When I open a cookbook I’m looking for more than just a recipe.  I like to take a little food journey.  Cooking With Italian Grandmothers by Jessica Theroux, takes us on a trip through Italy.  You won’t find any celebrity chef recipes here.  But pull up a chair at the kitchen table and learn how the matriarchs of Italian families cook.

You will learn how Mary in Tuscany braises her rabbit, how Daria in Linguria makes her pesto, how Armida stuffs her chicken, and how Maddalena grills her tuna in Sicily.  These grandmothers of Italy keep traditions alive.  Join them in their homes for true home-cooking.  Ingredients are fresh, local, and lovingly prepared.  Grandmothers want to feed your soul as well as your appetite and these lovely ladies will do just that on every page.

I recently baked Giovanna’s “La Miascia” which is a bread and milk cake with pears and dried plums.  It is said to be the poor-man’s cake of Lake Como.  But I would argue it is fit for a king!  Like so many Grandma recipes there is not one way to make it.  This luscious dessert is simply filled with whatever ripe fruits are on the counter, stale bread, and fresh milk.  This rustic cake is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  The bread and milk create a moist treat with just enough sweetness from the fruit.

A Grandmother is waiting to feed you, a place has been set at the table.  Your senses will be delighted and your appetite stirred as you journey through these homey Italian kitchens.

Reviewed by Barbara McGraw,  Gallery and Gourmet Sales