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Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 27, 2009


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About the Author

CLARA CANNUCCIARI is 94 years old and lives in Skaneateles, New York. Her grandson, CHRISTOPHER CANNUCCIARI, is a filmmaker who lives in Brooklyn. His latest film is New Brooklyn.

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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312608276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312608279
  • Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'd seen a few of the Youtube videos featuring Clara Cannucciari a year or two ago (search "great depression cooking" on Youtube to find them) and was completely charmed, so it was a treat to find Clara's Kitchen on the new books shelf at my bookstore the other day.

This small book is full of memories, photos, and recipes from the 1920s and 30s--a peek into the life of Clara and her parents, brother, and extended Italian immigrant family as they struggled to get along in hard times. Reading Clara's stories is like sitting down with your own grandmother, and you may be inspired to seek out a grandparent or great-aunt or -uncle and find out how they survived those difficult years.

The recipes are mostly very simple--Dandelion Salad, Eggs and Potatoes, Pasta with Beans...with Broccoli...with Escarole--and mostly stem from traditional Italian cooking. Lots of pasta, lots of greens, lots of eggplant, supplemented with eggs and potatoes and tomato sauce.

And yet, though the dishes seem simple by today's standards, there's a lot of nutritional common sense to be found here, too, as Clara's family used fresh vegetables from their own garden and minimal meat, as it was too expensive for everyday use.

Clara's cheerfulness and practicality shine through her words, as she remembers the fun of family holidays and the luxury of Sunday chicken dinners, but she doesn't minimize the stress and sadness that parents and children dealt with as they struggled to make ends meet. I was especially touched by her brief description of having to drop out of high school in the tenth grade because her family needed her to be out working and bringing in money. Simply told, but you can feel her regret.

This is living history, perfectly captured. A gem of a book.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Clara grew up in the Great Depression and remembers how her family survived; not only with love and a common bond to help each other out but with some common sense that could help you out today.
We have become such a throw away society that to not waste anything is almost a foreign concept.
Clara will tell you about her life in this book as well as on line. 'Clara's Kitchen' not only contains her philosophy but her recipes as well. Some will not be used unless you want to pull up dandelions but why not teach your children and grandchildren what true use of all of our resources can be. With the mainly vegetarian recipes meals will be healthier too, not to mention a boon for a vegetarian; since meat was scarce in the depression.
Learn how to make bread for your family it's satisfying, better for you and saves money as will all the advice in this little book.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By P. Duncan on November 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I order several copies of this book. I had watched her videos and of course was charmed. I started to read one of the copies I bought and got through 30 pages and knew I was going to buy more for gifts before Christmas.

She is such a sweet heart and her stories so touching, I almost shed a few teas. And no one died so far! Its a happy story of bonding in a family. Do be prepared to get misty eyed at least. Its not all recipes. Its her life and its not over.

Thank you Clara for sharing.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rosi Creen on December 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clara is the Grandmother everyoneone should have! I viewed her DVD,Youtube segments and her blog. Yes, Clara blogs! When I saw she had a book due out, I think I was the first to pre-order it. I stayed up all night just to read her book. What an awesome lady! Would love to meet her in person. I'm picking up a few copies for family and friends. God bless you Clara!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Crystal M. Ainardi on November 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! I first saw the videos tried a recipe out and knew I had to get the book. It is hard times again, and these simple, but delicious recipes do come in handy. My grandmother is 92 and I too grew up in an Italian family. Clara reminds me so much of my family and the recipes we love and know. Pasta and peas is my kids favorite! Thanks so much for sharing.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Behrens Jessika on December 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a small book but it contains a wealth of knowledge inside. The recipes can very well be used for money-crunched times of today. The recipes, the general feel of the book and the inherent story it tells is straight forward. Although times during the depression must have been very difficult, the attitude remains hopeful and pragmatic. You CAN survive times of hardship and tribulations, at least in terms of eating even if today's society is far different than it was during the historical setting (the depression). Cooking the recipes are easy, you need few ingredients and the meals are cheap, and as is pointed out frequently, nourishing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By WI.Richey on January 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a lovely little book filled with heartfelt stories of the past, fun little tips, and the bonus of easy and tasty recipes. I actually bought this book after seeing Clara on YouTube and I thought how great these simple ingredient/recipes would be for my college aged son. After looking through the book and reading some of the pages I now want my own copy. 'Clara's Kitchen' has also solved the problem of trying to figure out and searching for a gift to give to family and friends throughout the year...it will be this book! I'd suggest 'Clara's Kitchen' to anyone looking for a charming book filled with easy recipes.
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