Thursday, April 21, 2011

At My Grandmother's Knee - by Faye Porter

Porter, Faye. At My Grandmother's Knee: Recipes and Memories Handed Down by Women of the South. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011.

Every Southerner will recognize the recipes in this collection. If they were not prepared in your own family, you knew someone who brought them to the church dinners. This is a collection of recipes compiled by the author. The recipes are headed by short vignettes that include a quote from a granddaughter about her grandmother who made the recipe. The graphic design and layout of the book were nice and the food photography was excellent. Unfortunately the cookbook suffers from a major problem in regards to organization. The order in which groupings of recipes were presented was problematic. For example, there is a section on pies and cobblers, then cakes, then cookies, then one on chocolate pies, and then on other desserts. Why are the pies and chocolate pies not combined or at least together? The earlier sections also suffer organizational issues. I was actually disappointed in the book. The author, in her introduction, calls this book part history and part cookbook. Unfortunately the book failed to deliver on the history aspect. The vignettes were so short that a reader never got a sense of the grandmother in most cases. If this book was a tribute to grandmothers, why weren't there photographs of the grandmothers to accompany the recipes? The e-galley I read was missing the index so I'm unable to review that aspect of the book. I probably won't go out of my way to purchase a new copy of this book, but if I do happen to find it at a bargain price in a used bookstore or on a bargain table, I might consider it. This review is based on an advance reader's e-galley provided by the author through NetGalley. 2.5 stars.

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