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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ADDICTIVE! We're already dog-eared half the recipes!
"My place, in the midst of this abundance of nature, is back in a mountain hollow on a bad dirt road surrounded by forest, wild blackberries, mountain critters, wildflowers, a few neighbors, and a passel of 'dawgs.'"

So writes Joan Aller, author of this season's must-have cookbook, "Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern...
Published on June 24, 2010 by Jesse Kornbluth

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sadly lacking!
This book has mostly recipes from local Beds and Breakfast Establishments, not at all what I expected. I would not have bought it if I had known that. I expected old-time Southern Appalachia recipes.
Published 20 months ago by brenda


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ADDICTIVE! We're already dog-eared half the recipes!, June 24, 2010
This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
"My place, in the midst of this abundance of nature, is back in a mountain hollow on a bad dirt road surrounded by forest, wild blackberries, mountain critters, wildflowers, a few neighbors, and a passel of 'dawgs.'"

So writes Joan Aller, author of this season's must-have cookbook, "Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia."

And it's not like Joan Aller is an East Tennessee native who's walked the Appalachian trail with the likes of Bill Bryson or South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. She's from the West, and might be living there still but for urban sprawl and environmental ugliness. So she first moved to Nashville, which is very much a city, and then further East.

Joan Aller is an artist by profession and fearless by nature. No soon had she painted her mailbox than she was off, photographing barns and bridges and learning the ways of her new neighbors. That led quickly to food --- and five years of research. At the end, she had gorgeous photographs of Southern Appalachia, luscious photographs of Southern food, and 8,000 pages of recipes and history.

The good news is that Ms. Aller and her editors put her work on a diet. The result is a 212-page book that was extravagantly handsome until my wife and I started dog-earing the pages. Silly us --- we want to cook almost everything here. Our only non-starters: Appalachian wine, root beer and --- no kidding --- moonshine.

See if just the names don't make you look at your watch to see if it's time for some meal or other: Kentucky "hot brown" (turkey-bacon-Colby cheese sandwich drenched in Tabasco-spiked milk gravy), Mississippi Sin (French bread, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cooked ham, sour cream, accented with sweet onion, bell pepper and Worcestershire sauce), Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet Tea and Ginger, George Washington Carver's Sweet Potato Pie, Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole, Corn Cob Jelly, And a dip made of equal parts chopped sweet onion, grated cheese and mayonnaise, baked for 25 minutes at 350.

And....but you see the problem --- with the possible exception of boring old blue cheese balls, this book rocks like the Allman Brothers.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have!, May 30, 2010
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This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
I've never read a cookbook quite like this one before. Not only do we get great dishes, but a history of this beautiful region. The book is rich with stories, phrases and local folks who inspired Aller to put it all on paper for generations to enjoy. The dishes are easy to prepare and unbelieveably delicious. Thank you, Ms Aller, for giving us this beautiful book, it's truely a treasure!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Classic, July 7, 2010
By 
Linda C. Grannis (Melbourne, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
This is no mere cookbook, as it belongs just as much to the kitchen as it does on the coffee table for guests to lavish their appetites over extraordinary recipes, eyes captured by the vivid images that few in this day and time witness and a captivating history and culture whisking us away to a very special place described so very aptly by Ms Joan Aller. I'm Robert, Linda's husband, and as a Brooklyn-born, 'citified', young man who had travelled the world by age 21, I had never experienced the beauty of the ancient green hills of eastern Kentucky or the lush mountains of West "by God" Virginia until marrying a mountain gal 42-years-ago. She introduced me to some of the most humble and hospitable 'folks' I'd ever encountered and was filled-to-the-gills with food at every stop at my new family's homes. I soon grew to love Blue Grass music and the simple fare of fried taters, "soup beans"(pinto beans cooked forever), wild greens, unsweetened cornbread either baked or skillet-fried like pancakes to crumble in the beans to 'sop-up' every bit of their goodness, and usually(especially on Sunday) some famous, Kentucky-fried, free-range chicken that invariably had cackled its day away in the yard that very morning. To top meals off one might be lucky enough to have a piece of apple pie(resembling an english or Tortola torte) served in stacks for special occasions like at the family graveyards where kinfolk from as far away as Indiana, Michigan or nearby Ohio would gather for Memorial Day visits every year without fail.

I have been up 'hollers' so far that I had surely left civilization most certainly and found my own Nirvana with a lunch(dinner) of biscuits and fresh buttermilk. Little did I give thought or possibly dream of the history and traditions Aller has so beautifully painted with her word-crafting like unto a venerable story teller. And the food our author describes is "almost heaven." Like others, I can't wait to help cook everything in the book except the "white lightnin'." I'll gladly give root beer a go though.

This book is a treasure and I hope there will be a second edition for our next generation of cooks willing to treat the tongue and pleasure the belly. Aller's first book won't be her last. I can imagine mountain folk and mountain bed and breakfast cooks clamouring to send the author more specialties from even the central and northern regions of Appalachia to go along with her reserve of 600 or so pages held back from publication for this wonderful effort. By-all-means, don't hesitate to buy this book, and urge your librarian to showcase it, so word gets out that there's great American cuisine besides the onslaught of hot ethnic dishes that tend to ruin our taste buds for the real flavor of food and its ingredients.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true look at cooking from the Southern Appalachia region, June 13, 2011
This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly is a gorgeous pictorial visit to the southern Appalachian area. More than just the foods are pictured here. You'll have a chance to see wildlife, flowers, and some beautiful examples of buildings. Scattered throughout the book are stories and history lessons about the area as well which really makes this so much more than just a cookbook.

