by LaVerne Martin Littleton
Bookstand Publishing, 2011
178 pp. $ 9.95 (paper)
Think back to visits to your grandmother’s house as a young person. Maybe you just dropped by for quick hello or even came to ask for copy of a favorite recipe. What you thought would be a 15 minute visit becomes a two hour conversation on family history, love of food and the impact of regional availability of fruits, vegetables and meats. The delight of hearing real, oral history from a beloved elder is priceless. Such is the feeling I got from reading Ms. Littleton’s short book on 19th Century Kentucky Cooking.
The first 36 pages are an engaging bit of storytelling of family, rural history and what it was like to grow up in Kentucky in past generations. Littleton’s style is relaxed, informative and filled with the dry wit of someone who has seen much change in their long life. While not essential to using this book as a guide to cooking very old traditional favorites of Kentucky, the stories and narratives are gems in their own right.
The remainder of Come Home, It’s Suppertime is filled with recipes for everything from Mint Julep to a Cherokee Yellow Jacket Soup! Common household utensils are used throughout the recipes, no Cuisinarts here! Just good old country, comfort foods are described in easy to follow steps from listing ingredients to final presentation.
My only criticism is the lack of an index for finding specific recipes. One must zero-in under larger groupings like “breakfast” or “seafood” and then peruse all the recipes to find what you may seek. That aside, it’s a gentle read with useable recipes and food for thought on a way of life, long gone, but not forgotten.
Reviewed by Michael Mallett. Michael is retired from a career with a fly-by-night airline. He lives with his wife and two dogs. Michael enjoys cooking, drinking great beers and enjoying good wine with friends in earnest conversation.