Review: Locally Authored Cookbooks

On June 19th the Steinbach and Area Book club held a potluck dinner to preview 3 locally authored cook books.

Recipes and Memories by Yvonne Ediger
Laura Reeves Guide to Useful Plants
Grandma June’s Gluten Free Cook Book by June Heibert

Recipes and Memories:
A collection of family favourites. Each recipe has a colour photo and a story of why it was important to Yvonne and her family. Yvonne put this project together as a sort of memoir in food before losing her battle with cancer. There are cookies, cakes, pies, dainties, main dishes, soups, stews, and sauces in this book. We tried the baking soda biscuits (easy and delicious), the ground beef wellington (also easy but a little dry when served without sauce), the zucchini carbanara (flavourful but the timing on the recipe can be tricy), and the all time favourite lemon bars (sweet, tart, and light). The only down side to this cook book is the binding (standard paperback binding, not coil bound). The book sells locally for $15 with $4 being donated to St. Boniface hospital in Yvonne’s name. Books ordered from Amazon (print or e-book) see 100% of the royalties donated to the hospital.

Laura Reeves’ Guide to Useful Plants:
Part field guide, part cook book, part craft book, and part personal reflection on a local environment that is obviously much loved by the author this book is a real treat. With colourful pictures and fun anecdotes this guide book is great for adults and families. The plants are listed in alphabetical order and are clearly marked if they are edible, useful, or poisonous. The best times to harvest, what parts to harvest, and where to find the plants are also included. This is a wonderful local resource for anyone in Maniotba or similar climate regions who want to get out into nature more or want to naturally source some of their diet.

Grandma June’s Gluten Free Cook Book:
When members of June’s family were put on gluten free diets there wasn’t much by way of a Gluten Free Aisle in the grocery store so she converted as many family recipes to gluten free as she could.
We tried the breaded chicken which used potato chips instead of bread crumbs (any flavour chips can be used but its’ a very expensive recipe because of the chips), and the cream cheese cookies (though we converted it back to regular flour and found that made them dry).
The book included many family favourites such as meatloaf and dinner rolls.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Locally Authored Cookbooks

  1. The problem with living alone is that it’s too much trouble to cook an actual meal for just one person. So I end up just microwaving something quick, fixing something that doesn’t need cooking, or eating out. And the cookbooks on my shelf get dustier every day. I’d say that of the huge number of cookbooks on my Kindle too, if it was possible for them to actually get dusty.

    Regarding the gluten-free cream cheese cookies you converted back to regular flour, did you try the gluten free version first? My cousin’s husband can’t have flour, so when they came down to Florida from Boston one year from Boston, I decided to make gluten free cookies for him. I make all kinds of cookies at Christmas, to give as gifts to friends and family, and they were down one Christmas. He wasn’t able to have any, but we had a conversation about them and he asked if he could smell them. So I wanted to make some he could actually eat.

    The next year, when they came down in the spring, I looked up gluten free recipes and taught myself how to do it. His wife (my cousin, Dawn) said they tasted just as good as the regular cookies and ate more of them than he did (I made regular ones for her, but a different flavor for him, so he’d feel special).

    If the converted recipe you tried was dry, maybe the gluten free version would still taste good.

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    • We all agreed this was probably the case. Our one gluten free member wasn’t able to attend and the member who was doing the recipe didn’t have time to go out and get the proper flour. I certainly wouldn’t write off the recipe without trying it again – and the kids loved it so it can’t have been that bad the way it was.

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