The cookbook itself is broken down into 10 chapters: Southern Appalachia, Breakfast, Appetizers, Soups and Salads, Vegetables and Beans; Breads, Muffins, Rolls, and Biscuits; Meats, Fish, and Seafood; Desserts, Cookies, Cakes, and Tea Cakes; Beverages and Country Store.

Chapter one, Southern Appalachia, is all about the area these recipes are from. It includes a history of the area along with a geographic description. It takes you back to the first settlers in the region, The Cherokee and explains a bit about their lives. You will also learn about the Melungeons who were the second settlers in the area along with their lives and history. Also discussed are the third and fourth settlers to the area: the Black Africans and the Europeans. There are examples of what types of recipes each group is noted for.

The next nine chapters are the actual recipes in the cookbook. Each recipe begins with a brief description of where the recipe originated from. There is a detailed ingredient's list and easy to follow directions as well. Each recipe is included on its own page for ease of reading. A number of the recipes also feature gorgeous color photographs.

I love the variety of recipes included. You'll find old time favorites like grits and redeye gravy along side newer recipes like warm camembert salad with apples and walnuts. The recipes give you a real look into the culture of the southern Appalachian trail especially when you can read about where each comes from. It seems as though many of the ingredients featured in these recipes are also quite popular here in rural Vermont. I'm looking forward to trying the pear relish as soon as our pears are ripe.

If you have a taste for the south or down home country cooking, you will definitely want to buy this cookbook.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just a cookbook, March 8, 2011
By 
E. Mayville (Stone Mountain, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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What I love about this "cookbook" is that it's not just a cookbook! I loved reading the pages about the history of Appalachia and the origin of some of the recipes. A lot of these recipes hold memories from my growing up years in the South. I especially love the cranberry pie recipe - who would've thought . . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure of a Cookbook, October 22, 2010
This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
As I made my way through 'Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly' I was reminded of my paternal grandmother and the southern-style food I know she cooked. Southern Appalachia and the people who live there are in kind to Oklaholma City where my father came from, to the food and customs. Distant eastern cousins I'd venture to say. I found this book comforting in many ways. It is not a book of high cuisine; in fact I think I can correctly say it's all about low cuisine and that's a good thing. Author, Joan E. Aller, a transplant to southern Appalachia fell in love with the place once she was there. Wanting to preserve a lifestyle that she saw quickly changing she set about collecting the best recipes southern Appalachia had to offer by traveling around the area and gathering up recipes, stories and histories from the area's inns, hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, taverns and cafes. The book is a lovely compendium of the simple yet hearty and heartwarming food of the region. Full of beautiful color photography and a written history of the region, this is a book to pick up and read often. Dishes like 'High Country Breakfast Casserole' served at The Buffalo Tavern Bed and Breakfast to 'Appalachian Cider Beans' (a personal favorite) come with an explanation, a story, before the recipe begins. To wit cider beans are traditionally served at the local gas station which become de facto social centers. Locals gather at the closest gas station, eat, and catch up on area news.

The recipes I tested all worked just fine; they were straight-forward and easy to make. A few of my favorite dishes were the 'Pork Chops Southern-Style,' 'Corn Pone, Tennessee-Style,' 'Grilled Okra with Pine Nuts' and the 'Appalachian Cider Beans.' A fun chapter in the book is 'Beverages' where recipes for 'Southern Sweet Tea,' 'Mammy Williams's Dandelion Wine' and 'Southern Milk Punch' (vanilla ice cream and bourbon!) can be found. The final chapter is 'Country Store' and has recipes for pickles, relishes, jellies and jams. A whole lot of good southern cooking is delightfully packed into the pages of 'Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly.' If you are looking for some good southern comfort food grab this book and start cooking. You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous and flavorful addition to regional cookbook collections, July 10, 2010
This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia collects more than one hundred recipes drawn from the people and culture of southern Appalachia. Beautiful color photography of some of the dishes and a few glimpses of Appalachian wilderness enhance this captivating tour of not only Appalachia's culinary delicacies, but also Appalachian lore, traditions, history, and way of life. The unique recipes include Oven-Baked Blueberry French Toast, Cream of Pear Soup, Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast, Mammy William's Dandelion Wine, and much more. A sumptuous and flavorful addition to regional cookbook collections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Southern Cookbook Must Have, July 26, 2012
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This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
This is one of the best Appalachian cookbooks I have ever read. Every page is filled with delicious recipes and interesting stories about life in this region. I should know as I have lived in WV all of my 65 years. I have Wild Greens and Dandelion Jelly in my frig right now. Be sure to try the Whipped Cream Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy and Molasses Stack Cake with Apple Topping. YUM, YUM!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will probably be a classic!!, July 22, 2014
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This review is from: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia (Hardcover)
I love, love, love this book! I can honestly say that I have never read a cookbook from cover to cover before - carrying it around with me all afternoon. It is worth buying just for the history and the photographs. She has captured a part of my beloved mountains in her book! I keep finding recipes that I just *have to* try and finding recipes that are already in my personal cookbook. This book will be in my kitchen for a long time to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought the book mostly for the cover, April 6, 2014
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I bought this mostly for the cover pic and it is beautiful. Many beautiful color pics inside. The recipes are simple and easy for the
beginner or tasty for the advanced. Hubby made Appalachian Cider Beans and #1 son loved them. #2 Son loves the Good Morning Granola. This book is perfect for this time of year as it looks so Spring like.
Enjoy.
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Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia
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