A mother and her two adult daughters explore their unified histories through themes of food, hard work and love.
Best-selling cookbook author and former Cook’s Illustrated executive editor Anderson (Cook without a Book: Meatless Meals, 2011, etc.) grew up in a household “where food was revered and big meals were the main event,” so she naturally passed that devotion down to daughters Maggy and Sharon. All three co-author the food blog Three Many Cooks, and each describes intimate and distinctive experiences growing up in the kitchen-friendly Anderson clan and within their own extended families. A constant commonality for the trio is the timeless enjoyment of generational go-to recipes (Perfect Carrot Cake, Cheese Drawer Mac and Cheese, Pasta Carbonara, etc.). With equal heft, Anderson extolls the joys and pains of working motherhood and her evolution through the echelons of food editorship, while her daughters exuberantly share the “tragicomedy of our sisterhood” and their Christianity, related through pages of warm anecdotes. All three women exhibit charismatic, affable personalities. Anderson, raised in the Bible Belt by a doting mother and a recovering-alcoholic father, shares her father’s recipe for Lemon Chicken, a dish he savored up until and throughout his elderly convalescence. Firstborn daughter Maggy, after marrying, living abroad and returning stateside, revels in her eventual appreciation for the “power of food” and a passion for cooking through her mother’s long-held family traditions and talent for “conceptualizing a meal.” Youngest daughter Sharon, a former Web editor at Fine Cooking, writes of her courtship with her husband while at Yale Divinity School and the introduction of culinary creativity into their blossoming relationship. Mothers and daughters, especially, will find great appeal in this endearing book of heartfelt personal histories accented with accessible recipes from authors who freely exhibit an “intelligent and thoughtful approach to food.”
A scrumptious pairing of nourishment and familial devotion.