Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Suppers, Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings by Cynthia Graubart, a Book Review

When I was a kid, Sunday dinner meant that I had to eat the evening meal that I wasn't particularly interested in, earlier in the day. The plus was that, at the normal dinner time, I got to have a sandwich, so things kind of evened out for me. Occasionally on Sundays we’d go to my grandmother’s house to join other members of the family for corn, mashed potatoes, and grandma's fried chicken. Nobody made fried chicken like my grandma. Probably nobody makes fried chicken like your grandma. Grandmas are known for their fried chicken. I know my mother was, my boys are still talking about hers. Unfortunately that apple fell very far from the tree. In fact it not only fell, but gained momentum as it rolled down a hill, and into the next county; I can't make decent fried chicken to save my life.

Thank goodness, then, for
Sunday Suppers, Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings by Cynthia Graubart. As comforting and delicious as grandma's fried chicken is this book full of simple, easy-to-prepare meals. A fun volume with a homey, scrapbook feel, it is divided into five chapters -- “Just Us,” “Great Grilling,” Company’s Calling,” “Lighter Suppers,” and “ Sunday Upside Down” -- designed to help you create a tasty dinner without a whole lot of trouble. I found the chapter on “Just Us” of particular interest; the menus were engaging, the food tempting, the recipes appearing so easy that having a small intimate crowd of people every Sunday afternoon is going to be my goal.
Every recipe in this book is easy to read and incredibly doable. No oddball ingredients are called for, just common everyday things that you are going to have on hand. And you're going to turn those common everyday things into the most delicious dishes you've ever seen. Instructions are clear and concise, there are words of wisdom with each recipe, and the photos are going to make you drool.
The charming section "Sundays Past and Present" profiles popular authors and chefs who wax nostalgic about the Sunday dinners of their past, what they meant to them, and what they would like to see for Sunday dinners in the future. This is a book that you really should purchase not just for yourself, but for the young people in your life. They need to be made aware of the conviviality and importance Sunday dinner is meant to be.
There is a wonderful section after each menu called "Set the Scene" where the author adds personal notes, and offers advice on how to set the scene for your special dinner.
I always consider myself lucky if I find a cookbook that has 4 or 5 recipes that I'd like to try, that's a cookbook I'm inclined to buy. This book didn't have one recipe that I didn't want to try. Every single one in the book made my mouth water.
This needs to be on everybody's bookshelf. It evokes a wonderful feeling of family, togetherness, and teaches the importance of revering dining, something that seems to have fallen by the wayside over the years. It is attractive, fun, and full of great recipes that anyone of any age can prepare. This one's a keeper.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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