If you love to sit down with a cookbook and read about the background and stories that inspired the recipes you are about to delve into, Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest by Lauren McDuffie is the perfect cookbook for you. I had so much fun reading reading the various sections from the introduction, to the “Good to know” section. Then on to special call out pages like “How to build an outdoor campfire” and even the information at the start of each recipe. I learned so much about cooking in Appalachia and the various food traditions there.
By the seasons
The book is arranged by season, so I know that as I use this book in the future it will be easy to jump to the current season and enjoy some of the best in season food to make the dishes included in this book. Containing 70 recipes and 80 incredible photographs you will have a lot of choices to determine which recipe you want to start with.
Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest - The recipes
Starting with the Fall season, I was instantly hit by the recipes for S’mores, from Scratch and Graham Crackers. Yes, homemade graham crackers! However, I went a few pages further and found the right recipe for me to start with, Earthquake Bread (or, Sorghum Cider Quick Bread) The photo looked divine and I had all the ingredients. However, it was the background story that got me excited…”Adapted from a recipe card I found buried in my mom’s old recipe box, this quick bread bakes up sweet and perfectly spiced, while the center stays gooey and pudding-like, suggesting that this bread was most likely a cake in a past life”. And it was as good as promised!
Other recipes that might get you interested include; Black Grape and Jalapeno Skillet Corn Bread, Baked Pork Chops with Cran-apple Moonshine Compote, Breakfast Flatbreads with Sausage, Morels and Spring Onions, and Semipermanent Slaw (you will have to read the explanation for yourself). One more note – I have always wondered about the difference between a cobbler, a crisp, a buckle and a betty because I love making apple dishes in the fall, and she gives us 4 Blackberry recipes to show the differences between each of these deserts.
Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest is a treasure that you will go back to time and time again. I can’t wait to try my next recipe, I’m thinking perhaps the Chipotle-Peach Pulled Pork Sandwiches are calling my name. I hope you enjoy this book for the reading and eating as much as I did.
Disclosure: Thank you to Chronicle Books for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.