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Fry Bacon. Add Onions: The Valentine Family & Friends Cookbook

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0978594046
ISBN-10: 0978594045
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

From the book: "Most Pennsylvania Dutch families evolved from immigrants who were peasants in "the Old Country". They learned, out of necessity, to use everything they could to feed their families and they devised ways of preserving those things through the long, harsh winters. Pickling, preserving, smoking, canning were necessary to get a large family through the bitterly cold winter months. As I worked on this cookbook I was continually aware of how so much of the food that was part of family tradition was also making good use of commonly available food sources that were abundant and cheap. My Gram Werner used to say that the reason pigs were so valuable was because you could use every part of them except the squeak. In the cold hill country of Pennsylvania maple trees grew in such abundance, that maple syrup was a frequently used sweetener. Cows were kept for milk, cream, butter, cheese and sour cream. When I read these recipes now some seem so rich and loaded with calories but back then people needed those rich, calorie-laden foods to see them through long days in the fields or the factories or lumbering in the forests."

About the Author

Kathleen Valentine was born and grew up in the Allegheny highlands of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in The Arts and worked for over twenty years in the art/marketing departments of high-tech corporations. Since 2003 she has run her own design business, Valentine-Design.com. She is the author of  Fry Bacon. Add Onions, a cookbook/memoir of growing up Pennsylvania Dutch, as well as 3 novels, several novelettes and short story collections, and knitting instruction books.  Her blog at KathleenValentine.com has been read by thousands of readers since its beginning in July 2005. She currently lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America's oldest seaport, and is writing every day.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Parlez-Moi Press (February 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978594045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978594046
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,928,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have kept a binder full of recipes for many years. It contains tried and true family favorites, recipes that have been given to me by friends, and recipes that I someday hope to try someday. Many are accompanied by notes and comments. The Valentine Family And Friends Cookbook reminds me of my own personal recipe book. But better. Not only does it contain recipes, but it also contains charming notes and stories about the author's life and memories of growing up in a Pennsylvania Dutch family. (And family photos too, if you have the paperback. Sadly, the Kindle edition does not have the photos.)

Some of the older recipes may not please the current generation (smoked liver pudding, anyone?), and some of the more recent recipes are fairly common (for example, chili con queso or spinach dip made with vegetable soup mix). However, collections of recipes of this type are charming and you might even try a few of the recipes. But the Kindle edition is too difficult to use. There is no Table of Contents or Index which means that it is nearly impossible to easily find recipes or quickly scan through them to find one you might be interested to try. The paperback version would undoubtably be more practical.

Because of this, I am only giving the eBook version 2 stars.

(In addition, I wonder if there might be a few errors in some of the recipes. For example, I find it difficult to believe that chicken wings can be baked for 1 1/2 hours at 450 degrees without burning them to a crisp.)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I may be slightly biased as I grew up in the Author's hometown of St. Marys, but have not lived there for over 20 years. I miss my hometown, but life has placed me well below the Mason Dixon Line - and too far from the wonderful PA Dutch food.

The Pennsylvania Dutch culture is one that can only be experienced first hand and like many cultures, it revolves around food. My parents' families were quite large and my memories of them are just as grandois. Every Sunday, after Mass, we would gather at my father's "homestead", where Gramma G would serve breakfast; the kids always prayed she had made her apple cinnamon roles, but were happy to settle for "dippy eggs", venision sausage with toasted home-made bread slathered with her Elderberry Jam. My aunts, uncles and Gramma would sit around the table drinking very strong percolated coffee (we tried to keep Aunt Sis from making it), while the children would be out back gathering apples or elderberries for Gramma to turn into wonderful treats. Besides Gramma G always had a special kid size apple pie hidden away for each of us little ones for when the adults went to their "club" meetings at the end of the meal.

The downside to this upbringing is that many, if not all of the recipes were hand me downs from the prior generation. Measurements like a pinch of salt, a handful of flour or a dabble of butter were common - an actual unit of measurement were in cookbooks (which any self respecting woman would not use - well, unless it was for the church cookbook)!. Children would learn at the stove with Mothers, Aunts and Grandmothers - but lack of attention and wonderful adventures outside pulled us away before we committed the recipes to memory.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I discovered Kathleen Valentine with The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic (like a lot of other readers) and now I'm working my way through her books. I think I have four of them on my Kindle.

If you're a cook who wants a cut and dried recipe book organized into types of dishes with an index, go to Walmart. There are a million cookbooks like that.

However, this book will appeal to you if you love memoirs, travel books, and charming newspaper columns about real people with recipes thrown into the mix. The fun of wandering through the pages and discovering the next great story is one of the best things about it. This warm, delightful book is not just about food, but charm, family history, and stories from real flesh and blood folks. Another winner from Ms. Valentine.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Another winner from Kathleen Valentine(if you haven't read her books give yourself that treat!) that shows the breadth of her writing capabilities. This is a down to earth cookbook that had some really cool and different recipes. Although I downloaded this onto my Kindle, I didn't like the formatting, so it will be one that I purchase a paperback version of.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fry Bacon. Add Onions: The Valentine Family & Friends Cookbook is a marvelous cookbook that is meant for reading first and cooking from later. The author has collected and compiled a vast array of family and friend's recipes interspersed with folksy stories of growing up in Pennsylvania. This is a friendly cookbook meant for reading and the recipes are the kind you find in the recipe boxes of grandma and mom.

While there is not table of contents, it works for this cookbook as it's meant to be read as more of a book rather than a cookbook. You can use the search feature to find recipes or you can leisurely read through the book and use the bookmark feature to save your favorite recipes.

If you want to try some good home cooking you will find the following recipes in this cookbook:

Candied Sausage
Delicious Mock Pate
Lisa's Party Mix
Mom's Freezer Coleslaw
Gram's Holiday Gelatin Salad
Quick and Easy Fish Chowder
Lisa's Cincinnati Chili
Kale or other Green's Soup
Dandelion Salad
Soltz
Gram's Sauerkraut

Recommend.
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