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Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader Hardcover – October 21, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Food is a great way of communicating," says Mitford series author Karon in her charming cookbook brimming with comforting recollections, quotations, homespun kitchen wisdom and more than 150 mouthwatering recipes for foods that have appeared in the author's books. Characters in Karon's close-knit Mitford, N.C., community often get into challenging situations, and foods rich with Southern-influenced flavors of hearth and home are always close by: Marge's Deep-Dish Apple Pie, Father Tim's Beef Tenderloin, Cynthia's Lemon Squares and Uncle Billy's Sweet Potato Pie. Karon includes full-flavored classics like Louella's Cinnamon Rolls, Lottie Greer's Fried Chicken and Country Biscuits, Cynthia's Lasagna, Puny's Macaroni and Cheese, and Lew Boyd's Chocolate Cake, all with nary a calorie counted. There's even a recipe for dog biscuits and one for creating a "Christmas Smell" right from the stovetop. What makes this cookbook distinctive is that fans are treated to the exact scenes in Karon's stories where each dish was enjoyed. There's also a bonus Mitford story and recipes inspired from Karon's upcoming novel, along with plenty of sage cooking advice from how to season an iron skillet and stock a spice cabinet to pointers on saying grace and a rumination on the meditative effects of washing dishes by hand. Uncomplicated ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions will afford cooks, guests and fans plenty of time to savor the generous novel excerpts from the author's inspirational work. Color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jan Karon writes "to give readers an extended family and to applaud the extraordinary beauty of ordinary lives."
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (October 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670032395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670032396
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jan Karon is the author of the bestselling series of nine Mitford novels featuring Father Timothy Kavanagh, an Episcopal priest, and the fictional village of Mitford. Set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karon's Mitford books include At Home in Mitford; A Light in the Window; These High, Green Hills; Out to Canaan; A New Song; A Common Life: The Wedding Story; In This Mountain; Shepherd's Abiding; and Light from Heaven. The Father Tim Novels include "Home to Holly Springs" and last fall's release of "In the Company of Others," set in County Sligo, Ireland. There are over 40 million Mitford and Father Tim novels, childrens books, and CDs in print.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Mitford" devotees, rejoice! If you've long salivated over author Jan Karon's many descriptions of food in her Mitford novels, you'll be delighted to find Viking has at long last assembled the recipes into one delectable volume, JAN KARON'S MITFORD COOKBOOK & KITCHEN READER.

Despite a nod to Father Tim's diabetes, this is pure, unadulterated, break-out-the-butter, down-home southern cooking. Don't look for calorie counts or number of servings. Most likely, with this carb-fest of comforting, sweet-tooth ticklin' recipes, you don't want to know the nutritional information! Just think of it as pure enjoyment.

Each recipe is presented in the order of its appearance in the Mitford series, and six recipes are included from the forthcoming and concluding novel, LIGHT FROM HEAVEN (2005). The recipes range from the simple Silver Queen Corn (butter, sugar, corn, salt and pepper) to the dust-off-your-apron-and-clear-your-schedule-for-the-day complex Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake (although this is photographed as a two-layer cake, the recipe calls for a more complicated three-layer).

Recipes run the culinary gamut: main course meals (Rector's Meatloaf, Ray's Barbecue Ribs, Cynthia's Bouillabaisse); basic side dishes (Puny's Potato Salad); mouth-watering desserts (Louella's Buttermilk Chess Pie, Cynthia's Raspberry Tart, Mama's Ice Cream in a Tray); beverages (Marge's Sweet Tea with Peppermint), and breads (Magdolen's Spoon Bread, Louella's Cinnamon Rolls). Playful recipes like Dooley's Fried Baloney Sandwich Supreme are paired with Dooley's Second Favorite Sandwich --- The Doozie, consisting of white bread, smooth peanut butter and Cheerios ("Fold the sandwich in half and jump on your bike and go").
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was surprised and pleased at the size of this cookbook. It is over an inch thick and has heavy, glossy pages, which seem less likely to become stained with the occasional cooking splatter.

I am more of an armchair chef than a real cook, and I bought this book because I love the Mitford characters and story. I wasn't disappointed. The day after getting this in the mail, I sat down for three hours and just read the stories that go along with each recipe, read Jan Karon's notes and sidebars about cooking, the characters, and life, and looked at the mouthwatering recipes, vowing to try some.

I love that most of them are totally simple and anyone can do them (barring the marmalade cake, which you will need to have both a well-stocked kitchen and a whole day set aside to bake), like Father Tim's Meatloaf (Old Faithful) or the three very different (yet still simple) apple pie recipes (made with Sadie Baxters of course!).

So as a cookbook, it gets five stars, and as a Mitford reader, it also surprisingly gets five stars. There is even more text than recipe, and that makes it a true pleasure to relive some of our favorite Mitford moments and imagine bringing the characters to life by preparing their recipes.
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Format: Hardcover
Karon is best known for her series of novels set in the fictional town of Mitford. Her stories have involved a number of different scenarios, but all of her books have included one thing in particular: food.

Now Karon has penned the Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader to satisfy her fans, who have been writing the author for years about the many dishes mentioned throughout her books.

The book is a clever combination of recipes based on dishes mentioned in her novels along with excerpts of those books, to give newcomers a glimpse into the Mitford world. Each chapter is filled with insights into one particular novel (A Light In The Window, A Common Life, Shepherds Abiding, etc), and most recipes are accompanied by either a passage from the book talking about the dish, or comments from the author about how the dish came to be included in the novel.

Not being familiar with the Mitford book series before now, it quickly becomes obvious why Ms. Karon's fans are always writing to her about the food in the books. The dishes in the Mitford Cookbook are for the most part simple, family fare, and sound absolutely delicious. The recipes are straightforward and complete step by step instructions, like the type you might get from a friend who's apple pie recipe you're going to try, are designed to make each dish as easy as following simple written directions. There's also a flavor of the characters who present the dishes in the Mitford books found in the different styles of dishes.
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Format: Hardcover
If I had ten stars with which to rate this book, I would use them all! For readers who appreciate the Mitford series of books, this cookbook is a treasure! Quotes from the books where the recipe is initially mentioned makes for double delight for Mitford fans. The scene is set for the cook to enjoy some very special recipes -- including the Orange Marmalade Cake, thank you very much! -- while recalling the atmosphere and characters of the town we love so well. I possess many, many cookbooks and I have been unable to find some of the recipes included in this Mitford Cookbook. All in all, for the reader and the cook, this book will become a classic and a favourite.
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