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The Quilter's Kitchen: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel with Recipes (The Elm Creek Quilts) Hardcover – October 7, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is the third Elm Creek Quilt novel intended especially for the holidays. The slender volume’s action takes place in one day as Anna, the new chef of Elm Creek Manor (first introduced in 2006’s Circle of Quilters), and matriarch Sylvia Compson pack up their outmoded kitchen so that a much-needed remodeling can take place. In the process, Anna learns about some of the past history of the manor and the Elm Creek Quilters. Soon she is planning a cookbook with recipes for welcoming banquets, quilting bees, picnics, potlucks, harvests, and farewell breakfasts, in addition to holiday recipes for National Quilting Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. As Anna says, “You can’t have a gathering of quilters without food.” The story is interspersed with 100 recipes contributed by Sally Sampson, a prolific author of well-received cookbooks. Anna and Sylvia also vow to use the scraps of a half-ruined tablecloth and a trove of almost-worn-out aprons to create a new patchwork quilt. Chiaverini is the author of nine full-length novels in this popular series and several volumes of quilt projects inspired by the novels. --Judy Coon

About the Author

Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, five collections of quilt projects, and Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, her most recent historical novel. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and sons in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Elm Creek Quilts (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416583297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416583295
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of MRS. LINCOLN'S DRESSMAKER, MRS. LINCOLN'S RIVAL, THE SPYMISTRESS, MRS. GRANT AND MADAME JULE, and other acclaimed historical novels. She also wrote the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as six collections of quilt patterns inspired by her books. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, "In addition to simply being fascinating stories, these novels go a long way in capturing the texture of life for women, rich and poor, black and white, in those perilous years."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By R. Lafleur on October 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a little let down by the content of the book. I have read other books that had recipes (Joanna Fluke series) but there was still a real story there. If I would have known then what I know now, I would have waited for the local library to get the book instead of wasting money on a book that I read in 3 hours. Each chapter had Sylvia talking about items her and Anna find in the kitchen as they are cleaning it out in preparation of a remodel, but you only get about 6 pages of story and then 6 to 8 pages of recipes in each chapter of the book. I would have liked more story and less recipes personally. I sincerely hope that the book that is coming out in the early part of 2009 is a full story. I would rather have a quilt pattern in the back of the book that 1/2 a book of recipes.
It is still a good series, this one just lacked content.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on October 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I liked it, but I read these reviews in advance so I knew what to expect. Anna has become one of my favorite characters, so it was fun to get a little more insight into her background and passions (plus some tantalizing speculation about Jeremy???) It was a nice short autumn escape, and most of the recipes look fantastic.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on October 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Anna Del Maso is the new chef at Elm Street Quilts. Her new boss, Sylvia Compson, promised that Anna could re-do the old kitchen as a condition of her employment, and that is what occurs in this short book. The two women work in the kitchen, cleaning out the cupboards in preparation for the remodeling. As they pull out pots, pans, serving dishes, aprons, and table cloths, Sylvia reminisces about how each of these items fit into her family's past. Following each section is a number of recipes which are relevant to some occasion which occurred in the house in the past. Be aware that there are more recipes than text, and then enjoy this story which explores Sylvia's past and Anna's future.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Y. Flanigan on December 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I love this series and am usually first in line to purchase them when they come out. I am also a cooking fanatic, so you'd think I'd love this book, but it was awful. Poorly written (very stilted dialogue) with no story line - just two women spending a day cleaning out kitchen cabinets. The recipes which fill 75% of the book weren't even very interesting. This was clearly just a throwaway book designed to make a little money. The author should be ashamed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Namme on November 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed this series but it is getting old. Like other reviewers, I agree that the author should explore new paths, like the new characters that she introduced a couple of books ago, and let the tired ones fade away. This is neither a good cookbook or a good story. I wasn't interested in the recipes, which weren't in any way linked to the story, which they all should have been. The story was dull and disturbing. You mean to tell me Sylvia never bothered to look in her own kitchen cupboards and find out what was in them! Things were damp and rotten and she didn't notice. Come now! The book seemed like an idea someone threw together to market for the holidays to make money. Don't buy this or they might think that such a slap-dash effort worth repeating. Very disappointing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By science gal on October 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have always enjoyed the Elm Creek Quilts series, particularly how Ms. Chiaverini uses quilting as a metaphor for the lives of her characters. I was particulary looking forward to this book, as it features the exceptionally likeable character Anna Del Maso. Unfortunantly, this book did not live up to my expectations.
Cons:
1. Based upon the marketing of this book, I expected it to be primarily an Elm Creek NOVEL, with added recipes. However, it is the opposite- I would estimate that 75% of the book is a cookbook, with the remainder being a short story.
2. The plot does not really advance the primary story of the Elm Creek Quilters. It is really a day in the life of Sylvia and Anna, with Sylvia relating past tales of Elm Creek Manor.
3. This is NOT a book for a new reader to the series. There's not enough free standing plot.
Pros:
1. While I have not tried out the recipes yet, they were developed by an accomplished chef/food writer. They appear to be relatively easy to follow, and produce an appetizing product. I look forward to trying them.
2. The added backstory adds to the overall character development.

Conclusion:
This is a recipe book with a short story. If you purchase it with this in mind, it is enjoyable. Just don't make my mistake assume it is primarily a novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By baquiltin on July 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not just a recipe book from Elm Creek Manor. There is a story and more history of Sylvia's family and the manor in this book. The recipes are extra and are found in the remodeling of the kitchen at Elm Creek Manor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mom to two on November 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Like others, I ordered this book hot off the press and tucked it in my carryon for a long plane ride. Needless to say, this book barely carried me for 1.5 hours, nevermind the 3+ hours of the flight. No matter how slowly or carefully I read the words, there simply was not enough content to spend any great amount of time on. I'm sure the recipes might work for some, but for me and my family, they are a bit out of our taste range.

For the $$ I would recommend waiting for your library's copy; spend your money on new fabric<g>.
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