Get a bunch of women from the same family together, and swapping recipes and tasting food is likely to be part of the entertainment, along with all the "remember when" stories. Way Back in the Country Garden is a book that brings you into the author's family gatherings and kitchen. We learn about how her family lived in close proximity to each other, grew big gardens and cooked good food. The first part of the book is mostly family stories and it is separated from the second half, which is mostly recipes, by a scrapbook of family photos. I'd like to share one recipe with you:
1 pound carrots, peeled, sliced, and boiled or steamed until tender
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Drain carrots after you cook them. Mash thoroughly or blend in blender. Add melted butter. Combine with remaining ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie shell, or to make crustless pie, pour into 9 by 9 pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Makes six servings.
All in all, the recipes are the real people cook this type and the family stories sound, well, like family stories. I felt a little like I did when I first met my husband's family. I could sense the love and history behind the stories but all the names confused me and I had a hard time keeping track of who went with whom.