Based on Jan Karon’s Mitford series, the Mitford Cookbook is a rich collection of recipes featured in her Mitford novels. For those not familiar with the Mitford series, the stories revolve around Father Tim’s parish in Mitford, North Carolina, and the townsfolk that he comes to know and love. Food plays a central role in many stories, including Esther’s famous orange marmalade cake. Numerous fans kept asking Jan for recipes, and she had to work in reverse, hiring chefs to create recipes based on her books.
Not only does the Mitford Cookbook contain important starring recipes, but it also includes beautifully staged food photographs, illustrations, snippets taken from the various novels that complement each recipe, a previously unpublished Mitford story, kitchen hints from Karon, her own kitchen memories of her grandmother, and vintage family photos that really make this a keepsake.
The recipes range from comfort food (Father Tim’s meatloaf, Puny’s macaroni and cheese, Mama’s biscuits) to Southern staples (fried okra, cornbread, fried chicken, greens) to more upscale creations such as Helene’s roast poulet with currants, buche de noel, and roasted red pepper rouille with cracked pepper toast. The ingredients and instructions are clearly laid out, with the number of servings in the upper corner of the page. This is comfort food at its best, and the numerous blessings and prayers sprinkled throughout make it food for the soul as well as the stomach.
This is a beautiful gift for fans of the Mitford books or anyone who appreciates a beautiful, practical, and easy-to-use cookbook. It’s as much fun to read the various excerpts as it is to sample the recipes (Esther’s showstopping orange marmalade cake is definitely worth the work; a friend made it for my birthday this year, and it was divine), and will become a cherished keepsake in your family.