America’s Best Lost Recipes: 121 Kitchen-Tested Heirloom Recipes Too Good to Forget is a fine collection of recipes from the past submitted by readers of Cook’s Country magazine. They were “looking for something special, recipes that tasted great but also recipes that told a story, that truly represented a special window into the American experience.” I think they succeeded.
The recipes are presented in a very nice layout. Each recipe is preceded by an interesting history of the recipe. I especially like the quotes by the submitters. Notes from the test kitchen follow each recipe. I found this particularly helpful, especially the ones that mention successful and not so successful substitutions. The editors even included some great photos of the food. Even though in this ARE they are B&W, the photos made the food look delicious.
The book contains some interesting, not-so-standard recipes that I’ve never heard of. I’m really looking forward to trying some of them. There are also many recipes with unusual names, such as Grandpa Cooley’s Angry Deviled Eggs, Joe Froggers, Tipsy Squire, Naked Ladies with Their Legs Crossed, Bops, and Mile High Bologna Pie to name a few.
Each time I look at the book, I mark more pages of recipes that I hope to make one day. Here’s the ones I’m likely to try first: Székely Goulash (Pork Stew with Sauerkraut) p. 38 sure to be a hit with my pork-loving husband, Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake p. 117 and Grandma June’s Sauerkraut Soup p. 29. What can I say, we like sauerkraut. Yum.
My only disappointed with the book is that four out of the six chapters deal with baked goods and sweets. Currently, I’m trying to cut down on these things for health reasons, so I probably won’t be using this book as an everyday cookbook. I will, however, bring it out for special occasions and treat my family to some delicious goodies.
I got this book from HarperCollins Reading Group on Facebook.