offers recipes for everything: appetizers, breads (that are easy to make!), salads, sides, soups, entrees, desserts, and even snacks. In her appendix, she includes Non-Stir Crazy Activities, Six-Word Memoirs on Quarantine Life, and an assortment of entertaining quotes on food.
I am always intrigued when a new cookbook comes my way and was particularly eager to read Beth Carter’s The Quarantine Cookbook. As she promises, her recipes are delightfully free of long lists of arcane and hard-to-get ingredients, and most of them are not involved and arduous undertakings. Her savory recipes are brimful of bright, healthy vegetables, and her desserts likewise feature generous helpings of fruit. Lest this scare away some readers, don’t let the thought of peppers, bananas, and berries cause you undue concern; this collection features generations’ worth of comfort food. Her Sausage Balls sound incredible and are incredibly easy to make. Beth’s Famous Baked Beans artfully creates a masterpiece one might expect to have taken hours on a hot stove, and Taco Lasagna is not only intriguing but again simple to prepare. While many have their own favorites and handed-down recipes for comfort food, Beth Carter has something for everyone in her cookbook. The ingredients are clearly and simply specified and the instructions are easy to follow and delightfully brief. The Quarantine Cookbook is highly recommended.