This cookbook is utterly charming! It pays tribute to Louisa May Alcott with quotes and background, including a very informative introductory essay. Food plays an important part in the novel as readers of the book know and as the author of this cookbook knows as well. There are so many fpasssages about food as the Little Women grow. There are Amy who has issues with her limes, Meg who has trouble with her jam, breakfasts given to those in greater need and much more. Reference to all are made and give the reader the opportunity to enjoy memories of reading Little Women.
The recipes themselves are easy to follow. They are organized into four chapters:
-Gatherings with Family and Friends
-March Family Dinners and Suppers and
-Sweet Treats, Desserts and Drinks
A few of the featured recipes include:
Buckwheat Pancakes, A better Omelet for Marmee and Milk Toast in the breakfast section.
Roast Beef Picnic Sandwiches, Jo’s Much Improved Corned Beef and Spice Trade DEviled Eggs in the Gatherings section and of course more as you move through the additional chapters. The recipes are clearly delineated and look easy enough for those who are not kitchen stars.
The illustrations throughout are delightful. They definitely enhance the text. There are also some photos, including one of the Orchards, the Alcott home.
I thoroughly enjoyed this cookbook both for the recipes and for the joy of browsing through the book itself. Last year, I read Little Women for the second time. It was more substantive than I had recalled. Read it while your food is cooking and while you wait for the newest version of the movie to be released this December. Enjoy!
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.
5 stars *****
From the Publisher
Experience the exciting and heartwarming world of the March sisters and Little Women right in your own kitchen
Chapter 1 Hannah’s Breakfasts
Rise and shine—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy–style—with these gratifying, true-to-the-era recipes, including cornmeal or buckwheat griddle cakes, a Jo-proof omelet for Marmee, Christmas Day muffins (Amy’s favorite), and an apple-studded sweet oatmeal porridge. Chances are that if you try your hand at making Hannah’s legendary turnovers, the buttery-rich, flaky pastries will become as sought after at your house as they are at the Marches’.
Chapter 2 Gatherings with Family and Friends
When the Marches and the Laurences have company over, each family may bring different kinds of meals to the table, but no matter what their means, they always show their guests a good time. You can, too, with these Little Women–style ways to bring your favorite people together over picnics, dinner gatherings, and even a Sunday roast.
Chapter 3 March Family Dinners and Suppers
“I was truly grateful that I not only possessed the will but the power to cook wholesome food for my little girls,” Marmee tells her daughters in the pages of Little Women. Here, then, are the very types of simple everyday recipes that Marmee, Hannah, and the newly married Meg would lovingly put on the table to gratify and nourish their families.
Chapter 4 Sweet Treats, Desserts, and Drinks
Amy insists on giving her friends the best French chocolate, while Mr. Bhaer treats the March family to a windfall of fruits and nuts before he leaves for the West. Jo’s specialty is gingerbread, while Meg’s trump card is blanc-mange. And at the end of the book, apple turnovers and cookies turn up all over the orchard. Indeed, the March family and their companions are generous with their sweets. Here’s how to indulge your friends and family with the same irresistible delights.
Vanilla Butter Cookies with Mr. Bhaer’s Chocolate Drops
Demi . . . soon discovered that Dodo like to play with “the bear-man” better than she did him, but though hurt, he concealed his anguish, for he hadn’t the heart to insult a rival who kept a mine of chocolate drops in his waistcoat pocket.
Whenever Mr. Bhaer visits the March family, he brings Meg’s children, Demi and Dodo, chocolate drops, a popular sweet at the time. You can still find these old-fashioned candies in the candy aisle of the supermarket. They resemble large M&Ms, without the candy coating. Here, they top butter cookies, another popular treat from those times. Anyone who loves chocolate and butter cookies (who doesn’t?) will adore these treats as much as Dodo adored Mr. Bhaer and his chocolate drops.
Makes 4 dozen cookies
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, allowed to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften
- ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
- 4 dozen chocolate drops or stars (from an 8-ounce [226 g] bag)