Christopher Kimball, editor and founder of Cook's Illustrated
magazine, grew up during the 1950s in rural Vermont, where he spent many summers working as a farmhand. His most cherished memories were of the yellow farmhouse, where an eclectic gathering of workers met at noon for hearty meals of roast, potatoes, boiled greens, baking-powder biscuits, molasses cookies, and perhaps a pie. Kimball's memories of this time make for a book that is as good to read as it is to cook from.
Kimball has painstakingly tried and tested hundreds of recipes for those childhood roasts, cookies, apple pies, and other nurturing farmhouse delights. In The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook, he reworks them for the modern kitchen (olive oil and hand mixers are allowed), while still capturing "the spirit of farmhouse cooking, using simple ingredients simply prepared."
Within each chapter, memories, recipes, and cooking techniques effortlessly roll into one another. In "The Dairy," we are whisked back to Kimball's 10th year, when he milked cows. Back then, "milk was stored in large cans set into a thick metal cooler filled with cold water." This description sets the perfect scene for milky recipes such as an American Baked Custard, several tapioca puddings, chocolate mousses, and cream pies. All adhere to the book's main premise: simple cooking with basic ingredients. Other chapters are solely devoted to meat, vegetables, baking, breakfast, cookies, fruit, and preserving, as well as a buying guide for purchasing the best cookware and kitchen tools. With so much research, and so many recipes and reminiscences, The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook really is an act of culinary love and devotion. --Naomi Gesinger
What sets The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook
apart ... is Kimball's experimental streak.... The charts and commentary on kitchen equipment are easily worth the price of the book... -- The New York Times Book Review, William Grimes